Aquamarine Stone | Meaning and Properties
Aquamarine Birthstone for March
Aquamarine which is the modern birthstone for the month of March is the blue to green variety of the mineral beryl. Light blue coloured gemstones are the most highly sought after but the vast majority are heat treated which enhances the colour. Blue topaz which is almost always heat treated is often mistaken for aquamarine and without further scrutiny it is quite difficult to tell one from the other. Aquamarine however is considerably more expensive and large sized gemstones are really quite rare. With that said, on her wedding day Meghan Markle wore a cocktail ring featuring a good sized stone that once belonged to Diana Princess of Wales and Queen Elizabeth's Brazilian aquamarine tiara, necklace and earrings all feature large rectangular shaped stones set alongside diamonds. The necklace and earrings were given to her in 1953 by the president of Brazil as a gift to celebrate her coronation. In 1957 a tiara was designed to match the necklace and earrings and a year later she received a bracelet and brooch to complete the set.
The colour of aquamarine is caused by impurities of iron within the mineral beryl. The name which means "water of the sea" originates from Latin and its colour can vary from the deepest shades of green to the lightest of blue. Used primarily as a lapidary material aquamarine grades 7½ to 8 on Mohs scale of mineral hardness which makes it a relatively easy stone to work with. Most of the world's finest gemstones come from Brazil, Mozambique, Madagascar, Nigeria, Zambia, Angola and India.
Although aquamarine is best known as the birthstone for the month of March, bloodstone and jasper may also be used.
Aquamarine Through the Ages
In ancient times sailors believed the mermaid's tail was pure aquamarine hence it was often carried as a talisman in order to bring luck and offer protection from the dangers of being at sea. It was often carved with images of Poseidon or Neptune (Greek/Roman Gods of the sea) and was believed that placing a stone under one's pillow would ensure sound sleep. It's still believed to be in tune with the ocean and in crystal healing aquamarine is said to provide soothing calmness whilst also having the ability to help alleviate phobias and fears. It's also used to encourage creativity and self-expression and is said to help those burdened with great responsibility by bringing strength, wisdom and clarity of mind.
The aquamarine in our photo is on display in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington D.C. Photograph by Stone Mania ©.
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Further ReadingInformation from Wikipedia