The very name aquamarine brings to mind the clear blue waters of the sea. Unsurprisingly, since its name derives from the Latin words aqua marina for “water of the sea,” the Greeks and Romans considered aquamarine the sailor’s gem, believing it would ensure safe and prosperous passage across stormy seas.
It is the blue member of the beryl mineral family, which also includes emeralds, morganite and heliodor. With a 7.5 to 8.0 hardness on the Mohs scale, aquamarine is a durable gemstone that has featured in jewelry designs for hundreds of years. Often found in large clean crystals, it can be readily found and purchased in larger carat sizes relative to some other gemstones.
Many aquamarines are greenish when mined and cut. For those who prefer a purer blue, these gemstones are heated to enhance their blue color permanently. Some prefer the greenish hues, saying the greener tones remind them more of the sea. The color tones of aquamarine are subtle and varied. Their soft luster is a wonderful addition to any natural colored gemstone jewelry collection.
Aquamarine is the birthstone for March and gift for the 19th wedding anniversary.