Aquamarine is the birthstone for March. It is also the gemstone for your 19th wedding anniversary. Aquamarine is a beautiful, transparent blue. It sometimes has a slight greenish blue tinge. The name “aquamarine” comes from the Latin word for seawater. Like the sea, it can be light to dark blue and has a vitreous (glass like) luster, so it sparkles. It was believed in Greek and Roman times that aquamarine gemstones protected sailors from seasickness and from stormy, dangerous seas, giving them safe and prosperous passage.
What is Aquamarine?
Aquamarine is a blue/blue-green variety of the mineral beryl. Emerald is the most well known of the beryl group of minerals, but they are very different in their look to aquamarines. Aquamarine is a clear crystal, with few inclusions. Aquamarine derives its colour from iron impurities within the crystal. Emeralds derive their green colour from traces of chromium and vanadium within the crystal. Emeralds can be quite hazy and often have many inclusions.
Where is Aquamarine Found?
Aquamarine is found in many countries. The largest suppliers of aquamarine are Brazil and more recently, India. Aquamarine is also found in a number of countries including (but not limited to) China, Vietnam, Mozambique, Nigeria and Pakistan.
Aquamarine is the Birthstone for March. Can it be used in Jewellery?
Sorry to all those March babies out there, we will probably disappoint you if you would like an aquamarine for your engagement ring! Although Aquamarine is the birthstone for March, and we would love to make you a beautiful engagement ring, aquamarine is not really the best gemstone for an engagement ring.
Aquamarine is rated as 7.5 – 8.0 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. You might think is quite hard, but it is brittle. Aquamarines can be broken when subjected to the intense pressure that is applied to the stone when setting it into a piece of jewellery such as a ring. If that ring is to be worn every day, as an engagement ring is, it will receive a lot of knocks and bumps. This is just part of the wear and tear that a ring that is worn all the time is subject to. This wear and tear often can’t be helped.
Even if the aquamarine doesn’t break, gold is a relatively soft material, and the stone may become a little loose and need re-tightening. Every time it needs to be re-tightened, there is that risk of breakage. Even with all the care in the world, and years of setting experience, it is possible to break the stone. So, this beautiful gemstone is best used in earrings or dress rings. This kind of jewellery is not subject to nearly as much wear and tear as an engagement ring.
We have made some absolutely stunning rings with aquamarines and diamonds before. But you really must bear in mind that these rings are best worn as dress rings only.