March’s birthstone, the aquamarine, is from mermaids’ jewelry boxes

March’s birthstone, the aquamarine, is from mermaids’ jewelry boxes

As the first of the spring birthstones, aquamarine (whose name means “waters of the sea”) possesses the healing qualities of the ocean, especially tranquility, serenity, and harmony. It’s known for its distinctive blue-green color as well as its clarity. Shades range from deep teal to a pale, crystal blue.

Throughout history, it’s been associated with legends about the ocean. In fact, Ancient Romans believed that the Sea God, Neptune, got the first aquamarine when it fell out of a siren’s jewelry box and washed up on shore.

6 Fun aquamarine facts

  1. The most valuable stones are darker-hued blues and greenish blues. The depth of the gem’s color depends on the amount of iron in the crystal.
  2. Many aquamarines are heat-treated to make their color more vibrant. A jeweler must disclose whether it’s natural or heat-treated (and treated stones are less expensive).
  3. It was originally referred to as “sea-green beryl.”
  4. Sailors believed having an aquamarine would protect them at sea and bring them home safely.
  5. One of the largest is the Hirsch Aquamarine, which weighs in at almost 110 carats!
  6. It’s first cousin to the emerald! They’re both kinds of beryl. Emeralds are much more fragile.

Healing beliefs

  • Folklore has the aquamarine as having the power to increase youth, intelligence, courage, and happiness (that’s a lot for a single gemstone!).
  • Some believe that this gem can alleviate stress, since it creates peace, calm, and tranquility.
  • It’s believed to provide mental clarity and good health.

Caring for your aquamarine jewelry

  • While they’re pretty durable, aquamarines can be scratched, so don’t store them with harder stones (like diamonds).
  • Clean aquamarine jewelry in warm (not hot) soapy; avoid chemicals and intense heat.
  • Avoid wearing your aquamarine jewelry—especially rings—around chemicals, like alcohol or ammonia.
aquamarine ring

Buying aquamarines

  • Emerald or step-cuts are popular; their facets reflect the light and make the stone sparkle.
  • It’s got a relatively hard Mohs Scale rating of 7-8, so it works well with any type of setting.
  • Part of an aquamarine’s beauty is its clarity (like the Mediterranean), so make sure there aren’t any blemishes or inclusions.
  • Its price is largely determined by its color. The most valuable is dark blue or perhaps a slightly greenish blue, but the richer and darker the blue, the better.

Enjoy the feeling of ocean waters with March’s birthstone, the aquamarine. And don’t forget to protect all of your jewelry with an up-to-date appraisal, whether it’s for a new purchase (engagement or wedding ring, watch, pendant, or gold jewelry) or an heirloom that you want to pass down to a loved one. The only thing you need to do is set up an appointment by phone (617-304-0174) or by email aimee@ambappraisal.com and I’ll take it from there.

Brilliantly yours, Aimee

About Aimee Berrent

Aimee M. Berrent is the owner of A Matter of Brilliance and a GIA Graduate Gemologist. She offers appraisal services such as jewelry appraisals, diamond appraisals, and estate appraisals within Massachusetts and all over the East Coast.
Aimee has over 25 years experience in the jewelry trade, and received her Graduate Gemologist (G.G.) in Residence diploma from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in Santa Monica, California, and is a member of the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers (NAJA).
Aimee has advanced training in jewelry appraisal theory. She frequently attends jewelry conferences and takes courses to stay on top of current gemological advances and appraisal training.


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