Aquamarine is most well known for being the March birthstone and can be bought in most places in the world nowadays. Although it has been used as jewelry and for protection for over 3000 years the first documented discovery was in Siberia in 1723. In this section you will find information detailing the attributes of the aquamarine gemstone. This includes aquamarine uses, its symbolism around the world and its place as the March birthstone.
Aquamarine is the March birthstone and its name is derived from the Latin ‘aqua marina’ which translates to sea water. It is named after the beautiful hues of the ocean and its color varies from pale blue-green to deep shades of blue. According to ancient folklore, it was treasured by mermaids who gifted this precious stone to sailors in need of protection from the sea. Since ancient times aquamarine has been used to protect its bearer from the forces of the sea. With legends of the sea in mind, aquamarine was associated with Neptune, God of the sea. Aquamarine crystals with Neptune carvings were used for protection.
The aquamarine stone is part of the beryl family and is related to the green emerald. First discovered in Siberia, the aquamarine gem is naturally occurring and the majority of it is found in Brazil. However, beautiful aquamarine crystals can be found deep in the mountains of Pakistan. They can also be sourced in Africa, Asia, Europe and the US.
Aquamarine is a semi-precious stone and has a reading of 7.5 to 8 out of ten on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. This makes it perfect to be cut for jewelry. You can find a stunning range of aquamarine encrusted pieces at Tiffany & Co and Harry Winston. In recent years Justin Bieber outbid Leonardo DiCaprio at a charity auction for one of the most beautiful diamond and aquamarine necklaces you can find. He won with a bid of $545,000 for the Bulgari necklace.
Aquamarine is well-known for being the birthstone of March and for people born in this month it can have a deeper meaning. It is associated with the astrological star sign Gemini (May 21 to Jun 20). For Gemini, using this stone will help you play to your strengths and become more spiritually aware. The tranquil blue-green color of aquamarine is linked to mystical energy and spirituality and can cool down bouts of anger. Using this stone can help the wearer communicate their truth more easily. This stone is also one of the six stones of Pisces.
Aquamarine is the most well-known birthstone for March and so a lot of people may be surprised to learn that bloodstone is the other gem for this month. The two stones are vastly different in appearance. As you know, aquamarine is a blue-green color and can be described as being as clear as water. On the other hand, bloodstone is semi-translucent or opaque and is often dark green in color with blood red flecks. They are both seen as protection stones but are chosen for different reasons.
The two birthstones of March both have their merits and they can offer different benefits from each other when used. Bloodstone is softer than aquamarine and has a rating of 6.5 to 7 out of 10 on the Mohs scale and so more care needs to be taken if using this stone as jewelry. This stone is made up of dark green jasper and the red marks are iron oxide inclusions. The ‘blood’ spots in this stone gives it an association to Christianity, specifically the blood of Christ.
History dictates that the Babylonians (pre-539 BC) and the Ancient Egyptians wore bloodstone as amulets and believed in the healing properties of the stone. Some of the reasons people used this stone was to help them tell the future, to increase creativity and to strengthen themselves on the battlefield. In fact, in modern times this stone is still seen to have strengthening powers. In India some bloodstone types are ground up into a fine powder and taken as an aphrodisiac. As a healing stone it is said to help with inflammation and bleeding.
The more popular of the two March birthstones is aquamarine. It is said that birthstone origins have a Biblical source which goes back to the story of ‘the breastplate of Aaron’ from the book of Exodus. The breastplate was encrusted with twelve gemstones which symbolized the twelve tribes of Israel (and is also connected to zodiac signs). One of the gems mentioned was beryl and many believe the beryl stone in question was aquamarine.
As well as being a great stone to be worn during sea voyages, it can promote general feelings of wellbeing within its wearer. It is also seen as an all-round healing stone, but we’ll get into that in more detail later.
According to the American Gem Society, the months that have the most birthstones are June, August and December which all have three stones each. March, October and November follow suit with two birthstones each.
