March Birthstone

Unraveling the #1 Stunning March Birthstone -Aquamarine

Discover aquamarine’s dazzling beauty and symbolic meaning as the radiant March birthstone, with tips for buying/caring for this icy blue treasure.

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Check out our birthstone articles for each month.
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February Birthstones
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December Birthstones

The Meaning and Lore of Aquamarine: A Deep Dive Into the March Birthstone

Tiffany Soleste pendant in platinum with an aquamarine

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Aquamarine is a breathtakingly beautiful blue-green gemstone that has captured people’s imaginations for thousands of years. As the traditional birthstone for March, aquamarine is also a popular choice for jewelry. But aquamarine is more than just a pretty adornment – it carries rich symbolism and meaning behind its crystalline depths. This article will explore aquamarine in-depth, uncovering the birthstone’s extensive history, its healing and mystical properties, and tips for buying and caring for aquamarine jewelry. Whether you’re curious about gems or March-born, read on to discover the dazzling world of aquamarine!

The Origin and History of Aquamarine

The coolly elegant color of aquamarine has been prized for millennia. But where does this glorious gem come from?

The Physical Properties and Chemical Composition of Aquamarine

  • Aquamarine belongs to the family of minerals called beryl, composed essentially of beryllium aluminum silicate crystals (Be3Al2Si6O18). Other famous beryls include emerald and morganite.
  • It crystallizes into the hexagonal system, meaning its crystals can form long or short six-sided prisms with flat sloping ends. The hexagonal shape is the root cause of aquamarine’s ability to split light into a signature icy shimmer when polished beautifully.
  • Pure beryl itself is colorless, so light blue aquamarine forms when trace amounts of iron get trapped in the crystal structure during formation. The more intense the blue color grade, the more sought-after. Some rarer aquamarines also exhibit a slightly greenish secondary tint.
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How Aquamarine Forms in Nature

Aquamarine grows deep within granite pegmatite cavities housing rich mineral diversity. Intriguingly, the presence of black tourmaline in the pegmatite seems to be tightly linked to aquamarine formation. Some theories speculate that fluorine and lithium leached from the tourmaline could aid crystal growth. Others suggest microscopic touring inclusions could provide nucleation sights for beryl propagation. More exotic factors like bacteria metabolizing minerals can’t be ruled out either!

Regardless of the mechanism, pockets of rough blue tourmaline crystals can sometimes be uncovered by miners lucky enough to hit the jackpot under the right conditions. Famous tourmaline-rich pegmatite sites yielding exceptional aquamarine include:

  • Brazil: The lush gem meadows of Minas Gerais
  • Nigeria: The arid Beryl Mountain by the Komabangou River
  • Madagascar: The highland pegmatites near Lake Manara
  • Pakistan/Afghanistan: The looming Hindu Kush and Karakoram ranges

The Most Significant Historical Aquamarine Deposits and Discoveries

The annals of gemstone history brim with tales of the planet’s most remarkable aquamarines. A selection of the most outstanding:

Dom Pedro AquamarineDiscovered in Brazil in the 1980s, this perfectly terminated crystal weighs 1,363 carats and took over 3 years to facet into a flawless obelisk
Marquis AquamarineAt 7,567 carats, it’s one of the largest cut aquamarines on Earth. It resides in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Marie Antoinette’s EarringsThe French queen was especially fond of aquamarine jewelry like these drop earrings, now lost to history
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Folklore: Ancient Myths and Legends Surrounding Aquamarine

Aquamarine’s icy magic didn’t escape ancient appreciators either. Various myths glorify the gem:

  • Roman legend claimed Neptune, God of Oceans, gifted aquamarine to mermaids, lending it watery tones
  • Hebrew tradition believed aquamarine was one of the precious gems used to glorify Aaron’s breastplate
  • Medieval crusaders touted aquamarine talismans engraved with frogs for protection against sea monsters and drowning

And amusingly, some ancient orders forbade using aquamarine cups for fear it would dissolve into elixirs harboring poison!

Aquamarine’s Long History as a Treasured Gemstone

In the light of antiquity, aquamarine dazzled as the sovereign of gems treasured by royalty and connoisseurs alike for an icy fire few minerals could match. Historical evidence of prized possessions includes:

  • The Crown of Lombardy from the early 9th century AD Coronation items still displayed in Munich today contain grand aquamarines
  • Many baitul mal royal treasuries from the Middle Ages show records of aquamarine and other fine gems
  • Renaissance paintings like The Madonna with Saint John the Baptist and Saint Zachariah by Botticelli integrating symbolic aquamarine crystals near 2020s figures

So in summary, from geological forces of heat and pressure to gem-encrusted crowns, the March birthstone has quite the cosmically charged backstory!

