The gemstone Aquamarine is the modern March birthstone as adopted by the American National Association of Jewelers in 1912. It is also the birth stone for the Zodiac sign of Scorpio. Aquamarine is suggested as a gem to give on the 16th and 19th wedding anniversaries.
Aquamarine is a member of the Beryl family and ranges in color from an almost colourless pale blue to blue-green or teal. The most prized color is a deep-blue aqua colour. It is 7.5-8 on the Mohs scale of hardness and gets its name from the Latin word meaning water and sea.
The most valuable aquamarines come from Brazil, but aquamarine is also mined in Kenya and Nigeria, Madagascar, Zambia, Tanzania, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Russia. Aquamarines on the market today are usually faceted, but when cut as a cabochon, they may display a cat’s eye effect known as asterism. Many aquamarine are cut into beads of varying colour shades, shapes and sizes, as seen below in a stack of SOCIAL bracelets, by Leah Alexandra.
Many gemstones today are heated with high temperatures to enhance their colour and/or clarity. Aquamarines are often heat treated to change a blue-green or teal colored stone to a pure blue. The heat treatment creates a permanent result in color change.
Since early times, aquamarine has been believed to endow the wearer with foresight, courage, and happiness. It is said to increase intelligence and make one youthful. As a healing stone, it is said to be effective as a treatment for anxiety and in the Middle Ages it was thought that aquamarine would reduce the effect of poisons.