Aquamarine is March’s Birthstone

Aquamarine is the official birthstone for the month of March.  The word “aquamarine” gets its name from the Latin aqua meaning “water” and mare or marinus meaning “sea” or “ocean.” As with many gemstones, the discovery of aquamarine was so long ago, it is unknown. Amulets featuring aquamarines have been dated as old as nearly 500 B.C., proving that people have long used aquamarine for decorative and medicinal purposes. The modern March birthstone, aquamarine pre-dates even the Roman Empire and has been highly prized for thousands of years. While the slightly greenish-blue hues are generally considered most valuable, aquamarine is a beloved stone in all shades. Throughout its long history of popularity, different hues of aquamarine have fallen in and out of favor. While green-tinted aquas were most popular in the 19th century, the sky-blue gems are more popular in jewelry today.

Aquamarine is the most common and one of the most popular members of the beryl family, cousin to emerald, morganite, heliodor, and goshenite. Aquamarine’s color and clarity capture the beauty of the sea. Aquamarine occurs in ocean-like shades of greenish-blue, blue-green, and blue. Aquamarine ranks a 7.5-8 on Mohs’ hardness scale. 

Aquamarine’s toughness, durability, and high ranking on Mohs’ hardness scale makes it ideal for jewelry, and it requires no special care. Unless an aquamarine has feather or liquid inclusions, it should be safe to clean it in ultrasonic or steam cleaners. If you are unsure, simply use warm soapy water and a soft brush.