This aquamarine is one of the many artifacts in the Benton County Historical Society artifact collection which fits the theme of the 2017 “Around The World From 80 Countries” exhibition but is not currently on public display. H1982-081-0001
Many legends are attached to one category of small items--gems. This bluish gem from Brazil is an aquamarine, a crystal of the mineral beryl. The sea water color of the stone not only gave the gem its name but also led to the legend that it protects sea-going sailors. Belief in the calming influence of aquamarines also led people to make them into amulets to help control anger or as an aid to meditation and a calm mind. Aquamarines were also viewed as a symbol of enduring love and were popular wedding gifts.
Brazil is the leading producer of these gems. The largest aquamarine, found in the Minas Gerais region north of Rio, was 19 inches long and weighed over 240 pounds. Our pear-cut aquamarine, also from Brazil, weighs more than 54 carats.