Aquamarine: A Member of the Mineral Species Beryl

As its namesake suggests, the cool blue hues of March’s captivating gemstone are reminiscent of a tranquil sea. Aquamarine crystals can grow in large sizes with excellent clarity.

In his book, Gemstones, gemologist Edward Gübelin writes lyrically about the lore surrounding this beautiful blue gem: “The aquamarine or sea-blue remains permanently associated with water in myths: it accompanies seafarers and ensures them a safe return home; and round the ship of marital fortune, it weaves ribbons of faithfulness. The aquamarine is the gemstone of all young people and all those who have remained young at heart. It takes particular care of those born in March.”

“The Schlumberger Bow”

“The Schlumberger Bow” a 148.5-carat aquamarine pin. (Image courtesy of The Field Museum.)

This gemstone is a member of the mineral species beryl . Chemically pure beryl is colorless, but trace elements give rise to green, blue and pink/red colors. Aquamarines are usually a pastel blue, though the darker the hue, the more valuable the gem is.


Aquamarines from Afghanistan

Oval and emerald cuts often enhance an aquamarine’s color and clarity. This gemstone is durable, and can be a perfect gemstone for everyday wear, with a hardness of 7.5 on the Mohs scale. Aquamarines are easy to care for; ultrasonic and steam cleaning are usually safe options as long as there are no feathers or liquid inclusions.  Simply using warm water, a mild dish soap and a toothbrush to scrub behind the stone where dust can collect will generally keep your aquamarine lustrous.

Do you own an aquamarine? Tell us all about it!

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