The name aquamarine was derived by the Romans, "aqua" meaning water and
"mare" meaning sea, because it looked like sea water.
They were considered sacred to Neptune, god of the sea and the treasure of
mermaids. Aquamarine amulets had the power to keep sailors safe and protected
against perils and monsters of the sea. Its first documented use was by the
Greeks between 480-300 BC. They wore aquamarine amulets engraved with the god
Poseidon on a chariot. Aquamarines were also thought to be the source of power
for fortune tellers, who called it the "magic mirror".
It is said that Emperor Nero used it as an eyeglass 2,000 years ago, and much
later, aquamarines were used as glasses in Germany to correct shortsightedness.
In fact, the German name for eyeglasses today is "brille", derived from the
aquamarine mineral beryl.
In the middle Ages it was believed to give the wearer both insight and foresight
and an effective antidote against poison and insomnia.