All About March Birthstone: Aquamarine
While anyone can appreciate the beauty of aquamarine, this lovely gem is the birthstone for March. It is a great choice for springtime, because of its lovely blue color that reminds you of the shallow waters of a tropical sea or the cloudless sky at midday. Just as pleasant, this March birthstone goes with just about anything: few things are as classic as a light blue stone with any outfit. Let’s look more closely at this lovely gemstone.
Aquamarine origins and history
Aquamarine gets its name from two Latin-language words, “aqua,” and “marina.” Literally, this means seawater, and it’s an apt description of aquamarine stone. For this reason, aquamarine has been associated with seafaring for centuries, even rumored to protect sailors from danger. Other legends hold that aquamarine promotes happiness in marriage. There are records of aquamarine being treasured since Roman times, and it’s remained a favorite through history.
The aquamarine gemstone forms deep in the earth and is a type of beryl. The beryl gemstone family is made of beryllium aluminum silicate, with a hardness of 7.5-8. This level of hardness means that an aquamarine ring can be worn regularly without getting scratched easily. In addition, the strength of aquamarine makes it difficult to chip or crack due to hard knocks, making aquamarine a durable gem. Aquamarine gemstone derives its blue to blue-green color from iron impurities in the aquamarine crystal.
One of the interesting things about aquamarine gemstone is its abundance. Miners have found aquamarine crystals weighing over 200 pounds, and they’re often very high quality even in large sizes. Besides the large crystal sizes, aquamarine is mined in several places worldwide, including Siberia, Brazil, Myanmar, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, and several African countries. Due to this abundance, aquamarine is a relatively economical gem even in large sizes.
Aquamarine quality factors
Naturally, not every piece of aquamarine found in a mine or in surface deposits is of the highest quality. Instead, this lovely and romantic gemstone has a range from the most desirable to specimens that only have value for collectors.
Like most other gemstones, the value and quality of an aquamarine birthstone are based on the 4Cs.
The first C is carat, which refers to the size and weight of a gemstone. Most gemstones have a higher value based on their carat weight, and this is true to some extent for aquamarine. However, when an aquamarine crystal gets too large, this can diminish the value even in contrast to a smaller piece of the same color, cut, and clarity. That’s because the largest crystals are so large that they’re mostly collector’s items and have little value for aquamarine jewelry. In addition, aquamarine has a fairly stable price per carat, which means that a five carat piece of comparable quality would cost the same amount per carat as a ten-carat gem (and therefore be about half the price).
Before it can be made into a March birthstone necklace, aquamarine rough needs to be cut and polished. For aquamarine valuation, the quality of this cutting job can be very important. In particular, a quality cut will showcase the aquamarine’s color and brilliance. It should also conceal any flaws to the greatest extent possible. Therefore, a high-quality cut increases the amount you’ll pay for your jewelry, while poor-quality cuts decrease it. Because of the aquamarine gemstone properties, the right cut will also get the best color.
Simply put, clarity is how well you can see through the stone, and whether or not there are inclusions, such as specks, lines, or cracks. The better the clarity of your aquamarine gemstone, the more you’ll pay for it. In the case of aquamarine specifically, high-clarity gems are very common, so you won’t see many flaws in finished aquamarine earrings. On the other hand, translucent to opaque aquamarine is lovely in carvings.
Finally, aquamarine color helps to determine value. Ideally, aquamarine gems should have a pure, medium to light blue. A very pale blue color devalues the stone, as does a green tinge. However, the green tinge is usually removed with permanent heat treatment, and most pure blue aquamarines have this treatment. As with extremely light aquamarines, and extremely dark one is less expensive. People love the pure blue that reminds them of the sea and sky.
Aquamarine jewelry: a great choice for many occasions.
While we started by discussing aquamarine as a staple of birthstone jewelry for mom (or any other March baby), there’s a lot more to this lovely gem. In fact, a lot of people love the stone because of its cool, calming presence. Especially when combined with white metals, the aquamarine can appear to be clear as glass.
One option we love is an aquamarine necklace for a special birthday. You can get these with or without diamonds to suit your budget and the wearer’s style. Even better, it’s a gift she’ll treasure for many years.
However, an aquamarine and diamond ring is lovely as a promise ring that announces your commitment to each other. Later on, the aquamarine meaning of peace and a happy marriage make aquamarine engagement rings a romantic choice that are a bit different from the typical diamonds. Best of all, these engagement rings for women are durable enough to last her for years, and to ensure that she’ll be confident to wear the ring regularly.
Budgeting and other considerations
Of course, any time you buy an engagement ring or other aquamarine jewelry there’s a question of price. An advantage of aquamarine engagement rings is that the center stone is less expensive than diamonds, so you’ll save plenty of cash. No matter the type of aquamarine jewelry, though, prices start at a few hundred dollars and can reach thousands.
Our advice is simple: pick something she’ll love, for a price you can afford. To learn what she likes, watch what she wears. Some women love to keep it simple, while others enjoy lots of small diamonds. Likewise, some women like smaller stones with simple settings, while others might prefer a large stone with fancy settings. Each woman is unique.
Finally, let’s talk about aquamarine jewelry care. Aquamarines are relatively durable, so you don’t need to worry much about scratching from everyday wear. Likewise, you can be fairly confident with cleaning. Simply soak the jewelry in some jewelry cleaner or a little diluted dish soap and warm water. Brush gently if necessary, rinse, and dry with a soft cloth.
No, aquamarine is an abundant gemstone. In fact, you can get large aquamarine crystals weighing hundreds of pounds.
No. In fact, high-quality aquamarine is much cheaper than diamonds. For this reason, it’s a great value for money.
A medium blue with high intensity is the most valuable. However, if you love a pale gem then get it!
Minimalistic jewelry is big these days, as are styles with accent diamonds. But the best choice is something you love.
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