Aquamarine

Aquamarine is one of the official US birth stones for March, as well as the official birthstone of Barbie! It's a popular gemstone in jewelry such as rings (especially engagement rings), earings and bracelets.

What Is Aquamarine?

Aquamarine is, like emerald, a gemstone form of beryl. Although aquamarine is transparent, it usually has a hue. This can be a variety of colours: blue or blue-green are most common, yellow, pink and white are also known.

Blue-green aquamarines are often heated to change them to blue and seal in the colour. It used to be that almost all aquamarine gems on the market were treated this way, but this is changing. Many people today like to buy the more natural blue-green shade of stone.

Symbolism and Lore

The name aquamarine means "sea water", however this was probably coined relatively recently (perhaps during the Renaissance). It's said that sailors would sometimes wear aquamarine to protect them at sea and this could be where it gained the name.

In older times aquamarine was often not distinguished from other forms of beryl, which is probably why there are less legends concerning this gem than some others. It's said that the Roman emperor Nero used a cut beryl as a monocle - it's likely that this was in fact formed from aquamarine.

Properties

Aquamarine has been said to give courage, good memory and general well-being. There is an ancient story that it would change colour to distinguish between truth and falsehood, friend or foe. It is sometimes therefore connected with heightened intuition, possibly even clairvoyance.