March Birthstone – Aquamarine
Aquamarine, the March birthstone, is said to bring happiness to a marriage, calm waves, and keep sailors safe at sea: not surprising for a gem named after seawater.
Aquamarine is most often light in tone and ranges from greenish blue to blue-green; the colour usually is more intense in larger stones, and darker blue stones are very valuable. This gemstone is mined mainly in Brazil, but also is found in Nigeria, Madagascar, Zambia, Pakistan, and Mozambique.
Like emeralds, this gemstone is actually a variety of a mineral called beryl. Large stones have been found all over the world, including one stone found in Brazil that weighed over 110kg. Aquamarine grows in large, six-sided crystals that can be up to a foot long, making it a great gem to be cut and polished in larger carats for statement pieces.
How to Buy Aquamarine
Aquamarine is not only the birthstone for March, the gem is also given as a present on the 19th wedding anniversary. With a hardness of 7.5 on the Mohs scale, aquamarine is durable enough for everyday wear.
Cut – Since aquamarine can be very lightly coloured (and sometimes appear almost colourless), cut is very important to the overall appearance of the stone and how saturated or even the colour appears.
Colour – It’s generally accepted that lighter coloured aquamarines are less valuable than the stronger, deeper hues of blue or blue green. However, nearly all the blue aquamarine in jewellery is produced by heat treatment of bluish green, green, greenish yellow and even brownish yellow beryl. The process removes the yellow colour component and leaves a purer blue hue. The treatment is undetectable and is permanent.
Clarity – Most cut gems do not have inclusions that are visible to the eye, and some rarer or more expensive aquamarines are available without visible inclusions, as well.
Carat – Aquamarine sizes can range from very small to very large, therefore it’s easy to purchase larger cut gemstones as a part of beautiful statement pieces.