This pale blue gemstone is March’s birthstone. Its name comes from Latin, aqua marina, water of the sea. Aquamarine was worn in many ancient cultures a form of protection for sailors. Aquamarine is a type of beryl, putting it in the same mineralogical family as the more precious Emerald.
The largest cut aquamarine in the world, the 10,395-ct. Dom Pedro aquamarine obelisk by gem sculptor Bernd Munsteiner, can be found in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C.
Much of the sky blue aquamarine sold has been heated or irradiated to remove any naturally occurring green tones in the stone and enhance the blue color. Aquamarine is a fairly durable stone suitable for all jewelry, including rings but stones with inclusions may not be safe to clean in ultrasonic cleaners.
Aquamarine deposits can be found in multiple locations in Africa and Brazil.
Heliotrope Jasper, a green stone with red spots, also known as bloodstone, is an alternative birthstone for March.