Nothing quite compares to the azure allure of a blue gemstone, and aquamarine is one of the most tantalisingly sparkling examples. Calming and energising in equal measures, this blue gem is not only a talisman for seafarers but also the birthstone for March.
Aquamarine is the combination of the Latin words for sea and water – aqua, meaning water, and marine, which translates as ‘of the sea’. And those Romans – ever fond of a dicey overseas voyage in order to expand the Empire – took it very seriously. While the name could easily reflect its oceanic blue hue, legend has it that the gemstone also has the power to protect those at sea.
It has also been suggested that aquamarines can calm the stormy waters of a marriage – useful for those who find themselves in emotionally turbulent times on dry land. Aquamarine is the traditional gift to be given on a 19th wedding anniversary, although perhaps you might need it less should you have managed to get that far without its marital voodoo.
For those celebrating a birthday this month, aquamarine is perhaps better known as the March birthstone, rather than an aid to keep Poseidon or a spouse relaxed. Aquamarine jewellery can make for a beautiful birthday gift for those celebrating this month – or indeed a timeless investment for those March babies who prefer to buy their own jewels.
So what to look for when buying aquamarine jewellery? Faceted aquamarine is known for its transparency and lustre, so if the gem you’re looking at doesn’t sparkle and has visible inclusions, move on – unless, of course, you enjoy the perfectly imperfect gem style.
In terms of colour, this gem – a type of beryl – is considered at its peak when displaying a “moderately strong dark blue to slightly greenish blue”, according to the Gemological Institute of America. And when it comes to toughness, aquamarine registers a 7.5. to 8 on the Mohs scale, meaning it is a tough and durable gem that is suitable for everyday wear.
Aquamarines are mined in Africa, Asia, Russia and the US, although the most important source of this blue gem is the rocky hills of Minas Gerais in Brazil. And for exceptional ‘water clear’ aquamarine, this can be found far up in the Karakorum foothills of Pakistan, where miners traverse steep paths as high as 13,000ft to liberate this sought-after version of the gem.
Ten aquamarine jewels to calm the waters…
18ct gold and aquamarine Sea Dreams Kaleidoscope pendant filled with tumbling loose gemstones
£4,670, available at The Jewellery Cut Shop
18ct white gold, aquamarine and diamond Triangle earrings
€2,300, available at Maya Gemstones
silver, diamond and aquamarine Diamond Lagoon Reflection ring
£1,275, available at The Jewellery Cut Shop
18ct gold, aquamarine, diamond and turquoise inlay Fanfare Symphony earrings
£17,000, available at Garrard
Fairtrade 18ct gold, aquamarine, ruby, sapphire and diamond Catkin Happenstance Horseshoe necklace
£2,360, available at The Jewellery Cut Shop
18ct gold, aquamarine and diamond Gypsy ring
price on application, available at Brent Neale
18ct gold, aquamarine and diamond earrings
£1,450, available at The Jewellery Cut Shop
Emily P Wheeler
18ct gold, diamond and aquamarine necklace
$4,200, available at Emily P Wheeler
9ct gold, aquamarine and pink garnet Astounding vintage ring
£595, available at The Jewellery Cut Shop
14ct gold and aquamarine Birthstone cuff
$1,415, available at Shahla Karimi
All prices were correct on the date of publishing, but may be subject to change