March Birthstone – Aquamarine

The pale blue gemstone known as aquamarine got its name because of the ethereal and ocean-like qualities that the stone possesses. According to the American Gemstone Society, “The name aquamarine is derived from the Latin word aqua, meaning water, and marina, meaning the sea. This gemstone was believed to protect sailors, as well as to guarantee a safe voyage.”

The stone usually ranges in color from pale blue to a bluish green and is thought to be a calming gemstone because of its cool toned color scheme and icy demeanor. The countries where aquamarine is considered most plentiful include: Pakistan, Mozambique, Zambia, India, Columbia, Madagascar, Nigeria, Russia, and (most notably) Brazil. The best places in North American to source aquamarines are Colorado, North Carolina, and Maine.

Aquamarine is often referred to as “the poor man’s diamond” and falls into the mineral category of beryl alongside gems such as emeralds and morganites. As describes it, “Beryl consists of four elements: beryllium, aluminum, silicon, and oxygen. Beryl occurs as free six-sided crystals in rock veins unaffected by shock and weathering that otherwise destroy gem deposits. It is a relatively hard gem, ranking after the diamond, sapphire, ruby, alexandrite, and topaz.”