The Story Behind March's Birthstone: Aquamarine
As you know, we cover birthstones each and every month; the primary March birthstone is aquamarine. This gemstone is known for its pale blue color, which symbolizes youth, hope, health, and fidelity. Let’s take a closer look at this alluring gemstone.
Aquamarine History and Symbolism
Aquamarine is derived from two Latin words, “aqua” meaning water, and “marina” meaning sea. This gemstone has long been connected to the sea, with ancient Greeks believing it was the treasure of mermaids.
Aquamarine is also associated with Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea, who wore an aquamarine-studded crown when making his grand entrance into the waters and is thought to protect all sailors by calming the seas.
Legend has it that Cleopatra wore aquamarines to preserve her beauty.
One of Cleopatra's Many Crowns
Another belief is that it brings courage and peace to all who wear it.
It is also said that on a deeper level, aquamarine can bring clarity to your thoughts and help you to find your inner peace by calming your emotions.
Where Does Aquamarine Come From?
Aquamarines are found all around the world including in Zambia, Nigeria, Madagascar, Pakistan, Kenya, U.S.A., Russia, in the Ural Mountains now depleted, and of course Brazil. The most famous aquamarines come from Brazil in the famous mines of the state of Minas Gerais.
Aquamarines have been mined since at least 1910 and have become some of the most sought-after stones in the world due to their beauty and rarity.
African stones that rivaled Brazilian stones in both beauty and price were first seen on the market in the early 1980s. an additional advantage was that, unlike Brazilian aqua, these stones were as beautiful as they would ever be when removed from the Earth and so, did not require heat treatment.
Aquamarines come in various shades of blue ranging from light sky blues to deep, darker blues.
So depending on your personal preferences there are plenty of choices available in terms of colors too! It has been said that aquamarine compliments all skin tones!
Angara-Diamond and Aquamarine Double Circle Pendant Necklace
The majority of Aquas, mostly from Brazil, are heat treated to remove the iron, therefore subduing green overtones; leaving the highly coveted pure blue shades.
Aquamarine gems larger than ten carats are more saturated in color than smaller gems; Brazilian stones
tend to be paler blue in color than African stones.
Angara-GIA Certified Emerald-Cut Aquamarine Ring with Diamond Twist Shank, 8.10 Carats
But don't be fooled by other light blue gems you might come across. The most come rivale to Aquamarine is blue topaz. Although they may look very similar to Aqua, there are some major differences.
Aquamarine is the blue-green color of the mineral species beryl, which includes other valuable gems: emerald and morganite.
Blue topaz is exactly as described, the blue variety of topaz, but for the most part, the color is not natural, but created by man and is pretty much all manufactured from brownish, yellowish rough topaz (which is abundant) by exposing the crystals to irradiation. Consequently, from the pastel blues to the most favored "London Blue" is the result of the treatment.
Because the crystals themselves are plentiful and the color is created using irradiation, the finished product is less expensive, especially when compared to aquamarine, which is another reason it is so popular. What is important to know is that the beautiful colors created by irradiation are permanent.
When it comes to birthstone jewelry featuring aquamarines there are many options available on the market, both online and in retail establishments. From necklaces to aquamarine rings, earrings to bracelets — you can find stunning pieces adorned with this brilliant gemstone for both men and women.
Lisa Bridge Aquamarine Wave Bullet Pendant, 24"
We have a complete article on aquamarine jewelry for men, click HERE to read: Aquamarine Jewelry For Men. In the meantime, check out our featured pieces here.
Caring for Your Aquamarine Jewelry
To ensure your aquamarine jewelry looks as beautiful as possible for years to come, you should take proper care of it by cleaning it regularly with warm soapy water or a gentle jewelry cleaner (avoid harsh chemical cleaners).
Avoid exposing your aquamarines to extreme temperatures or direct sunlight as these conditions can damage and fade the color of your gemstones over time.
Angara-Gypsy Set Round Aquamarine Eternity Wedding Band
Store your jewelry separately in a soft pouch or box with other pieces, especially diamonds, so that it does not get scratched or tangled up with other pieces of jewelry.
For additional information on how to maintain the beauty of your fine jewelry, read our article: How To Clean Jewelry
For those born in March or looking for a meaningful gift option — consider investing in some beautiful jewelry featuring aquamarine!
Briolette aquamarine drop earrings, in 14K white gold.
Not only will it make you feel confident but it will also remind you that age is just a number and will bring peace into your life thanks to its calming properties.
And lastly don't forget about its symbolism — courage in times of difficulty and communication between loved ones — these are values worth cherishing always!
Whether you were born in March or simply admire the beauty of this timeless stone, aquamarines are a stunning addition to any jewelry collection!
Not only do they look gorgeous when worn but they also carry powerful symbolism that can help protect you against negative energy while bringing courage and luck into your life. With proper care, your aquamarine will remain beautiful for years - just like one of these little mermaids' treasures!
Basket-Set Round Aquamarine Stud Earrings
How can I tell the difference between Blue Topaz and Aquamarine?
It may be very difficult to see the difference by just looking at the stones. In smaller aquamarines the color may be quite pale, whereas even in small blue topaz' the color will be obviously blue. Aquamarines are for the most part eye-clean, but rod-like inclusions may be seen, which will not be found in blue topaz.
Retail stores will always clearly label jewelry featuring aquamarines or blue topaz.
For jewelry that was inherited or gifted to you, take the piece to a qualified jewelry appraiser, who can conduct an examination and gemological tests that will confirm the identity of the gemstone.
What is the difference between emeralds and aquamarines?
Aquamarine belongs to the beryl family, and have the same chemical composition-what differs is the impurities in each that is responsible for the different colors. In emeralds, the dark green color of beryl, the impurities are chromium or vanadium. In aquamarines, iron is responsible for the greenish-blue color.
Aquamarines tend to be eye-clean, a great for pale-colored gemstones. Emeralds on the other hand, are almost always included. Most often with internal breaks, they may also have liquid inclusions that make them vulnerable. Emeralds must be worn with care, while aquamarines are tougher and suitable for everyday wear.
Does aquamarine come in large sizes?
Yes, aquamarine comes in large sizes. These stones are quite often cut in the popular emerald cut that emphasizes the clarity and transparency of aquamarines. Three, five, ten, and twenty carats and above are not uncommon; larger stones tend to have more saturated colors.
One of the largest aquamarine crystals ever mined was 19 inches long and weighed 242.5 pounds! It was fashioned into stones weighing more than 100 carats, and it was found in the mines of Minas Gerais, Brazil.
The largest faceted aquamarine is 10,363 carats. Named the Dom Pedro Aquamarine and resides in the Hall Of Gems in the Smithsonian Institution.
Can Aquamarine be found in the United States?
Yes, Aquamarine deposits have been found in San Diego County in California and in the mountains of Colorado, where it was named as the official state gemstone.
Is there more than one March birthstone?
Yes, there are actually two march birthstones, aquamarine and bloodstone are both March birthstones, however, bloodstone is far less popular or readily available than aquamarine. Bloodstone is a dark green gemstone opaque stone with red flecks. It is most often found in men's rings.
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Francesca de Granville, G.G., F.G.A.