The gemstone Aquamarine is the modern March birthstone as adopted by the American National Association of Jewelers in 1912. It is also the birth stone for the Zodiac sign of Scorpio. It is suggested as a gem to give on the 16th and 19th wedding anniversaries.
Aquamarine is a member of the beryl family and ranges in color from an almost colorless pale blue to blue-green or teal. The most prized color is a deep-blue aqua color. It gets its name from Latin words meaning water and sea. The most valuable aquamarines come from Brazil, but it is also mined in Kenya and Nigeria, Madagascar, Zambia, Tanzania, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Russia. . Aquamarines on the market today are usually faceted, but when cut as a cabochon, they may display a cat's eye effect known as asterism.
Aquamarine is used in fine and beautiful jewelry, the best quality stones coming from alluvial deposits in Brazil and the Ural Mountains. Beautiful specimens have been found in Pakistan. China, India and Madagascar and the U.S. Amelia County, Virginia has wonderful specimens. The old Dobbins Mica Prospect is still a source for rockbound and collector.
Aquamarine embodies courage and protection. Aquamarine also stimulates intellect and spiritual awareness. Since early times, aquamarine has been believed to endow the wearer with foresight, courage, and happiness. It is said to increase intelligence and make one youthful. As a healing stone, it is said to be effective as a treatment for anxiety. In the Middle Ages it was thought that aquamarine would reduce the effect of poisons. Associated with the element water and the moon, it is used for divination when placed in a bowl of water and gazed upon. A talismans for protection on journeys on or over water. A stone for world peace.
Composition: Beryllium bluminium bilicate; often with sodium, lithium, and cesium.
Crystal system: hexagonal
Luster: Vitreous to resinous
Mohs-Scale Hardness: 7.5 - 8