The birthstone for January is garnet and is most commonly red in color, and amethyst is purple and represents February. The most popular March birthstone is aquamarine and it is of course green-blue in color. In contrast, bloodstone is dark green with red iron inclusions. April is represented by the beautiful, and often colorless, diamond. However there are diamonds which are colored such as the infamous Hope Diamond which has a dark grey-blue hue. The May birthstone is green emerald, it is a member of the beryl family and cousin to aquamarine. June has three special birthstones representing the month; color-changing alexandrite, iridescent moonstone and opalescent pearl. Pearl is the only gemstone created by living creatures. Molluscs produce pearls in an array of pastel colors.
July is ruby red and high quality rubies are one of the most expensive stones in the world. August birthstones are vastly different in color, the original birthstone is sardonyx which is a rich mixture of black, beige and pink. Green peridot is most recognized as the stone for this month but in modern times red spinel has been associated with August. Spinel is naturally formed in a range of colors with deep red being the most valuable.
Sapphire is the birthstone of September and it is deep blue in color. October babies have a choice between opal and tourmaline, both of which have a rainbow spectrum of colors to choose from. Opal is semi-opaque to opaque and with a trick of the light displays an array of colors in one stone. Tourmaline is often transparent and you can get it in one or two color tones. Tri-colored stones exist but are rare.
Next is November which is represented by citrine and topaz and is yellow in color. Topaz is also available in a wide range of colors. Finally, the three birthstones for December are tanzanite, turquoise and zircon which are all different shades of blue. Although zircon can also be found in a rainbow palette of colors.
June birthstone alexandrite is arguably the rarest birthstone in the world and is very well known for its color-shifting abilities. Named after Czar of Russia, Alexander II, alexandrite can be emerald green in the day and ruby red by night. Only small quantities can be found in the world. Other rare birthstones include December’s tanzanite, which can only be found near the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, and black opal. Black opal is dark in body with dancing rainbow specks when reflected by light. 'Aurora Australis' is one of the most valuable black opals in the world. It is 180 carats and was valued at one million Australian dollars in 2005.
Aquamarine is part of the beryl family of gemstones and is classed as a semi-precious stone. The most valuable beryl stone is emerald which is deep green in color but you can also get golden beryl, heliodor which is yellow and pink morganite. Pure beryl is colorless and it is the iron impurities within this mineral which gives aquamarine its color. It is naturally a hexagonal crystal with six sides.
Aquamarine crystals can be naturally sourced from many places in the world. The crystals are often flawless and, as mentioned above, the color of aquamarine is developed naturally from the iron impurities in beryl.
Like many other crystals, aquamarine can be synthesized in a laboratory. It is near impossible to distinguish between a synthesized stone and a natural one. The good news is that aquamarine is found in abundance and the price of aquamarine which has been synthesized is high. This tends to mean that synthetic aquamarine isn’t popular in the gemstone marketplace.
Most aquamarine comes naturally out of the ground as blue-green crystals. The aquamarine color can vary from faint blue-green hues to deep shades of blue. The most common color is light blue-green.
If left exposed to strong sunlight for a long time then aquamarine can naturally lose some of its color. Aquamarine can also be heat treated to enhance its color. The color of green aquamarine can be altered by treating it with approximately 400°C heat. This treatment is used to take away the green tinge and to leave the crystal a purer blue color. This is a common treatment and it is near impossible to tell whether a crystal has been treated or not. However everyone has different tastes. Many people in modern times now prefer the natural crystal over the bluer, treated type.
The aquamarine birthstone naturally occurs as six-sided crystals which can grow up to a foot in length. This, along with its hardiness, makes it a great stone for cutting. As a result special centerpieces can be created from larger carats. An example of a valuable stone can be located in Hyde Park in New York at the Franklin D Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum. The 1,298 carat stone was gifted to First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt by the government of Brazil in 1936. However the largest faceted stone is the Dom Pedro Aquamarine which can be found at the Smithsonian Institution. The 10,363 carat obelisk was cut by lapidary Berndt Munsteiner.
