March, the Gem of the Sea

March brings us Aquamarine,

a mesmerising stone with a fascinating story.  Aquamarine is not only the birthstone of March but also associated with the zodiac sign of Pieces, the planet Neptune, and the traditional gift for a 19th wedding anniversary, pop it in your diaries!!

The name Aquamarine, not only reflects its physical properties, but also the word itself comes from the Latin aqua, meaning water and marina meaning sea.  Aquamarine, historically was called sea-green beryl, and as that name suggests it is well known for its blue-green colour and clarity.  They can range from deep teal to a pale crystal blue depending on how much iron there is in the gem’s structure.  Although darker blues tend to be the most valued aquamarine stones. As its historic name implies, Aquamarine is a member of the beryl variety of gemstones, as are Emeralds.  Emeralds are the rarest and most precious of the beryl gemstones because they are more fragile.

The Ancient Romans believed that Neptune, God of the sea, had a special connection with aquamarine.  According to legend, Neptune obtained the stone when it fell out of the sirens jewel box and washed up on the shore.  Aquamarine has long been thought to protect people.  Sailors at sea believed in its guarding abilities, and many believed this stone had the power to bring them home safely thinking them to be treasure of mermaids.  Decorative jewellery and protective amulets dating back to 500BC have been found to back up these thoughts. 

“The lovely Aquamarine, which seems to have come from some mermaid’s treasure house, in the depths of a summer sea, has charms not to be denied”

Roman philosopher Pliny the Elder

Aquamarine is said to increase youth, intelligence, foresight, courage and happiness. The Romans believed that this magnificent stone could cure medical issues such as problems with the liver, stomach and throat, reduce fluid retention and calm nerves.  Whereas healers in the Middle Ages used it to get rid of toxins in the body.

Aquamarine is mined in many across the world.  Brazil, Zambia, Nigeria, Madagascar, Pakistan and Mozambique.  Brazil is the most common.  Colorado however is also famous for its aquamarine quarries and has produced some of the finest examples in the world.  Colorado recognised the aquamarine stone as the state gemstone in 1971. 

The Dom Pedro is the largest known aquamarine gem. The original crystal was almost two feet in length and weighed nearly 60 lbs. In 1992-1993, gem artist Bernd Munsteiner fashioned the gem and named it after the first two emperors of Brazil. A pattern of tapering “negative cuts” is faceted into the two reverse faces of the obelisk. These facets reflect the light, making it appear to glow from within. The vertical “lines” near the base are hollow tubes that formed naturally in the original crystal.

Aquamarine is used extensively in jewellery and looks stunning, set in sterling silver, or white gold because the cool white of the metals sets off the light blue colour of the stone, and the contrast in gold gives it a etherial feel! Aquamarine would make a truly special engagement ring, or jewellery ready for your bridal, something blue!! Below are some images of our beautiful new Aquamarine set, that is coming soon to the website!

Caring for Aquamarine.  Unlike a diamond aquamarine stones can become damaged and scratched.  Take care to never store your aquamarine jewellery next to a gem that has a harder surface.  Aquamarine should only be washed in warm water, not hot water, and avoid any hard chemical treatment.  Also make sure you keep this stone sway from any intense heat.  Not many people know that besides its use in jewellery, Aquamarine has actually been used for glasses in the past.  In Germany the stone was used in eyeglass lenses to help correct shortsightedness! 

We are lucky that March brings us Aquamarine, such gorgeous tones and clarity that is underlined with a strong connection through history to the sea.
However this is not just for March, a beautiful gemstone to both work with and wear, anytime of the year!!

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