March Birthstone (Aquamarine)

Aquamarine is the birthstone for March. The word Aquamarine is a combination of two latin words, aqua meaning water, and marina meaning sea. Aquamarine is a beautiful blue color, so one could see how this mesmerizing gem received its name. Aquamarine was found ages ago, the Egyptians and Sumerians believed it was a symbol of happiness and would grant everlasting youth. Archeologists have found aquamarine in many Egyptian tombs and burial pits.

1-19-19-3 (1 of 1)Ring in 18k yellow gold with a 12.4ct aquamarine. Size 7 3/4 and priced at $5200.

Long ago, aquamarine was considered to be a mermaid stone, meaning, if you were to find a mermaid’s treasures, aqua would surely be among them. Roman philosopher Pliny actually addresses this in one of his books, he writes, “the lovely aquamarine, which seems to have come from some mermaid’s treasure house, in the depths of a summer sea, has charms not to be denied.” As mentioned in a previous post, Pliny is considered to be the world’s first known gemologist.

IMG_1429Cushion cut 4-prong set aquamarine studs weighing 2.48ct set in 14k white gold. Priced at $850.

Sailors believed that if they took the stone with them it would protect them from harm and allow them safe passage, like a good luck charm. Roman fisherman were said to have been the ones that came up with the name aqua marina, they believed that the stone would provide them with abundance when it came to catching fish. Because the Romans belief that the stone had purifying powers, they would often carve chalices made of aqua, to drink out of. They would also carve a frog on the surface of the stone, believing that it would reconcile people at odds with each other and bring in the spirit of friendship and harmony.

Two-toned 14k ring with one 4.17ct aquamarine. Size 7 and priced at $1600

In 1377, an English author named William Langland wrote the manuscript Piers Plowman, in it he states that aquamarine could be used as an antidote for poisoning. Many people in Europe believed this to be true. Poisoning was quite common among the nobility of this period, making aquamarine in high demand amongst the privileged. During the Medieval times, people often thought that aquamarine could help estranged married couples come together again, and fall back in love.

IMG_1384Necklace in platinum with a 4.07ct trilliant cut aquamarine. Priced at $4700.

Aquamarine gemstones are members of the beryl group of minerals, which basically makes aqua and emeralds cousins, because they are also part of that group. Aquamarine is considered a relatively hard stone with a Mohs scales rating of 8, and possesses moderate to good brilliance, making it a favorite of many jewelers. Aquamarine can occur in very large clean hexagonal or irregular crystals, and is even found as bi-color with other beryl minerals such as morganite. The coloring element to produce the beautiful blue, blue-green or green color is iron, which is substituted for aluminum in the crystal structure. Aquamarine can occur in a blue/green color and even a pure green color, which is then heat-treated to a temperature of 600 -1200 degrees Fahrenheit to produce a pure blue color.

IMG_1536Ring in 18k yellow gold with a 7.06ct oval shaped aquamarine. Size 7 and priced at $3200.

Aquamarine and most beryl’s occur in geological formations known as pegmatites. They can occur in vugs, also known as pockets, as well as encased by quartz and feldspar. Aquamarine gems are often found alongside Tourmalines. Aquamarine generally occurs in pale colors, but can also occur in a very deep blue color. The traditional producer of aquamarine has been Brazil, but in more recent times Zambia, Mozambique, and Nigeria have been producing very fine quality stones. They can also be found in Kenya, Angola, Tanzania, Malawi, Pakistan, Russia, and even Colorado, here in the United States. The largest gem-quality aquamarine ever discovered, was found in Brazil, in 1912. It was so clean that one could read newsprint through it! The gem weighed nearly 200 pounds, and was subsequently cut into hundreds of smaller stones with a carat weight totaling more than 200,000 carats. The largest faceted aquamarine in the world is the Dom Pedro Aquamarine. It’s currently on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.

Dom Pedro Aqua10,363ct Dom Pedro aquamarine displayed at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History

Today, aquamarine is said to protect anyone traveling over the water, whether that be lakes, oceans, rivers, or channels. The gem is also said to be good for anyone that needs help when it comes to public speaking. Aquamarine encourages calm, reflective relaxation that reveals the speaker’s wisdom, feelings, and truths. Clear communication will come easily without fear or anger. Women find that the stone encourages them express their thoughts, while men find the stone helps them cut through the barrier of emotional numbness, allowing them to speak on how they truly feel inside. Last but not least Aqua is said to help relieve stress and anger, allowing one to make positive changes in their life, and move forward in difficult times.

IMG_143514k yellow gold drop studs with one 4-prong set aquamarine with an approximate weight of 2.0ct. Priced at $325.

Aquamarines are hard but not as hard as diamonds and rubies, so they should be kept separately, in a cloth bag, away from other stones to reduce the chance of damage. Extreme heat as well as chemicals can cause aquas to fade, so if you plan on being in the sun all day or cleaning, you should remove all aqua jewelry.

IMG_154014k yellow gold pendant with pave set round diamonds weighing 0.07ctw atop of one teardrop carved aquamarine. Priced at $725.

 

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