Aquamarine value depends on four factors; the color, clarity, cut and the weight of the carat. These attributes will often determine the aquamarine stone price.
The most common March birthstone color is light green-blue. These crystals are sold in a lot of places and can be bought at lower prices. However, deep blue aquamarine is often the most expensive.
This March gemstone is often flawless and the reason is due to the small number of inclusions in the gem. Inclusions are foreign bodies inside the gem which can compromise the clarity of the stone.
The cut is important as it helps to show off the beauty of a gemstone. Due to the beautiful clear color of aquamarine, the stone is often cut into sparkling facets that attract the eye. An expert cut can accentuate the brilliance and beauty of this crystal. A unique cut, such as Asscher and cushion shapes can up the price of aquamarine.
Aquamarine crystals can weigh as much as 100 pounds and if the stone is larger then there are more carats in it. Typically, a piece of jewelry will have one to three carats. Although it is a big factor in other stones, the weight of the carat in aquamarine is not so important as there are a lot of large crystals.
With the color, cut, clarity and weight of carat in mind, the price of aquamarine can range from $20 to $1000 dollars per carat.
Cat’s eye aquamarine is a rare variety of green-blue beryl which can also be found in the same places as regular aquamarine. The difference with this variety is the cat’s eye chatoyancy, that's the reflection of light which makes the stone look like a cat’s eye. This is a rare phenomenon and is not common in many stones. A cat’s eye stone with a defined and centered ‘eye’ can be very valuable. Another special feature of this stone is the translucency. Star aquamarine is also an expensive stone as it is even rarer than cat’s eye.
The stone symbolizes serenity, clarity and peace. It is often associated with the healing qualities of the ocean. In ancient civilizations the stone was a symbol of protection against the sea for sailors. It was also used to calm the ocean and prevent seasickness. During battle it was worn to keep the wearer safe. In Ancient Greek, Egyptian, Roman and Sumerian times it symbolized everlasting youth. In the middle ages the March birthstone was given to a wife from a husband as a gift as a symbol of happiness. To this day aquamarine is the gemstone used to commemorate the 19th wedding anniversary. The Ancient Egyptians used aquamarine as intaglios with animal carvings for stamina and to prevent early death. Amulets and talismans made of this gem were used by Ancient Romans as protection, and also to curb procrastination.
Aquamarine is seen as the stone of courage and promotes feelings of empowerment and strength. It can help clear the mind and enable the wearer to see a situation from other perspectives. With this wisdom, the stone gives the wearer the courage to speak from the heart without fear of judgement from others and encourages spiritual development.
In the art of feng shui, aquamarine uses water energy which has strengthening and purifying power and is linked with the power of regeneration and rebirth. According to feng shui, aquamarine can help you unlock power you never knew you had. In meditation, aquamarine is used to align the chakras and remove negativity whilst cleansing the aura.
The March birthstone is associated with the throat chakra and the heart chakra. The throat chakra can be found in the central part of the neck and is the fifth of the seven chakras. The purpose of the throat chakra is to help you express yourself and communicate with clarity. The Sanskrit name for this chakra is Vishudda which translates to pure. Aquamarine is known to help its bearer think clearer and so using this gemstone with the throat chakra can enable them to clear any spiritual blocks and promote good communication.
The fourth chakra is the heart chakra, Anahata in Sanskrit, and is found in the central part of the chest area. This energy center helps to unify all of the chakras and bring together spiritual and earthly desires. Using aquamarine crystals with the heart chakra can give clarity to the bearer’s aspirations and help them recognize and get rid of bad habits which can hinder personal development.
As mentioned earlier, aquamarine is seen as an all-round healing stone in that it is used for physical, mental and spiritual ailments.
