Meaning of Aquamarine the March Birthstone

Just like its blue-green colour suggests, aquamarine evokes the beauty of the ocean. It is translucent, sparkling and beautiful to gaze at. 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 gem.

Aquamarine Birthstone Ring

Where does the sanem aquamarine come from?

The ancient Romans came up with the name aquamarine. The term comes from the Latin words aqua and marine which respectively mean ‘water’ and ‘sea’. The name is interesting because it was partly inspired by the colour of this gemstone, and partly by the ancient Roman mythology attached to it. Find out more about these below.

Aquamarine colour is unique

Aquamarines can range from a very light green-blue to an opaque dark blue. Gemmologists generally favour the vivid colours. However, many people buy aquamarine as an alternative to diamonds, and therefore prefer its lighter coloured versions.

Aquamarine crystal – Image credit Greyloch, Creative Commons License

Aquamarine meaning in ancient Rome

Two thousand years ago, Romans discovered a route to India and began purchasing beautiful aquamarine gemstones from this faraway land. In those days, the first leg of travelling from Rome to India meant a long and dangerous sea voyage across the Mediterranean.

According to Roman legend, it was the god of the sea, Poseidon, who had made sacred aquamarine gems out of seawater. Therefore, the Romans came to believe that aquamarine amulets would protect them from storms at sea.

Medieval European aquamarine beliefs

In medieval Europe, aquamarine, just like other gemstones, appeared in many “medical” texts as a cure for ailments. The sicknesses cured by aquamarine included tired eyes, sore throats, toothaches, digestive problems and, of course, seasickness as per the old Roman legend.

Medieval Europeans also believed that aquamarine could foster good relationships, restore love between estranged husbands and wives, and help win battles in the courtroom.

Other aquamarine myths and lore

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 can enhance 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 emeralds. However, while clear emerald crystals are often small and difficult to find, aquamarine crystals occur naturally in large sizes that are eye-clear. This makes aquamarine an affordable and beautiful gem that is especially well suited to big jewellery pieces like cocktail rings.

Where on Earth?

The best aquamarine gems in the world come from Brazil, although they are also mined in Africa and Asia. Minas Gerais, Espirito Santo and Bahia are the Brazilian provinces with mines that produce the purest aquamarine crystals

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. In fact, 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

Famous aquamarines: Princess Diana’s “divorce” 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 gift jewellery

As we mentioned above, aquamarine is the birthstone for March and also the star sign of Pisces, as well as the 9th and the 19th anniversary gift gem. It is a fantastic alternative to diamonds because it gives off showstopping sparkle and its pale colour suits almost any complexion.

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, our best advise is to strike a good balance between the two. This is a topic in itself and we recommend you read our Aquamarine Gem Guide or our Quick Aquamarine Buying Guide to find out more.

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