18 Feb Meaning of Aquamarine the March Birthstone
JUST like its blue-green colour suggests, aquamarine evokes the beauty of the ocean. Translucent and beautifully sparkling, it’s no wonder ancient Romans believed aquamarine was the sacred gem of Neptune, the god of the sea. Read our guide below to discover the secret meaning of aquamarine, March’s birthstone.
According to astrology, aquamarine is aligned with the star sign of Pisces. and also considered the birthstone for March.
Aquamarines appear in many historical texts as a cure for ailments, including tired eyes, sore throats and of course, seasickness. Their colour is said to inspire creativity and courage.
In ancient times sailors would wear aquamarine amulets as protection from the stormy seas.
Aquamarine crystal – Image by photographer Greyloch, under CC licence
The blue cousin of the emerald
Aquamarine belongs to the beryl mineral family, which also includes emerald.
But while emeralds are green and fairly small, the aquamarine gets its blue hues from iron trace elements and occurs as big crystals.
Brazilian aquamarines are particularly large and have an almost glass-like purity.
Brazilian aquamarine – Image by Mauro Cateb, WikiMedia Commons
Aquamarines can range from a clear light greenish-blue to an opaque dark blue.
Although crystals with intense blue colour are considered more valuable, most people seek light green-blue stones because of their unique, almost diamond-like sparkle.
From Princess Diana to the Oscars
Aquamarine has been used widely through the ages, from seamen’s talismans to haute jewellery.
It’s notably seen in British, Dutch and Danish crown jewellery and on Cate Blanchett‘s huge bib necklace at the 2015 Oscars.
Princess Diana had several aquamarine pieces and, most famously, wore an aquamarine ring instead of her blue sapphire engagement ring after becoming newly single in 1996.
Princess Diana in Bristol, 1987 – Image by Rick, Wikimedia Commons
The Queen wearing her aquamarine parure – Image WikiMedia Commons
Where on Earth?
The best aquamarines in the world come from Brazil, although the gem is also mined on the African and Asian continents.
The beautiful Brazilian provinces of Minas Gerais, Espirito Santo and Bahia have mines that produce the most vividly blue, pure beryl.
The Brazilian gem trade is conflict-free and the government restricts mechanised mining to protect the environment.
Faceted aquamarine – Image credit Werner Lang, Wikimedia Common
What to look for in aquamarine jewellery
Some gems are judged more by their colour, and some are more valued for their clarity.
With aquamarines, it’s important to strike a good balance between the two. Our gemmologist recommends:
- No visible impurities
- Vivid colour, whether lighter or darker
- A skilful cut that makes it sparkle
Why buy aquamarine?
Aquamarine is a fantastic alternative to diamonds because of its showstopping sparkle and because it suits almost any complexion.
In terms of price, high-grade aquamarine is more expensive than blue topaz, but it’s not as dear as emeralds. This makes it affordable as well as beautiful.
In short, aquamarine is perfect for adding value, excitement and meaning to your jewellery collection, especially if it’s your birthstone.