Aquamarine - Marchs Gemstone of Ocean Dreams

By: Sarah Stephens

Aquamarine is a semi-precious gemstone frequently incorporated into some of the most modern, beautiful handmade jewelry in the world. It is most often found in shades of clear ocean blue, and is widely recognized as the March Birthstone and the gemstone for the 18th anniversary. But beyond its modern-day uses and associations, aquamarine holds a decadent mythological, spiritual and etymological history that adds nostalgic value to its already strong aesthetic worth. Read on for more information that will help you fall in love with your aquamarine jewelry - or inspire you to buy some today!

The beautiful Aquamarine is semi-precious, a light greenish blue to a vibrant blue variety of the species beryl, which makes it a relative of the Emerald. The name Aquamarine is derived from Latin, meaning seawater. "Aqua" translates to water and "marina" translates to sea. This seems especially appropriate for aquamarine's barely-there icy blue tones to intense greenish-blue tones, reminiscent of the sea. Also believed to embody the spirit of the sea, it has been regarded as a symbol of purification, ever-lasting youth, and happiness.

The sparkling tones and light blue hues are said to evoke feelings of trust, harmony and sympathy. The unique blues that the Aquamarine displays are said to represent eternity and life-giving properties, since it is, after all, the color of both the sea and the skies.

Aquamarine gemstones look best as parts of formal evening jewelry when paired with Black Onyx, black pearls or dark blue sapphire. More casual combinations include lighter, bridal colored combinations with quartz, raw diamonds or pearls. To see a selection of handmade artisan jewelry featuring aquamarine, click here. Aquamarine is typically considered a sophisticated gemstone that works well with any outfit. In earrings, it works especially well to enhance the luster of blue or green eyes.

According to legend, Aquamarine originated in a treasure chest for mermaids. Throughout history, Roman fisherman have used aquamarine as protection from the water, as the gemstone is believed to lend strength and confidence. Aquamarine's powers are said to develop best if the stone is immersed in sun-drenched water. Carrying aquamarine is also believed to guarantee a happy marriage, making the owner not only happy, but wealthy as well.

Mostly mined in Brazil, China, and Pakistan, Aquamarine is the designated birthstone for the month of March. It is also the zodiac sign Pisces assigned gem, and for the18th anniversary. This gem is often cut into faceted shapes, smooth cabochons, beads and carvings.

Mohs' Hardness score is based on a 10 point scale where 10 is the most resistant, like a diamond, and 1 is easily scratched, such as Talc. Aquamarine gets a score of 7.5-8, meaning that it is quite scratch resistant and therefore suitable as a component of jewelry. Aquamarine gemstones should be regularly cleaned by a professional or with a soft rag and mild soap and water or an ultra-sonic cleaner. Avoid solvents and harsh chemicals when cleaning your handcrafted jewelry as exposure to these elements can damage semi-precious and precious gemstones and pearls.

Learn more about all semi-precious gemstones, including amethyst, apatite, black onyx, blue topaz, carnelian, chalcedony, citrine, coral, garnet, white topaz, crystal, diamond, emerald, iolite, jade, Labradorite, moonstone, pearl, peridot, prehnite, rose quarz, ruby, sapphire, smokey topaz, tanzanite, tourmaline and tourquoise when you check out this gemstone chart.

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