18 Feb Meaning of Aquamarine the March Birthstone
JUST like its blue-green colour suggests, aquamarine evokes the beauty of the ocean. It is translucent, blue-green and sparkling. Read our guide below to discover the secret meaning of aquamarine, March’s birthstone.
Birthstone for March
According to astrology, aquamarine is the birthstone for March.
It is also the gem aligned with the star sign of Pisces.
Finally, it is the 9th and the 19th anniversary gift gemstone.
The name ‘aquamarine’
The ancient Romans came up with the name ‘aquamarine’. The term comes from the Latin words aqua and marine that respectively mean ‘water’ and ‘sea’.
Aquamarines can range from a very light green-blue to an opaque dark blue.
Aquamarine crystal – Image credit Greyloch, Creative Commons License
Aquamarine in ancient Rome
The Romans purchased aquamarine mainly from India. In those days, travelling from Rome to India meant a long and dangerous sea voyage.
According to Roman legend, the god of the sea, Poseidon, made sacred aquamarine gems out of seawater.
Therefore, the Romans believed that aquamarine amulets would protect them from storms at sea.
Medieval European aquamarine beliefs
In Europe, aquamarine appeared in many medieval texts as a cure for ailments.
Including tired eyes, sore throats, toothaches, digestive problems and, of course, seasickness.
Medieval Europeans also believed that aquamarine could foster good relationships, restore love between estranged husbands and wives, and help win battles in the courtroom.
In eastern philosophies, aquamarine is the gem associated with the throat and speech.
For example, Indian spiritual thinkers say it rules the throat chakra and helps people speak clearly.
Some people also believe that if women wear aquamarine it enhances feminine energy and empowerment.
Brazilian aquamarine – Image credit Mauro Cateb, WikiMedia Commons
The blue cousin of the emerald
Aquamarine belongs to the beryl mineral family, which also includes emerald.
However, while clear emerald crystals are small and difficult to find, aquamarine crystals occur naturally in large sizes that are eye-clear.
This makes aquamarine an affordable and beautiful gem, well suited to big jewellery pieces like statement rings.
Where on Earth?
The best aquamarine gems in the world come from Brazil, although it is also mined in Africa and Asia.
Minas Gerais, Espirito Santo and Bahia are the Brazilian provinces with mines that produce the purest aquamarine.
Faceted Brazilian aquamarine – Image credit Werner Lang, Wikimedia Commons
The gem of royalty
The British, Dutch and Danish crown jewellery all include impressive aquamarine collections.
Queen Elizabeth II, in particular, is very fond of aquamarines. She has a Brazilian aquamarine parure, or set, which began as a necklace and a pair of earrings that the Brazilian president gave to her as a coronation gift in 1953.
She loved her aquamarine set so much that she later commissioned a Brazilian aquamarine tiara to match them.
The Queen wearing her aquamarine parure – Image credit Wikimedia Commons
Princess Diana’s aquamarine ring
Princess Diana had several aquamarine pieces, including earrings, bracelets, necklaces and rings.
Most famously, Diana wore a large aquamarine ring, instead of her blue sapphire engagement ring, after her divorce from Prince Charles in 1996.
In 2018, we saw Meghan Markle wear the same aquamarine ring on the day she married Prince Harry, Diana’s youngest son, suggesting that Prince Harry had passed his mother’s ring on to her as a wedding present.
Princess Diana wearing aquamarine earrings, 1987 – Image credit Rick, Wikimedia Commons
Why aquamarine makes fantastic jewellery
Aquamarine is a fantastic alternative to diamonds because it gives off showstopping sparkle and its pale colour suits almost any complexion, just like diamonds.
In terms of price, even large aquamarines are relatively affordable compared to gems like emeralds and diamonds.
In short, aquamarine is the perfect stone for adding value, excitement and meaning to your jewellery collection – especially if it’s your birthstone.
What to look for in aquamarine jewellery
Some gems are judged more by their colour, whereas some are more valued for their clarity.
With aquamarines, it’s important to strike a good balance between the two.