Aquamarine as a Birthstone for March

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Nowadays aquamarine maintains prominence as the quintessential March birthstone (though bloodstone provides an alternative). Let’s decode the planetary and symbolic attributes that tie aquamarine specifically to Pisces season beginnings:

How Aquamarine Came to Be Associated with March

The tradition of assigning a gemstone to each month traces back to the Jewish historian Josephus in the 1st century AD. His assignments propagated throughout the centuries before becoming formally standardized as birthstones in 1912 by jewelers seeking symbolic stones to gift loved ones.

Given its oceanic coloring echoing sea-foam green, early month-gem assigners likely found aquamarine’s watery look ideal for March’s rainy spring beginnings. Astrologically, as the Sun progresses from dreamy Pisces into fiery Aries temperaments in March, aquamarine nicely bridges water to fire with its icy calm that conceals an intense inner flame.

The Meanings and Symbolic Attributes of the March Birthstone

More than looks, aquamarine encapsulates some beautiful symbolic virtues:

  • Bravery – Its icy but fiery disposition represents courage, boldness, and decisiveness. Hence why it was deemed the gem of the sea by the Greeks – just as sailors required bravery to navigate the oceans’ fury!
  • Calmness – Its soothing hues inspire tranquility, presence, and clear communication
  • Purification – Embodies cleansing energies to clear-headed spaces for logic and cool-temperament

So summarized into three broad aspects, aquamarine instills courage, tranquility, and purification within us.

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Aquamarine as March Birthstone Jewelry Gifts

March babies are blessed with this regal icy jewel. When gifting aquamarine birthstone keepsakes:

  • Pendants – Choose simple bezel or prong-set light blue aquamarines for necklaces symbolizing communication and expressiveness
  • Rings – Opt for darker sky blue statement aquamarine rings to amplify courage and leadership
  • Ear climbers – Stylish ice queen ear climbers sporting trailing aquamarines and crystals make great conversationalist gifts

Other Birthstones Associated with March

For those desiring an alternative, bloodstone is an ancient historical birthstone for March. Its deep green plasma shade dotted with iron oxide flecks resembles drops of blood on an opal surface. Bloodstone carries a rich history as a guardian healing stone used for promoting strength and easing birth. It works beautifully in manly signet rings for subtler Pisces gifting.

The Healing Properties and Benefits of Aquamarine

Beyond the allure of its color lies a gem steeped in millennia of mystical beliefs and health remedies. Aquamarine continues to have a faithful following among crystal healers harnessing its soothing powers. We’ll analyze key historical and modern associations between aquamarine and well-being.

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The Believed Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual Healing Properties of Aquamarine Gems

Healing AspectHistory & Details
Physical AilmentsAquamarine water in ancient Greek and Roman bathhouses treated illnesses from hiccups to malaria. Today it’s associated with soothing headaches, pain relief, pregnancy issues, digestive problems, jaw/teeth health, eyesight, and boosting the immune system
Emotional SupportSoothsayers proclaimed aquamarine a stone of boldness – instilling confidence and dispelling fears holding you back. It encourages verbalizing feelings for relationship harmony and eases grief from loss
Spiritual GrowthMystics revere aquamarine as an aid for communion with higher realms and astral projection through lucid dreaming. Cleansing dense energies opens the mind to receive enlightened ideas

Aquamarine Crystal Therapies and Rituals Throughout History

Various customs leverage aquamarine as a therapeutic and spiritual catalyst:

  • Ancient Romans etched the God Neptune on aquamarine amulets for sea protection during voyages
  • Victorian ladies stashed aquamarines in their powder compacts when feeling flustered to invoke cool calmness
  • Contemporary new-age therapists apply aquamarine crystal wands during chakra cleansing sessions

And for the boldest believers, simply gazing at an aquamarine gemstone for a few meditative minutes each morning purports similar relaxing effects!

The Chakras Associated with Aquamarine and Their Alignments

As a deeply mystical stone, aquamarine bears connections to two prime energy centers in the body for instilling courage and tranquility:

  • The Throat Chakra – Calms and opens the channel for clear communication.
  • The Heart Chakra – Radiates compassion and unconditional love outward.

