The primary birthstone for March is Aquamarine.
Aquamarine is a pastel blue stone in the beryl family. Its crystals often have a greenish hue, and can be gently heat-treated (a widely-accepted treatment for this stone in the jewelry industry) to reach the desired, and well-known, shade of blue. The name itself comes from the Latin for “seawater” which suggests Aquamarine’s range of colors.
Aquamarine was often carried by mariners, in the belief that the stone would help calm the seas, and keep sailors safe. Aquamarine has a rich lore, with some believing the stone imparts courage, reduces stress, and quiets the mind. Aquamarine is also thought to bring happiness in marriage, and is the traditional stone given on one’s 19th wedding anniversary.
Large deposits of aquamarine crystals have been found in Brazil and Russia, but they also appear throughout the world. Aquamarine is often hosted in pegmatite (an intrusive, igneous rock) or granite. Famous pieces include a 1298 carat stone, presented to Eleanor Roosevelt by Brazil, a beautiful cocktail ring worn by Lady Diana, and the stunning 10,363 ct, 4.6 lb “Dom Pedro” aquamarine obelisk, carved by renowned gem artist Bernd Munsteiner. The Dom Pedro, perhaps the largest cut and polished aquamarine ever known, can be viewed at the Smithsonian Museum.
Aquamarine rates a 6.5-7 on the Mohs scale of hardness, and is sturdy enough for everyday wear. While your aquamarine jewelry should be sturdy enough to be gently cleaned at home by using a diluted, lukewarm soak of mild dish soap and a very soft brush, it is always a good idea to have your friendly neighborhood jeweler care for and clean your fine pieces. Johnson Jewelers carries, or can create, an array of aquamarine jewelry, in a variety of styles and price points, from casual and fashion-forward, to elegant and fine.