March’s Birthstone -Aquamarine


Aquamarine beads are so pretty!

Aquamarine gets its name from the Latin aqua marina, meaning water of the sea. Its watery, transparent blue-green color distinguishes it from the other colors of the gemstone beryl: emerald, golden beryl, heliodor, Morganite (named after financier JP Morgan), and the most rare red beryl. Aquamarine is mined in many locations around the world, including Russia, Pakistan, Brazil, Colombia, in the US, central Colorado, and several sites in Wyoming. The largest cut aquamarine gem is the Dom Pedro aquamarine. It is housed in the Smithsonian Institute of Natural History and is 14 inches tall by 4 inches wide. It was mined in Brazil in the1980’s. Master gem cutter, Bernd Munsteiner, spent nearly one year to study, cut, and polish the stone into an obelisk shape.

The Dom Pedro Aquamarine.

The Dom Pedro Aquamarine

Aquamarine is relatively high on the Mohs scale (7.5). It takes a fine polish and is a durable stone not prone to breaking. Beads made of aquamarine can be smooth, faceted, or tumbled for a pebble shape; matte surfaces are uncommon, but lovely. Inclusions in aquamarine cloud the clarity of the stone, but produce moss aquamarine, a greenish blue gray color.

Aquamarines are sacred to the god Neptune, Roman god of the sea; it was the protective stone for sailors, promising smooth sailing and profitable voyages. The Greeks wore amulets carved with Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea, riding a chariot. Many years later aquamarine was also used for making glasses to correct shortsightedness.

Aquamarine can also be found in many of the royal jewels of Great Britain. We found a great sampling of the collection and an excellent blog posting from The Royal Universe about all things royal, including the jewels!

Crown Jewels

Crown Jewels from The Royal Collection

Aquamarine is said to cool the temper, soothing and promoting calm decision-making. It is reputed to calm the stomach, cure illnesses of the liver, jaw, and throat.

Using aquamarine in your jewelry-

Aquamarine’s cool blue works well with silver, for a dash of contrast try using oxidized silver or gunmetal findings.

Aquamarine mixes well with other ‘ocean’ gems, pearls, shell, and abalone; keeping the theme of water in the design.

Looking for good color matches with Aquamarine? Try other cool watery colors, aventurine, kyanite, green amethyst, quartz crystal even other beryls like Morganite and light colored emerald.

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