When appropriately aligned, these chakras harmonize the mind with the spirit for level-headed expressions straight from the heart.

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The Symbolic Aquamarine Virtues of Courage, Tranquility, and Purification

To summarize, aquamarine resonates as a stone of courage to conquer fears holding you back, tranquility for stabilizing swings of emotion, and purification for washing away worries leaving clarity. Together these comprise the root symbolic virtues lending aquamarine repute as the sailors’ gemstone guiding one safely over stormy seas literally and metaphorically.

How to Buy Aquamarine Jewelry

Selecting that perfect aquamarine addition involves learning professional tips for evaluating quality. We’ll provide need-to-know guidance for identifying fake vs real and enhancing natural beauty.

Tips for Selecting Quality Aquamarine Stones

Beauty is more than skin deep with aquamarine. Learn what to examine beyond the facade:

  • Color – Blue to blueish-green are most prized. Assess in natural light across different angles.
  • Clarity – Loupe inspects for distracting flaws. High clarity should emit a vitreous icy shine.
  • Cut – Precision faceting maximizes refractive light play. The stone should appear polished without uneven waviness.
  • Carat – Larger aquamarines over 5 carats make treasured statement pieces with sky-high price tags. But smaller ones still dazzle nicely.
  • Shape – Classic emerald cuts, cushion cuts, and oval cuts optimize the hexagonal crystallization. But round (cushion) cuts show more scintillation.
  • Authentication – Ask for gemological lab certification from GIA, AGL, or similar reputable appraisers for natural, unenhanced aquamarines.

Evaluating Aquamarine Color, Clarity, Cut and Carat

Now that you know the criteria, here’s how the gemology pros grade aquamarine quality metrics:

FactorAquamarine Grading System
ColorD (totally colorless) → Z (light tone) → A, B, C (rich blue) → AA, AAA (vivid blue)
ClarityIF (flawless) → VVS/VS (minute inclusions visible under 10x magnification) → SI (eye-visible inclusions but not unaesthetic) → I (obvious inclusions impacting brilliance)
CutExcellent / Very Good (optimal precision and symmetry) → Good (lacking some brilliance) → Fair/Poor (dull, uneven finish)
Carat0.5 ct (small accent stone) → 1 ct (standard jewelry size) → 5 ct (statement piece) → 10+ ct (museum-grade showstopper)

Bottom line: an eye-clean 2-carat cushion-cut grade A aquamarine with VVS clarity and ideal cut would make an exquisite centerpiece!

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Styles of Aquamarine Jewelry, from Raw Crystals to Fashionable Accessories

Aquamarine adapts beautifully to diverse designer looks:

  • Raw crystal clusters – Natural rough stones exude an organic goddess vibe for bohemian jewelry
  • Solitaire pendants – A single dazzling aquamarine suspended simply on a chain makes a classic necklace
  • Halo rings – Surround center aquamarines with a sparkling diamond halo for glamorous red carpet flair
  • Art Deco earrings – Aquamarines lend themselves wonderfully to sharp geometric deco shapes like emerald cuts
  • Vintage rose gold – Mix aqua and rose gold Victorian revival styles for a romantically antique mood
  • Men’s chunky rings – Rugged unfaceted aquamarine cubes pack a bold punch in masculine pieces

Ethical and Environmentally Friendly Aquamarine Sourcing

Conscientious buyers should ensure their aquamarine comes from responsible mining initiatives like these:

  • Small-scale artisanal mines following fair trade best practices
  • Suppliers with traceable supply chains documenting mine-to-market transparency
  • Lab-grown manufacturers like Lightbox for completely eco-friendly synthetic aquamarine

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) also launched a Sustainable Gems Development Pilot in 2021 connecting miners to sustainable funding/development opportunities. This helps lift entire gem communities out of poverty which minimizes exploitative practices.

Authenticating and Appraising Aquamarine Jewelry

Given its high value and variability in quality grades, authenticating your aquamarine is crucial:

  • Most reputable jewelers provide complimentary appraisals from unbiased third-party gem labs
  • Ask that any stone purchase over 1 carat comes with official certification from GIA, AGL, or similar respected appraisers
  • Trained gemologists use high-tech testing equipment to catch any treated or synthetic simulants attempting to masquerade as natural aquamarine

Insist on this due diligence so you don’t get duped by counterfeits!

