Happy birthday to all you March babies! If you’re a March baby or you’re shopping for one, you probably already know the March birthstone is aquamarine. But how much do you really know about this month’s beautiful blue gemstone? To celebrate your birthday month, we’ve gathered 10 fun facts about your fabulous birthstone.
Origin of the name ‘Aquamarine’
When you hear the word ‘aquamarine’ visions of crystal clear waves and clear blue skies dance through your mind. And there is good reason for that. Named for the ocean’s purest shades of blue, the literal translation of ‘aquamarine’ is ‘water of the sea.’ In fact, Ancient Greeks and Romans believed aquamarine originated in the treasure chests of mermaids out in the big blue. This actually led to a few myths about the March birthstone, and we’ll get to that shortly.
The March birthstone’s mineral family
Aquamarine belongs to the beryl family of minerals. Beryl is a very popular and alluring mineral because of its diversity of colors. Aquamarine is the greenish-blue to blue variety of beryl. Including gemstone cousins of emerald and morganite that are also beryl, it’s obvious that beauty runs in the family! Aquamarine forms in crystals that can be fairly large and totally transparent. Unlike its cousin emerald, the March birthstone can form in stunning, flawless crystals with very few, if any, inclusions.
Where aquamarine is mined
While the most valuable aquamarines are mined in Columbia and Brazil, the March birthstone has been found in many locations all around the world. Mines extracting gem quality material can be found in Pakistan, Kenya, Sri Lanka, and Madagascar. Aquamarine is also mined right here in the United States in states like California and Colorado. In fact, aquamarine is the official state gemstone of Colorado. The vast abundance of aquamarine makes for larger pieces of jewelry at a fairly affordable price.
Remember when we mentioned the myths regarding aquamarine’s relationship with the sea? Let’s dive right in! It’s not just this gemstones’ name that links it to the sea. Historically, aquamarine is a popular gemstone amongst sailors. Why sailors? Legend said aquamarines were the prized possessions of mermaids and would thus protect sailors from dangers at sea. Because of its sea-blue color, aquamarine was believed to protect against seasickness and unexpected accidents. When leaving on long voyages, sailors wore or carried aquamarines with the belief the gemstone would help them return safely to their families.
Beautiful blue baubles
When you think about aquamarine you immediately think of the color blue. But what shade of blue are you envisioning? Is it a bright, brilliant blue? Or is it a soft, pale blue? Either way, it’s still aquamarine. This beautiful blue gemstone is available in a variety of breathtaking sea-blue colors ranging from pale light blue to medium-dark blue. Because of its color, aquamarine is oftentimes mistaken for blue topaz. However, the March birthstone is more valuable due to its rarity and natural coloring.
Nice and neutral
The cool tones of aquamarine make it easy to match with any outfit for any occasion. Whether you’re casually shopping with some friends or attending a gala, aquamarine is always a dazzling choice. This beautiful gemstone also looks lovely on every skin type. Furthermore, aquamarine looks fabulous set in every type of metal. Take this vintage ring for example. Originally set in yellow gold, we edited the ring to show you just how well aquamarine pairs with other precious metals. Which one is your favorite? We personally love the look of aquamarine set in rose gold. Just look at how much those gemstones pop!
More than the March birthstone
Aquamarine is more than just the March birthstone. This gorgeous blue gemstone is also the traditional gift for a 19th wedding anniversary. A lovely aquamarine pendant or aquamarine cufflinks would make an exceptional gift for your 19th wedding anniversary. But don’t limit yourself only to jewelry- try to think outside of the box. How about a gift for 2 travelling across the beautiful aquamarine sea?!
Mystical powers of aquamarine
Aside from its beauty, aquamarine has other special powers associated with it as well. It is believed aquamarine helps increase courage, happiness, intelligence, wisdom, and youthfulness. Aquamarine is also thought to help anxiety, which is why it is used so often in meditation. Today, aquamarine is considered a symbol of faithfulness and friendship. If you’re shopping for a March-born friend or loved one, aquamarine is a great gift as it pays special tribute to your relationship.
One tough stone
Aquamarine is an exceptionally hard gemstone. It ranks at a 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, which means they are durable enough for every day wear. Aquamarine engagement rings are actually becoming increasingly more popular! Because aquamarine is so durable it makes a great choice as a center stone in all types of jewelry; however, caution should still be taken against rough wear so as to not scratch or damage the gemstone. While these beautiful blue gemstones can withstand exposure to light, they should not be subjected to extreme heat. Aquamarine should be cleaned simply with warm, soapy water.
World’s largest cut aquamarine
The world’s largest aquamarine was discovered in the late 1980s. Three Brazilian miners stumbled upon an exceptionally large aquamarine crystal in Minas Gerais, Brazil. Unfortunately, the crystal was dropped and broke into three separate pieces. Two of the pieces were cut and faceted into smaller gems that were commercially sold. The finest and largest piece was saved and transformed into what is now known as the Dom Pedro Aquamarine. Originally, the Dom Pedro weighed almost 60 pounds and was approximately 2 feet in length. After a year of hard work and dedication by gemstone artist Bernd Musteiner, the massive aquamarine was transformed into an incredible obelisk that stands 13.75 inches tall, 4 inches wide at the base, and weighs 10,363 carats (about 5 pounds). The Dom Pedro is now on display at the Smithsonian Institution as the world’s largest cut aquamarine.
Find beautiful March birthstone gifts in sunny San Diego
It’s no coincidence that the gemstone of the sea can be found right here at Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers in sunny San Diego. Whether you’re searching for a March birthstone gift or you just adore the look of aquamarine, you are sure to find something brilliant in our stunning collection. Now that you know a little bit more about aquamarine, let us know what your favorite thing about this blue beauty is in the comments section below!