March Birthstone: Aquamarine
Color: Colors can range from blue to green-blue, yellow, colorless, and pink. The blue color comes from the iron impurities within the colorless beryl crystal.
Origins: Aquamarine is mined in Brazil, Australia, Kenya, China, India, Madagascar, Mozambique, Pakistan, Russia and the United States.
History: A member of the beryl family of stones was often thought to resemble the clear, blue water of the Mediterranean by both the Greeks and Romans. The name was derived from a Latin expression which meant seawater. During the 1800s sea green varieties of the gemstone were popular. In recent times, blue is predominantly popular. A rule of thumb, the richer the blue, the more valuable the stone.
- These gemstones were symbols of youth and everlasting happiness to the Romans.
- The largest gem quality aquamarine was found in Brazil in 1910 and weighed 243 lbs. It was cut into smaller stones, yielding more than 200,000 stones.
- This gemstone was believed to protect sailors, as well as to guarantee a safe voyage. It was also believed they originate from the treasure chest of mermaids.
- In Medieval times, the stone was thought to reawaken the love of married couples.
- In Germany, in 1992 a gemstone designer created the 57 pound “Dom Pedro” aquamarine the largest aquamarine ever to be cut. It now resides in the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History.
- The serene color of aquamarine is said to cool the temper and allows the wearer to remain calm and levelheaded. As a healing stone, aquamarine is said to be effective as a treatment for anxiety and in the Middle Ages, it was thought to reduce the effects of a poison.
- Folklore says the aquamarine will protect the wearer from gossip and bring victory in battles and legal disputes. The blue gemstone was also used in ceremonies in the belief that it would bring rain to drought-stricken land.
Hardness: 7.5 – 8
Care: Warm soapy water is always a safe cleaning method. Cleaning by ultrasonic and steam cleaners is usually safe unless the stone has liquid inclusions or fractures.
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