Aquamarine ~ March's Birthstone

The aquamarine gemstone is a member of a prestigious family, the beryls. Its relatives include the emerald, the heliodor (goldden beryl), and THE morganite (pink beryl). Mined on almost every continent, it is found in the greatest abundance In Brazil, Nigeria and Mozambique. It comes in colors from bluish-green to greenish-blue and all the shades in between.

Aquamarine is Latin for "water of the sea." It is the birth stone for Pisces born in March and April. Legend tells us that this seawater gem protected sailors on their seafaring journeys.

The History of the Aquamarine goes back to Brazil in the 1900s where it was found in a deep, dark saturated blue color. Today, the aquamarine is more likely to be found in a much lighter, less saturated color. What saturated stones there are come from countries in Africa. Lighter aquas are available from India. China also exports aquamarines, but mostly in very light blues that are sometimes called "white aquas." Some small pockets of the stone can be found in the United States, in North Carolina’s Hiddeninte area.

Color is always a matter of taste and is so it is with color preference in aquamarine stones. Some contain a heavy green cast. Some are a little green mixed in with mostly blue. The most sought after color seems to be the aquas that come from Africa and a have no green component in them at all.

The quality of an aquamarine varies, as it does in every other stone. Most aquamarines include few visible inclusions (dark spots), but as always, it is important to examine the stone one buys.

In most cases, aquamarines are clean to the eye, so their value depends primarily on their color and it is color which establishes their price. The more saturated and darker toned, "pure blue"aquas are the most expensive and most sought after.

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