Birthstones: March - Aquamarine
March's birthstone is a beryl variety called Aquamarine. Named after the latin term for seawater, aquamarine has been prized for centuries. With aquamarine's blue to slightly greenish hues, high clarity, and transparency it's no surprise that aquamarines have adorned jewelry for years. Known to protect sailors at sea and bring happiness to marriages, it is our March birthstone and 19th anniversary gemstone.
Shopping for Aquamarine
The finest aquamarine is greenish blue, light in tone, transparent and has high clarity. Frequently, aquamarine's are heat treated to remove the green hues and bring out more of the blue. Fine quality aquamarine has even color distribution throughout the gemstone, without color zoning.
When shopping for aquamarine, larger, higher clarity specimens with even color are more prized (and expensive), than smaller specimens. Because aquamarines are readily available in rough specimens over 25 carats, gem lapidaries and cutters are able to cut them into designer cuts which take advantage of the even color and clarity.
When shopping for aquamarine, always be sure to ask if there is any sort of heat treatment. Most reputable jewelry stores should be able to offer a GIA certificate stating any treatments. Or, working with a Graduate Gemologist can help identify any potential treatments.
Ultimately, when shopping for jewelry of any kind, you should be sure that you love the piece, it fits within your budget, and will bring you joy for many years to come. If it isn't checking those boxes, back to the drawing board!
Caring for Aquamarine
Aquamarine is a beryl, which is the same species as emeralds and morganites. Most emeralds are fracture filled to increase clarity, compromising their structure. Aquamarines are less likely to have fractures or any fracture filling treatment, so they are suitable to use in both the ultrasonic and steamer. However, I personally always recommend using a soft toothbrush, warm water, and mild dish detergent and avoid touching the gemstone with bare hands.
Major Aquamarine Moments
Meghan Markle wearing Princess Di's aquamarine ring to her wedding reception.
Jessica Biel at the 2014 Oscars
Dom Pedro Aquamarine at The Smithsonian