“But whyyyyyyyy,” I remember whining as my mother led me out of Claire’s, adamant that she would not buy me the mood ring everyone was wearing at school. I don’t remember her argument. I’m sure it had something to do with not playing into fads, a quality I later came to love and respect about her. Especially considering mood rings quickly went the way of Tamagotchi and Pogs.
I have no idea why I so badly wanted a ring that would change colors to let me know how I was feeling. Like I had no other way of obtaining that information. (Face-palm.) In actuality, mood rings work simply by registering how hot you are. (Yes, you are a catch, but I mean literally hot.)
Mood rings contain a bed of liquid crystals covered with a protective coating. When the temperature of your finger changes, the liquid crystals react by twisting. That’s how the color changes. They should really call them thermometer rings, but I’m fairly certain that wouldn’t have spurred multiple mood ring crazes starting in the 70s.
The joke’s on my mom, though, because there’s a natural element that’s been around for centuries that actually does what mood rings claim to do.
And it’s my birthstone. Allow me to present the grown-up version of a mood ring: Aquamarine.
Gemstones, like everything else, are made up of elements. There are five elemental categories for stones: Fire, Water, Earth, Air, and Storm. Water stones like Aquamarine contain a naturally transient property that allows them to adapt to their surroundings, just like water. Notice how a large rock jutting out of a stream will always have frothy water lapping against it? That’s because water adapts to flow around it, and in doing so, must alter its composition. It becomes white. Porous. Bubbly. Streams unfettered by stones will be smooth and glassine. Translucent water element stones adapt to their surrounding energy field in a similar way.
Simply put, water stones can change color depending on the person’s mood. For example, Aquamarine is said to look more blue or more green depending on how its wearer is feeling. It can also change in color the closer it gets to the sea.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: How is this possible? There’s actually a scientific explanation. It’s like magnets. The ocean is full of negative ions, and humans are full of positive ions, which is why so many of us go to the beach to relax, and why doctors during the Gilded Age told women in delicate health to go live by the sea.
Water balances us, offering the yin to our yang. So why wouldn’t those properties be embedded into stones birthed by this magical element? Like mother and child: they look different, but reflect one another. Interestingly enough, it is now known that the 50-65% of water comprising the human body is actually salt water. Because of this, some say that humankind’s pull to the ocean reflects an almost maternal quality of the ocean calling us home.
Water stones range from translucent to opaque, with some of the most well known being aquamarine, emerald, chrysoprase, chrysocolla, rose quartz, and chalcedony. There are many other stones that are known to have water elements in their makeup, but these are the “pure breeds,” so to speak. Their only element is Water.
These stones all emit a very soothing and gentle energy, much like the ocean herself. As a whole, they are also excellent for opening the heart chakra, as well as enhancing communication with yourself and with others — a handy tip when choosing your jewelry before that “where is this relationship going” conversation.
So now, over twenty years later, that poor 90’s child has gotten the ultimate revenge in the form of my own beautiful collection of water stones set into necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and rings, just waiting to be paraded before my mother with wild — yet respectful — abandon.
Eight year old me would be so proud.
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Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: John F. Kennedy: Containing the Public Messages, Speeches, and Statements of the President. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1962. Print.
Lehrman, Robert L. The Long Road to Man. New York: Basic, 1961. Print.
Simmons, Robert, Naisha Ahsian, and Hazel Raven. The Book of Stones: Who They Are and What They Teach. California: Berkeley, 2007. Print.
“FINE ART JEWELRY.” Aquamarine Healing and Magical Properties, Talismans and Amulets. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 June 2016.
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