March Birthstone | Aquamarine
What is Aquamarine?
The term aquamarine comes from the Latin word aqua, which means ‘water’, and marine, which means ‘the sea’. The gemstone is usually light in tone and ranges from a blue-green to a more greenish blue. The larger stones usually display more intense color. It is mined most predominantly in Brazil, but high quality stones are also found in Colombia, Russia, Malagasy, and India.
The aquamarine, also called the “poor man’s diamond”, is a form of the mineral beryl. Beryl consists of four elements: beryllium, aluminum, silicon, and oxygen. Beryl occurs as free six-sided crystals in rock veins unaffected by shock and weathering that otherwise destroy gem deposits. It is a relatively hard gem, ranking after the diamond, sapphire, ruby, alexandrite, and topaz.
Throughout history the aquamarine was believed to protect sailors and help keep them safe on sea voyages. They were considered sacred to Neptune, the Roman god of the sea. Its first documented use was by the Greeks between 480-300 BC. They wore aquamarine amulets engraved with Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea, on a chariot.
In the Roman period, the aquamarine was believed to hold medicinal and healing powers, curing sicknesses of the stomach, liver, jaws, and throat. It is said that Emperor Nero used it as an eyeglass 2,000 years ago. Much later, aquamarines were used as glasses in Germany. In fact, the German name for eyeglasses today is ‘brille’, derived from the mineral beryl.
In color psychology, light, pale blue and green colors calls to mind feelings of calmness or serenity. It is often described as peaceful, tranquil, secure, and orderly.
In general psychology, blue is associated with soothing illnesses and treating pain. Blue is often used to decorate offices because research has shown that people are more productive in blue rooms. Naturally occurring deep blue aquamarine gemstones are the most prized because they are rare and expensive.
Green is a cool color that symbolizes nature and the natural world. Green has long been a symbol of fertility and was once the preferred color choice for wedding gowns in the 15th-century. Green is often used in decorating for its calming effect.