Aquamarine is the green-blue to blue variety of the mineral beryl. (Emerald is the green to bluish green variety of the same mineral.) Most of the aquamarine in the marketplace is a light pastel slightly greenish blue. Traces of iron in beryl’s crystal structure cause aquamarine’s color. Like many beryls, aquamarine may form as large crystals suitable for exceptionally large fashioned gems and carvings.
Aquamarine’s name comes from the Latin for seawater, and ancient mariners claimed the gem would calm waves and keep sailors safe at sea. March’s birthstone was also thought to bring happiness to marriages. Beryl was believed to give the wearer protection against foes in battle and litigation. It was also thought to make the wearer unconquerable and amiable, and to quicken the intellect.
Aquamarine is not only the birthstone for March, the gem is also given as a present on the 19th wedding anniversary.
Aquamarine is pastel blue, greenish blue or green-blue. The preferred color is a moderate slightly greenish blue to dark blue. Fine stones are an even blue with no bands of color (called “zoning”). Most faceted aquamarines are free of eye-visible inclusions. Aquamarine is readily available in large sizes – with many fine gems 25 ct or greater. Aquamarine can be cut into almost any shape, and is often fashioned as emerald cuts, pear shapes, or round or oval brilliants. It also lends itself well to fantasy cuts.
The March birthstone aquamarine has it all: It’s beautiful, eye clean, rich in lore and exceptionally wearable.