Aquamarine can protect you from internal and external negative energy. It can do this by giving you clarity of mind and preventing fear and doubt from hindering you. It helps the wearer think quicker on their feet and improves memory. When used in meditation, it increases intuition and reduces stress and anxiety to help express truth. It can also enhance psychic abilities.
The March gemstone has the power to help you self-actualize and understand conflict within the soul. Thereby enabling the wearer to heal emotionally. It also offers tranquility to the bearer which is helpful in reducing anger. When confronted, aquamarine harmonizes the situation so the bearer can draw power from within and speak the truth more clearly.
In addition to the spiritual benefits outlined previously, aquamarine has healing powers varying from soothing sore throats and aching bones to curing stomach and liver related issues. It can also strengthen the immune system and balance hormones. In the middle ages the stone was even seen as an antidote for poison. Aquamarine has also been used to protect women and babies during pregnancy and is said to prevent miscarriages.
The March birthstone is widely regarded as a good luck talisman for those traveling, especially if the journey is across a body of water. As an all-purpose healing stone it is naturally regarded as a good luck crystal and can help guide you on the right path.
Those born in the month of March, and those who belong to Pisces or Gemini, can reap the rewards of wearing aquamarine jewelry. However, that doesn’t mean it is exclusively reserved for these people. Everyone can wear this stone, if jewelry isn’t your thing then you can get the same benefits from putting a small, tumbled rock in your pocket. Alternatively, an aquamarine ring or a simple aquamarine pendant is great if you want to wear this stone in an understated way.
Aquamarine is used to make great pieces of jewelry. As a hardy stone you don’t have to worry about scratching aquamarine bracelets or March birthstone necklaces. Tiffany & Co have a good selection of aquamarine earrings, and check out Net-a-Porter for their range of aquamarine jewelry. The sparkling aquamarine and diamond ring by Selim Mouzannar is particularly eye-catching. If you want a personal touch you can create your own customizable March birthstone ring here. They’re perfect as an engagement ring but who’s to say you can’t treat yourself.
Aquamarine is perfect for everyday use as it is a very strong stone and is scratch resistant. As well as the expensive pieces you can also find more affordable jewelry at a local department store, such as Macy’s.
The great thing about wearing aquamarine is the constant access to the healing powers. Wearing this stone is especially good if you are looking for a particular result. For example, if you are trying to gain courage or if you are feeling anxious. With chakras in mind, to connect to your throat chakra wear it close to the center of your neck. For your heart chakra keep it as central to your chest as possible. This gem is at its most powerful when in direct contact with the skin.
Aquamarine is a hard stone and so it is hard to damage. However, you should still be mindful about keeping your crystal in good condition. Keep your March birthstone shiny by cleaning it regularly with soap and water. Rinse well and use a soft cloth to dry it. Do not use a steamer or an ultrasonic cleaner. Although it doesn’t scratch easily you should still keep your stone in a safe place away and away from other gems. Do not wear your aquamarine jewelry whilst cleaning or exercising because you will risk scratching it. On a separate note, be mindful about exposing your stone to chemicals such as acid and alcohol. It is best to avoid strong heat and to keep your stone away from direct sunlight because it may lose color after a long time in the sun.
Seen in folklore as the treasure of mermaids, it is only natural to assume that aquamarine belongs to the water. This is fair as aquamarine can indeed be placed in water. In fact some claim that drinking aquamarine water can be good for your health. This cannot be said of all crystals.
Aquamarine can help connect you to your true self and promote peace and tranquility. Making aquamarine drinking water is as simple as adding a crystal to filtered water. If you wish to try this then ensure you clean your crystal properly to prevent germs from making their way into your drink.
Aquamarine is a beautiful stone and is the perfect choice as jewelry because of how hard it is. It is adored all over the world due to its natural, glittering facets and its wide array of ocean hues. These are only some of the reasons many people choose this stone. However there are also lots of reasons to use it holistically. With many healing properties this all-purpose healing stone is great for spiritual, emotional and physical growth. Using this stone can help clear the mind to give you the chance to realize your true self.