The name "Aquamarine" is derived from the Latin word for seawater. While aquamarines range in colour, value has always been placed on the more blue varieties of this gorgeous gemstone. The birthstone for the month of March, Aquamarine is on our list of favourite stones - not only for it's beauty, but also for it's affordability.
While there are many myths associated with Aquamarine, we think the Roman belief that the stone "absorbs the atmosphere of young love" is quite the nicest we've come across! The Roman's also called aquamarine "The Sailor's Gem", believing that it ensured safe and prosperous passage across stormy seas. At one time, it was believed that simply wearing an aquamarine gemstone would protect the wearer from poison. The ancient philosopher, Pliny, paid tribute to aquamarine, saying "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".
Perhaps the most valuable claim (in our opinion) is that aquamarine gives the wearer a better ability to think more clearly, to make quick decisions and is a "must wear" gemstone for procrastinators! Aquamarine is actually beryl, ranging from pale blue to light green. The iron content is what makes aquamarine appear blue/green. Commonly found in cavities, amongst granite, gravel and sometimes in stream gravel, aquamarine crystals can grow to very large sizes. Up to 3 feet is not uncommon!
The most common cut for an aquamarine is the emerald cut, although aquamarines are lovely in oval or pear cuts as well. The stone is extremely durable, rating between 7.5 to 8 on the hardness scale. If you have aquamarine, the best way to clean it is with plain, warm soapy water. Be sure to use a mild liquid soap and an old, very soft toothbrush. Brush very gently and be sure to rinse the stone well with plain water. Avoid "thermal shock" - don't use hot water. As with any gemstone, avoid contact with cosmetics, hairspray, perfume or household chemicals. If someone you know (or perhaps yourself) has a birthday in March, give them a beautiful genuine aquamarine gemstone...