If you were born in March you are lucky to have the aquamarine as your birthstone, an absolutely beautiful semi precious gemstone. It's no surprise that its name is derived from the sea with it's stunning crystal blue hue. The stone has always been associated with the sea and is said to be the gem of mermaids. Aquamarines have also been carried by sailors throughout the ages, in the belief that they provided protection against the perils of the sea.
Aquamarines are often mistaken for blue topaz because they can be similar in color, however aquamarines tend to be a somewhat paler blue and are much more expensive.
Aquamarines value lies in their color and unlike its close relative the emerald they rarely have eye visible inclusions. They have a glass like appearance and their color just occurs in blue, with slight variations in tone. This color is owed to the presence of iron and a deep pale blue is the most sought after. The best aquamarines come from Brazil but they are also mined in Africa and Asia.
Cut is also a crucial factor, as improperly cut aquamarines can look dull and lifeless. Nowadays aquamarines are not just cut in traditional ways, modern cutting techniques allow various intricate shapes such as the shimmering briolette. Being easier to cut than other gemstones makes aquamarine a very popular stone among contemporary jewellery makers. All of our March birthstone Claddagh rings are set with lab created heart shaped aquamarines.
Without doubt the worlds most renowned aquamarine is the Dom Pedro, named after Brazil's first two emperors. It is the world's largest single piece of cut-gem aquamarine and was cut by the world famous gem artiste Bernd Munsteiner. It weighs in at a staggering 10,363 carats and is housed at the Smithsonian museum in New York.
The belief that a bride should carry an aquamarine on her wedding day is said to come from the old Roman myth that the stone preserves young love. Aquamarines are reputed to ensure a happy marriage, making them a romantic anniversary gift.