Serene Aquamarine: The March Birthstone

March’s birthstone is the aquamarine.  What better way to greet spring than with an ethereal blue gemstone believed to create friendship and reinvigorate love?

Celebrating a March birthday or anniversary and see another piece you like that is not set with an aquamarine? Not a problem! Give us a call at 800-798-6173 or e-mail us at info@gallerybyzantium. We’d be happy to customize one of our pieces for you!

The Gemstone of the Sea

Ring with central aquamarine. European. about 1850. Gold, silver, enamel, diamond, and aquamarine. Via

The name “aquamarine” derives from the Latin words “aqua” (meaning “water”) and “marina” (meaning “the sea”), a reference to the stone’s bluish-green seawater-esque color.

Despite the difference in color, this gemstone is closely related to emerald – both are part of the beryl family of stones.  Aquamarine, however, is “frequently free of flaws and often occurs in large crystals.”  These six-sided crystals can grow up to a twelve inches long and are favored for their ability to be cut and polished into large pieces.  The largest aquamarine ever found was discovered in Brazil’s Minas Gerais mine in 1910.  Weighing 243 pounds, the stone was later cut into numerous smaller stones (collectively weighing in at over 200,000 carats).

Aquamarine is coveted for its blue-green color (which comes from traces of iron in colorless beryl).  This color varies from pale to deep blue – the deeper and more saturated the color, the more valuable the gemstone.   While most stones are untreated, aquamarine may sometimes be heated at a low temperature to reduce green and yellow tones which detract from the blue tones of the stones.

Like emerald and other types of beryl, aquamarine is a hard, durable stone, rating a 7.5-8 on the Mohs scale.  Despite its durability, however, it still requires some care.  It should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic machine and should be kept away from harsh chemicals.  Aquamarine should be cleaned with warm, soapy water and dried with a soft cloth.

A Gem of Courage and Protection

For centuries, aquamarine has been desired for mystical properties in addition to its beauty.  Ancient Greeks thought that the stone captured the spirit of the sea.  Sailors and seafarers wore the gemstone to help protect them on the journeys and to calm the waters.

Ancient Romans associated aquamarine with love and friendship. They believed that, when carved with the figure of a frog, aquamarine would help the wearer make friends and reconcile enemies.  Later Christians associated the gemstone with the apostle St. Thomas.

Perhaps most popular throughout medieval Europe was the belief that aquamarine was a universal antidote to poison.  Whether pulverized and added to a drink or worn, aquamarine was believed to be an effective remedy against poisons.

Main image via
Gem in the spotlight: Aquamarine –
Aquamarine Meaning, Powers, and History –
Aquamarine Gemstone Information –
March Birthstones –



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