A Matter of Brilliance is a professional jewelry appraisal company based in Newton, MA, founded by Aimee Berrent, Graduate Gemologist. Our appraisals can be used to:
March’s birthstone, the aquamarine, gets its name from the sea. From early days, its light-blue, dark-blue, and blue-green tones have reminded people of waves rolling to shore.
What makes an aquamarine so special
Aquamarine is a form of the mineral beryl. Beryl itself is colorless, but the imperfections within it lend color to jewels. One of the world’s most famous gems—the emerald—is also a form of that same beryl. Chromium gives emeralds their brilliant green color. With aquamarine, iron impurities give the gem its rich seawater color. Another difference is clarity. Emeralds can tend to be hazy with inclusions, while aquamarine is transparent.
7 facts about aquamarine
- Its name means seawater, from the Latin words aqua, meaning “water,” and marina, “of the sea.”
- It’s a hard gemstone, rating 7.5 – 8 on the Mohs scale. This makes it a great choice for rings, pendants, carvings, and large art pieces.
- The most prized color of aquamarine is a dark and heavily saturated blue.
- One of the largest aquamarine finds was the “Minas Gerais” stone, found in 1910 in Brazil. The 243 pound stone was cut into a number of gems totaling more than 100,000 karats! According to the GIA, the 10,395 karat Dom Pedro obelisk at the Smithsonian is the world’s largest cut aquamarine.
- Aquamarines look great in both faceted and cabochon cuts. Facets make the stone sparkle even more brightly.
- There are cats-eye and star aquamarines, but they’re very rare.
- Aquamarine crystals can be more than a foot long.
Mermaids and aquamarines
According to mythology, aquamarines originated in the treasure chests of mermaids. Early Greeks and Romans believed that the stones would keep sailors safe. In fact, people traditionally wore aquamarines during ocean travel to protect them from seasickness. It’s also believed to bring harmony to couples!
March winds may be cold, but the luminous seawater-green/blue of the aquamarine will keep you warm and safe. Happy birthday, and for help with your gemstones, whatever month they may represent, let me know. An up-to-date appraisal is your first step to protecting your precious investments.
See you by the sea, Aimee