AQUAMARINE: MARCH'S BIRTHSTONE

| Fiona Tilley

The name Aquamarine immediately conjures up images of the deep and bright color of the sea… or perhaps a lightly colored sky out of one of Van Gogh’s oil pastel paintings. Aquamarine is the Latin name for seawater, and mariners of legend believed the gem could keep them safe at sea. March’s birthstone is a perfect gift for a 19th wedding anniversary, or for anyone looking for a gem that will inspire the qualities of mental fortitude, quick-wittedness, and amiability. 


WHERE THE AQUAMARINE GEMSTONE IS FOUND 

Like many of the gems we’ve come to know and love, the Aquamarine gemstone is found abundantly in the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil, which has been supplying the gemstone for the past two hundred years. The eastern part of the Minas Gerais, which is made up of rocky hills, rivers, and scrub bush, is where Aquamarine can mostly be found in hard rock. The Karakorum foothills of Pakistan is also a place where a good amount of Aquamarine is found; the steep landscape forces miners to climb upwards of 10,000 to 13,000 feet and scale treacherous cliffs in order to reach the gem. The Aquamarine found in these hills tends to be water clear. In the U.S., Aquamarine is found in Riverside, California and San Diego, California and also in the Mount Antero area of Colorado (Aquamarine is the state gem of Colorado). Aquamarine is also found in Russia and Ukraine, China, Myanmar, Zambia, Mozambique, Kenya, Madagascar, and Nigeria.  


WHAT IS AQUAMARINE?

Aquamarine is a member of the Beryl family of gems, which also include Emerald and Morganite. Aquamarine is very often found in large crystals and usually free of flaws. These crystals are gorgeous six-sided prisms that can sometimes be more than a foot long. Aquamarine is a gem that can really sparkle because it is usually transparent and luminous. Iron is the element that is credited for giving Aquamarine its pigment. The color usually ranges from strong blue to slightly greenish-blue. Crystals range from tiny to huge, sometimes weighing to up to 100 pounds! 
 

LEGENDS AND POWERS OF THE AQUAMARINE GEMSTONE

Great warriors and debaters of ancient Greek and Roman times probably kept Aquamarine on hand as they believed it inspired fortitude in both battles and in intellectual sparring. Roman philosopher Pliny may have been the first to write that Aquamarine originally came from the treasure troves of stunning mermaids. Its origin as a protective stone for mariners against the wrath of the sea was built on this myth. The Romans also believed that the Aquamarine stone could help lovers reconcile with one another if a frog was carved onto its surface. Ancient Egyptians and Sumerians believed it to be a gemstone with the power to grant everlasting youth. It has been found in the tombs and art pieces of civilizations throughout the millennia.  
 

CARING FOR AQUAMARINE BIRTHSTONES

Aquamarine is a 7.8 to 8 on the Mohs scale of hardness. It is durable enough for everyday wear and easy to take care of. Warm soapy water and a soft toothbrush are all that’s needed to keep off unwanted dirt. If the stones have no fractures, ultrasonic and steam cleaners are also safe to use. Your Aquamarine birthstone is a reliable gem that may inspire fortitude in physical and mental ventures and relationships with platonic or romantic loved ones.   

Shop GURHAN's unique Aquamarine jewelry HERE


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