Aquamarine evokes images of peaceful lagoons and shimmering waves on an ocean beach. Its name comes from two Latin words: aqua, meaning “water,” and marina, meaning “of the sea.” This blue to greenish blue stone is a variety of the mineral beryl, a cousin to emerald, the green variety of beryl. Like many beryls, aquamarine may form as large crystals suitable for exceptionally large fashioned gems and carvings.
Nearly all the blue aquamarine in jewelry is produced by heat treatment of bluish green, green, greenish yellow and even brownish yellow beryl. The process leaves a purer shade of blue, is undetectable and appears to be permanent.
When buying aquamarine, look for stones that have a consistent blue with no bands of color or inclusions. Aquamarine is readily available in large sizes, so larger gemstones are both available and affordable.
Aquamarine is also given as a gift on the 19th wedding anniversary.
Legend and lore
Ancient sailors claimed aquamarine could calm waves and keep them safe at sea. The March birthstone was thought to bring happiness to marriage and give the wearer protection against foes in battle and litigation. It is also thought to make the wearer unconquerable and amiable and to quicken the intellect.
Aquamarine is found in many places around the world, including Brazil, Pakistan, Kenya, Madagascar, China, Myanmar, Russia and Ukraine. In the United States, it is mined in Colorado, where it’s the state gem, and California.
With a hardness of 7.5 on the Mohs scale, aquamarine is durable and appropriate for daily wear. To clean, use warm water, mild dish soap and a toothbrush. Ultrasonic cleaners and steam cleaning are usually safe as long as there are no feathers or liquid inclusions in the gem.
The March birthstone aquamarine has it all: it’s beautiful, rich in lore, affordable and exceptionally wearable. Whatever jewelry you choose, keep it safe by insuring through Lavalier.com.