Aquamarine: The Birthstone Of March
A stunning gemstone that reflects the sparkling blue hues of the ocean, aquamarine is a beautiful gemstone that belongs to the beryl family (which also includes emerald and morganite). The name “aquamarine” comes from the Latin words aqua and marina, which together mean “water of the sea” due to its stunning blue-green colour that resembles the ocean’s water.
The March birthstone is aquamarine, and it is often praised for its clarity and transparency. It is a hard and durable gemstone, which makes it ideal for use in jewellery such as rings, necklaces, and earrings. Aquamarine is also a popular choice for engagement rings due to its durability of 7.5 – 8 on the Mohs hardness scale.
Who Decides Which Gemstone For Which Month?
Have you ever wondered why certain birthstones are associated with certain months? Experts believe that birthstones have their origins in the Bible, where in Exodus 28, Moses directs the creation of special garments for the High Priest of the Hebrews. These garments included a breastplate studded with twelve precious gemstones that represented the twelve tribes of Israel. According to early translations, the first row contained carnelian, chrysolite, and beryl, whilst the second row contained jacinth, agate, and amethyst. The third and final row contained topaz, onyx, and jasper.
Over time, these twelve gemstones’ meanings shifted, including the March birthstone aquamarine. At one point, they became associated with the twelve months of the calendar year as well as the twelve signs of the zodiac. It was not until 1912 however when the National Association of Jewellers came together to formally standardise the list of American birthstones and the month they represented. This list came about for a number of reasons, such as being able to ensure the chosen stones would be practical to sell and source in sustainable quantities.
What Does Aquamarine Represent?
Aquamarine’s gorgeous colour not only evokes the sea, but it is also linked to ancient legends wherein mermaids collected aquamarines for treasure. Because of this, sailors wore aquamarine as a talisman for fearlessness, good luck of course, protection. It was also considered to be a stone that represented eternal youth and happiness.
In modern times, aquamarine is said to inspire truth, trust, and letting go, and carries metaphysical properties that are believed to have a calming, soothing and cleansing effect on the wearer.
Where Is Aquamarine Sourced From?
The March birthstone aquamarine can be found all over the world, but is mined mainly in Brazil, which produces dazzling specimens. Aquamarine can also be found in Nigeria, Madagascar, Zambia, Pakistan, and Mozambique.
Closer to home, Mount Isa in Queensland has beryl-bearing metamorphic rocks with the potential to produce aquamarines. Small volumes of aquamarine have been found near Mount Surprise in Queensland and Olary in South Australia.
Does March Have More Than One Birthstone?
There is indeed more than one March birthstone, this being bloodstone. Bloodstone is very different visually, being a dark green stone with iron inclusions that add red spots to the stone, said to protect the “blood” of the wearer.