The March birthstone, aquamarine, is associated with the ocean’s hues. From bright somewhat greenish-blue to deep green-blue. This gem is famous for both its remarkable design and the vibrant color it emits.
A Brief History of Aquamarine:
The name given to the stone by the Roman writer Pliny the Elder in the first century AD accurately reveals the essence of the stone (from the Latin aqua marina – sea water).
The ancient Greeks and Romans believed that Poseidon himself was the patron saint of aquamarine. They treated the stone with special reverence and took it as a talisman on long journeys.
Aquamarine amulets were thought to be able to control the forces of the sea and shield seafarers from harm throughout the Middle Ages. The stone is also known to strengthen and protect emotions.
At the beginning of the 18th century, after a series of naval victories over Spain, Holland and France, England was permanently named the “Lady of the Seas”. That is why aquamarine (weighing 920 carats!) was chosen out of all the possible stones to adorn the royal crown.
Elizabeth II received a stunning aquamarine parure from the President of Brazil on her coronation day in the middle of the 20th century. The Queen was so taken with the jewelry that she requested a tiara from the Garrard jewelry company. This is how the well-known blue stone tiara that transforms came into being. Its upper portion is removable and can be used as a brooch.
Characteristics of Aquamarine:
Aquamarine belongs to the beryl family and is practically a “brother” to the no lesser-known emerald. However, while the grass-green hue of an emerald is caused by chromium or vanadium oxide, aquamarine is composed of iron. As a result, the stone acquires the colour of a sea wave.
Uniquely, it is not uncommon to find large, gem-quality stones. Transparent minerals are easy to cut and do not crack when cut, taking into consideration their high hardness. It reaches a Mohs hardness of 8.
In spite of its value, the stone is light and fragile. So take care when wearing the jewellery and keep it in a separate box.
The stone also has the following physical properties:
density – 2.67-2.71 g/cm3;
fracture – shell-shaped, irregular;
luster – glassy;
Transparency: transparent or translucent.
If we look at the mineral from different angles, we will notice another peculiarity: the stone changes its hue. For example, if we turn a blue specimen sideways, it will reveal its greenish hue. Rare specimens can boast more interesting effects, such as a cat’s eye (a narrow luminous band) or asterism (a luminous star inside the stone).
Frequently asked questions about Aquamarine
The birthstone for March is Aquamarine. This beautiful gemstone comes in a range of colors that are reminiscent of the ocean’s hues, from a bright, somewhat greenish-blue to deep green-blue.
The name “Aquamarine” was given to the gemstone by the Roman writer Pliny the Elder in the first century AD. It is derived from the Latin words “aqua marina,” which mean “sea water.” This name aptly captures the essence of the stone and its oceanic hues.
Aquamarine jewelry can be found in various places such as specialty jewelry stores, online marketplaces and even in some antique shops.
Aquamarine has a rich history that dates back to ancient times. The Romans were among the first to use this gemstone, and it has been associated with various myths and legends over the years. Its name, given by Pliny the Elder, has stood the test of time and still aptly describes its watery hue.
The color of Aquamarine ranges from bright, somewhat greenish-blue to deep green-blue. The color is determined by the presence of iron within the beryl crystals from which Aquamarine is formed. The depth of color can vary depending on the amount of iron present.
The price of Aquamarine can vary depending on several factors such as size, quality, and color. Generally, stones with a deeper blue color are more valuable. However, Aquamarine is considered to be a moderately priced gemstone, making it accessible for many jewelry lovers.
Yes, Aquamarine is a relatively hard gemstone, registering 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale of hardness. This makes it suitable for everyday wear. However, like all gemstones, it’s best to take care when wearing it to avoid scratches and impacts.
Throughout history, Aquamarine has been associated with various myths and legends. It was once believed to be the treasure of mermaids and was used by sailors as a talisman for good luck and protection at sea.
Aquamarine is a relatively sturdy gemstone, but it still requires care to maintain its luster and appearance. It’s advisable to avoid exposure to high temperatures and harsh chemicals. Cleaning can be done with mild soap and water, followed by a gentle wipe with a soft cloth.
While Aquamarine is the most widely recognized birthstone for March, bloodstone is another alternative. Bloodstone is a dark green jasper flecked with vivid red spots of iron oxide.