Caring for Aquamarine Jewelry

To keep your aquamarine treasures dazzling brightly through the years, be sure to give them some TLC using these best practices:

Check out how to match jewelry with your wardrobe here.

Best Practices for Cleaning and Storing Aquamarine Jewelry

  • For rings, remove them during housework to safeguard against bumps, scratches, and chemical cleaning agents
  • Clean with a mild soap like diluted Woolite and a soft brush when stones appear dull
  • Ultrasonic cleaners work wonders to deeply clean faceted aquamarines, but no steam cleaning which can fracture stones!
  • Opt for padded separate storage vs jumbling pieces in a box so stones don’t scratch each other

Precautions for Preventing Aquamarine Damage

While a 7.5 – 8 on the Mohs scale means aquamarine isn’t super fragile, beware:

  • Protect from sharp blows that could potentially cleave or chip the gem
  • Take care around extreme temperature swings like moving from hot dishwater to an icy metal surface
  • Remove aquamarine jewelry before swimming in chlorinated pools or hot tubs since chemicals can erode metals and create steam damage
Aquamarine statement-cocktail gold ring

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Repairing or Resetting Damaged Aquamarine Jewelry

Should damage occur, plenty of options exist for faceting chipped stones or resetting into new mountings. Reputable jewelers generally offer services like:

  • Stone replacement for missing aquamarines
  • Prong work to restore secure stone holdings
  • Chain reinforcements for any weak solder links
  • Plating touches up to mask metal wear like fading white gold or silver

Insuring Valuable Aquamarine Pieces

For investment-level aquamarines worth substantial sums, look into getting them professionally appraised then pursue jewelry insurance for securely covering replacement value should any catastrophe occur. Common options include:

  • Rider coverage attached to your homeowners/renters policy
  • Jewelry-specific insurance companies like Jeweler’s Mutual Insurance
  • Some high-tier credit cards provide basic loss/theft coverage

Just be sure to carefully document and catalog details on each piece!

Frequently Asked Questions About Aquamarine

  • Is aquamarine expensive compared to other gemstones?

    Given large sizes exceeding 5 carats enter rare museum-grade territory, exceptional aquamarines can reach astronomical prices rivaling diamonds on a per-carat basis. However, smaller accent stones are abundantly accessible for jewelry use. Overall it fits into a middle price tier – much less than sapphire but pricier than quartz.

  • What’s the largest aquamarine gem ever found?

    The storied Dom Pedro aquamarine unearthed in Brazil during the 1980s holds the size record, weighing over 26,000 carats! Cutting it down produced glittering obelisks but sacrificed immense mass.

  • Does aquamarine suit engagement rings?

    While not as culturally entrenched as diamond rings, aquamarine makes a unique alternative with its light blue symbolizing femininity. Those seeking a colorful spin can accent the stones with small diamonds for extra sparkle. Their relative durability suits daily wear too.

  • What’s the difference between aquamarine and other blue/blue-green beryls?

    Aquamarine sits alongside other famous beryl family members like emerald and morganite differing in traces of elements that color them:
    1. Aquamarine – blue from iron
    2. Emerald-green from chromium
    3. Morganite – pink from manganese
    However, they share the same fundamental Be3Al2Si6O18 mineral composition and hexagonal crystalline structure.

  • Is aquamarine ethically sourced?

    Small artisanal mines provide local jobs but can lack safe practices, while large commercial operations damage environments if not responsibly managed. Seek reputable jewelers selling verified origin stones or lab-created aquamarines for guilt-free choices. Support initiatives uplifting vulnerable mining communities through sustainable livelihood programs.

  • How can you tell if an aquamarine stone is real?

    Authenticating any significant aquamarine means assessing gemological properties like:
    1. Refractive index – 1.57-1.58
    2. Specific gravity – 2.68-2.80
    3. Pleochroism – light blue/darker blue
    4. No heat treatment
    5. Inclusions consistent with natural beryl
    Have a professional gemologist appraise the stone’s quality metrics for full verification.


Pashalis Laoutaris

Fashion Blogger

I am a professional writer, fashion blogger, and owner of the site As a salesperson for more than 20 years, I have experience of 10 years in the fashion industry. I consider myself a true fashionista. I am writing daily blog articles about fashion, tools and converters, and everything you need to know about the current fashion trends.

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