January 20, 2018
– Posted in: Jewelry Blog
Discover everything that you need to know about the March Birthstone, the aquamarine.
- March Birthstone: Aquamarine
- What is the March Birthstone?
- Myths About Aquamarine
- Mining Locations of Aquamarine
- Aquamarine’s Physical Properties
- March Birthstone Jewelry
- How to Picking the Best Aquamarine?
- Caring and Cleaning For Aquamarine
March Birthstone: Aquamarine
There is a handful of everyday items in the English language for which their name and color are inseparable. Orange is one, and aquamarine is another.
With a name that comes from the Greek, via Latin, for “precious blue-green color-of-seawater stone”, it is a perfect description of aquamarine.
Out of all the Birthstone rings, the March Aquamarine is possibly the most famous of them all.
What is the March Birthstone?
There is only one birthstone for March and that is the Aquamarine. Recently there has been a movement to try and introduce the bloodstone as a second March Birthstone.
Most authorities have rejected this move, including ourselves. We believe that the accepted list shouldn’t be changed and should remain the same.
Myths About Aquamarine
Aquamarine has many uses and benefits attached to its history. With its association with the sea, the stone is believed to bring good luck to sailors and to guarantee a safe voyage.
Many cultures have long used it as both a symbol protecting the health of the wearer and even a cure for a variety of ailments. It was also used as an aid to meditation, a healer of friendships and an antidote to poison.
Mining Locations of Aquamarine
The best aquamarine is considered to come from Brazil but is also mined in the US. Europe, Russia, Africa, India, Madagascar are other regions of significant deposits. It is often found in areas where tin and tungsten ore is found.
Aquamarine deposits are unusual because the crystals can be very large and easily identified.
Aquamarine’s Physical Properties
In common with many crystals, aquamarine grows on a host rock. Here the host is a particular type of granite.
Like many other gemstones, the pure version of aquamarine is clear. It is the inclusion of impurities which creates a variety of colors across the variously related stones.
Aquamarine is composed of the mineral Beryl. This is the same mineral that makes up emerald, morganite and a number of other recognized gemstones.
The blue of aquamarine is caused by iron deposits being present when the crystal is growing. Similarly, the rich green of the emerald is created by deposits of chromium in the crystal.
Aquamarine also appears in green color, but the March Birthstone is most desirable when in blue. The richer and deeper the blue color, the more expensive the stone usually is.
Beryl crystals can be huge. One such crystal found in Maine was 18ft long and 4ft wide and weighed 18 metric tons.
Aquamarine crystals measuring a foot or more in length are common. All beryl crystals are hexagonal in shape and therefore cater easily to the emerald cut or other similar cut shapes.
How strong is the March Birthstone?
Aquamarine measures between 7.8-8 on the Mohs jewelry hardness scale. While considerably softer than a diamond, aquamarine is perfectly durable for everyday wear.
The biggest issue with aquamarine, or any beryl crystal, is the tendency to fracture. Because all beryl is heavily included, this causes weak spots in the stone structure. If hit or knocked with enough force, the stone can easily split. Although aquamarine isn’t as included as emerald, it can still be a problem for some polished stones.
Click here to learn more about Aquamarine.
March Birthstone Jewelry
Although not of the same value of its close relation emerald, aquamarine is exquisite in any setting. Although it most favors the emerald cut, due to its natural rough shape, it can be cut into any shape and is very popular for “fantasy” cuts.
Because the stone is available in all sizes, it can really suit almost all budgets. Anything from a single carat to stones weighing dozens of carats is readily available. Although the weight does have an impact on price, of course, the deeper the blue, the more expensive the polished stone.
Aquamarine works really well in ring settings, but are also very popular as the center stone for pendants and earrings.
How to Picking the Best Aquamarine?
Because of the range of shades that aquamarine can come in, there is a lot of flexibility when choosing jewelry. Aquamarine can appear in slightly different colors from different angles. We recommend moving the stone around to see any possible unwanted effects. It can also take on a green hue in certain lights, so be aware of that.
In general, there are a few most common colors that Aquamarines will come in:
- Santa Maria Blue (usually the most expensive). Will typically look similar in color to topaz. It will have deep saturation. Most of our rings are within this category.
- Light blue.
- Greenish blue.
- Blueish green.
The various colors can be used in all sorts of settings and with all types of metal. Yellow gold can be quite unforgiving for many gemstones but works really well with the paler blue. White gold and platinum work well with all shades, but especially the rich blue of high-quality stones.
Caring and Cleaning For Aquamarine
Aquamarine, like many examples of Beryl and gemstones generally, doesn’t cope well with very hot water. It also doesn’t like harsh cleaning chemicals or abrasives. A soft, baby, toothbrush and warm soapy water should be all you need.
Use the brush to gently loosen and remove any dirt or grease, and rinse under hand-warm water. If you haven’t cleaned your jewelry in a while, you may need to repeat the process. Click here to read our complete guide to cleaning your engagement ring.
Estate Diamond Jewelry are proud of their growing collection of aquamarine jewelry. Tapping into their 35+ years experience in the jewelry industry, they focus on jewelry containing only the top aquamarines.
Click here to view their rare collection of aquamarine engagement rings.