AQUAMARINE: March Birthstone
"The aquamarine... has the glassy tint of the waves of the sea." - Charles Blanc
Aquamarine is the official birthstone for those born in the month of March. It has been around for thousands of years. The name derives from the two Latin words aqua and marina. Aqua translates to “water" while marina translates to "of the sea”. The Romans and ancient mariners believed that aquamarine was used to calm waves and they wore the gemstone to keep safe while traveling at sea. Some people even believed that aquamarine came from a mermaids treasure chest.
Aquamarine is not only the March birthstone but is the gem that is given as a present on the 19th wedding anniversary. In Eastern tradition, aquamarine is used to bring happiness to a marriage. It is believed to symbolize courage, faithfulness, health and clear communication, all things that are important factors in a marriage.
Family & Location of the Aquamarine
Aquamarine, along with emerald, belongs to the beryl family of minerals and is one of the most well-known types. It is a pale greenish blue or bluish green variety and is valued as a gemstone. Both aquamarine and emerald have the same chemical composition, hardness and density but are very different for one main reason. Aquamarine can form in stunning flawless crystals, while emerald is usually flawed or has inclusions that are visible to the naked eye.
Aquamarine is found in mountainous regions around the world, the most common source being Brazil. Other places that this birthstone has been found are Pakistan, Africa (Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Nigeria), China, India, Russia and the United States. Aquamarine has very distinct styles based on the locality in which it is from.
Aquamarine and The 4 C's
Like diamonds, the 4 C's (color, cut, clarity, carat weight) are important factors when determining the value of an aquamarine.
- Color: Aquamarine’s preferred color is a moderately strong dark blue to slightly greenish blue. The color of aquamarine can usually be improved by heating. Most stones in the retail market are heat treated to reduce the green/blue color and improve the blue color. Aquamarine’s color can range from almost clear to a deep blue depending on the heat it is exposed to. The more saturated the color, the higher the value, although almost all aquamarine is typically a lighter blue tone.
- Cut: Aquamarine is available in both faceted and cabochon cuts. They can be cut into almost any shape but the most favored cut for aquamarine is an emerald step-cut. Brilliant cuts with long or rectangular shapes are considered to complement the stone best. Aquamarine is a relatively easy stone to cut and is rated a 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness. The Mohs scale is universally used around the world as a way of distinguishing gems and minerals. It runs from 1 being the softest to 10 being the hardest. This means that aquamarine is a relatively durable stone and works well in jewelry.
- Clarity: Aquamarine is a Type1 gemstone, which means that most high-quality, faceted aquamarine gemstones are eye-clean and lack visible inclusions. Some crystals might contain liquid inclusions but clarity characteristics are few or even absent in most finished gems. Aquamarine stones with inclusions that are visible to the naked eye are usually made into cabochons or beads.
- Carat weight: Aquamarine occurs naturally in large formations and for that reason, the cost per carat does not increase with size. Aquamarine crystals range from being tiny to very large. Many very large aquamarine crystals have been discovered. The largest gem-quality aquamarine crystal mined to date was found in 1910, in the 'Minas Gerais' mine in Marambaya, Brazil. It weighed 244 lbs. and measured 19 inches long and 15 inches in diameter. It was cut into gemstones that had a total weight of more than 100,000 carats.
Aquamarine Jewelry in Boca Raton
If you are looking for the perfect gift for a March birthday or a special way to show your spouse just how much you love them on your 19th wedding anniversary, visit Devon's Diamonds & Decor. Our jewelry store is located in the Royal Palm Place shopping center in Boca Raton, FL. (561)430-6988