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Aquamarines: The History and Meaning of March’s Birthstone

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March babies get a beautiful blue gem as their birthstone: aquamarine. Named for the ocean’s purest shades of blue, the birthstone for March brings to mind visions of calm waters and tropical lagoons.

The alluring aquamarine gemstone makes a gorgeous centerpiece for both engagement ring settings and fine jewelry. Here’s what March birthday girls (and those who shop for them) should know about their aquamarine birthstone.

History and Origin

Aquamarine means “water of the sea,” a name which originated in the early 1700s, around the start of the Georgian era. These gorgeous gems are part of the beryl family of minerals, which also includes emeralds. Aquamarines come in colors ranging from the palest blue to dark blue-greens. They usually have excellent clarity and can be found in quite large sizes.

While we think this March birthstone is gorgeous in any size or shade, we especially love to see it paired with rose gold! The color combination of aquamarine and rose gold engagement rings is alluringly distinctive, and we think that this trend will definitely stand the test of time.

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Aquamarine is mined in Brazil, throughout Africa and Asia, and in Colorado, where it is the state gemstone. Although aquamarine and blue topaz can be mistaken for each other, aquamarine is more valuable due to its rarity and natural coloring, while blue topaz is produced by treating colorless topaz with radiation.

Meaning

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Legend has it that aquamarine provides mental clarity and good health, and that it protects the wearer against foes in battle or litigation. Aquamarine was once referred to as the “Sailor’s Stone,” because ancient sailors believed that the stone would protect them from disasters at sea. During World War II the US Navy commissioned a coastal patrol yacht called the USS Aquamarine, named in honor of the gemstone and its connection to the ocean.

Royal and A-list Fans

Some of the most famous aquamarine gemstones belong to Queen Elizabeth II. The President of Brazil presented her with a stunning  aquamarine necklace and earrings at her coronation in 1953. Apparently, the Queen adored aquamarines so much that she went on to add an aquamarine bracelet, brooch, and even an aquamarine tiara to her collection of royal jewels.

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Because Jessica Biel has a March birthday, thoughtful husband Justin Timberlake included two aquamarine accents in the engagement ring he designed for her (with, no surprise, an eye-popping diamond in between them).

How to Wear Them

The light, bright blue of aquamarine looks especially chic paired with neutrals, like black and white, navy blue and camel. Wear your aquamarine jewelry with a crisp white blouse and black pencil skirt, with a little black dress and nude-hued heels, or to dress up dark jeans, tall boots and a neutral-hued cashmere sweater. But since the color aquamarine is practically a neutral itself, it looks great with just about any outfit you own.

Caring for Aquamarines

Aquamarines possess a score of 7.5-8 on the hardness scale, which means that they’re durable enough to be worn as jewelry but that you should avoid any rough wear that might scratch them. They can withstand light exposure but don’t subject them to extreme heat. Clean aquamarines with gentle soap and warm water.

If you are looking for a gift for a loved one with a March birthday, or if you simply crave a stunning piece of pale blue jewelry, you can’t go wrong with aquamarine. Brilliant Earth offers stunning aquamarine engagement rings, as well as one-of-a-kind aquamarine vintage rings, which can make beautiful engagement rings or just an excellent gift for any special occasion. You can also Create Your Own Aquamarine Ring by selecting your ideal aquamarine gemstone and setting it in one of our most sought after settings!

Final Thoughts

Do you love aquamarine jewelry?  Let us know what you think of March’s birthstone on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, or in the comments section!

 

COMMENTS

Letitia Says:
March 13th, 2014 at 5:11 pm

March is also my birthday. But alas, my hubby passed away so no one to buy me one. You can send me any you are getting rid of.

Hallie Istre Says:
March 25th, 2014 at 3:14 am

I would love to have any of those rings or get one made they are beautiful, thank you for sharing

Shirley Shusta Says:
April 8th, 2014 at 3:22 pm

My boyfriend gave me an aquamarine ring in a Black Hills gold setting for my birthday in March 1950. It is still very special and our favorite, we have been married almost 63 years.

Montrose Cones Says:
April 19th, 2014 at 8:14 am

In 1990 I gave my aunt aquamarine earrings. Later I learned they were not mining them any more–true or not?

Charlie Says:
May 17th, 2014 at 10:10 am

You should probably mention that most blue Aquamarine is also treated – it is heated to drive off the green component. Blue topaz is rarely found naturally; most is produced by gamma and/or neutron irradiation followed by heat. Some Aquamarine has a green component caused by Chromium, which does not respond to heat treatment, and Aqua is occasionally found in blue shades that do not require heating. Nice post, and thanks for the pretty pics!

Jay Says:
June 25th, 2014 at 10:31 am

Sexist article. Guys are born in March, too.

Alleah Says:
July 5th, 2014 at 10:43 pm

If you wanted to buy a gift for a guy who was born in March what would you suggest I buy for him?

Sheila Mcpherson Says:
August 4th, 2016 at 9:16 pm

My son was born march 1 2016 and he is aquamarine.. Im getting married soon and i want my engagement ? to be that color to honor my son being on this earth.. My daughter is 5 and she is a ruby born july 5 2011. I already bought my marriage band and its rubys. I love my children very much and they are my happiness. .

G. Brumfield Says:
February 27th, 2017 at 2:12 am

I’m a March birthday, I love both my birthstones- bloodstone & aquamarine. 🙂

Pauline Says:
June 24th, 2017 at 1:43 pm

I’m a Sapphire person but I still love every stone there is,but everyone seems to forget about the best cut the marquee which is my all time favorite and baguettes

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