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March’s Most Popular Birthstone – Aquamarine

March’s birthstone hints that spring days are just around the corner and that lighter colours slowly but steadily are taking over — Aquamarine is the most popular birthstone of March and thanks to its recognizable light blue colour, it comes as a beautiful refresh after the cold days.

In this post, we’re going to cover what aquamarine actually is, what are its origins and properties, where it is used and how much it’s worth.

What is Aquamarine

Aquamarine is a version of a mineral composed of beryllium aluminium cyclosilicate, often known as beryl.

It’s quite a common gemstone, with few varieties that are very rare. It has a long history, and due to its light blue colour, it was often connected to the sea in many cultures — aquamarine was a protector of sea travellers.

The popularity of aquamarine grows every year, and to understand better why is that a case, let’s dive into more details.

real aquamarine

Aquamarine Origins, Properties and Formation Process

Aquamarine has been around since 500 BC, but the name appears for the first time in 1677. 

As we’ve previously said, aquamarine belongs to the beryl minerals family, where gemstones like emerald, morganite, heliodor and others can also be found.

The formation process of aquamarine is identical to its sister gemstone emerald — it forms beneath the Earth’s crust, when magma contacts the compatible minerals which are in this case beryllium, aluminium, silicon, and sometimes iron. Its official formula is Be3Al2Si6O18.

Once the rock forms, it’s known as pegmatite — magma keeps heating the pegmatite and depending on the minerals inside, the gemstone is formed (in this case aquamarine).

Unline emerald which is notorious for having a lot of inclusions (fractures or deviations from clear crystal structure), aquamarine is a very clean and clear gemstone and falls into the category of Type 1 clarity.

There are usually 3 grades of clarity (type 1, type 2, and type 3) per which all gemstones (except diamond) are graded, and aquamarine easily falls into the type 1 category.

Better the clarity, better the price. However, just like any other thing in nature, aquamarine can be found in different shapes, sizes and clarities.

The colour of aquamarine is usually blue, and that’s how it is found in nature. The reason why we say “usually” is because sometimes it can have hence of green in there, and if you come across the aquamarine that has a more greenish hue to it, there’s a good chance that it hasn’t been treated.

Gemstones are usually treated with high heat to improve clarity, get rid of fractions, inclusions, etc, and some gemstones simple must go through treatment, whilst others like aquamarine don’t. When aquamarine is treated, it’s usually because manufacturers want to make it purer blue, simply because pure blue sells better than variations that contain green colour. Heat treatment removes the iron from the composition which leaves aquamarine to be pure natural blue.

On a Mohs scale of hardness, aquamarine holds a pretty good record of 7.5 to 8.

What’s also very interesting about aquamarine, is that it often comes in very large pieces — sometimes a naturally occurring piece can whey over 100 pounds. 

Aquamarine is usually found in areas with mountains and the most popular mines are in Zambia, Tanzania, India, Russia, North and South America.

Aquamarine Usage and Meanings

Aquamarine is used in jewellery, and there are no industrial usages of it.

Beautiful pieces such as earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and rings can be found with aquamarine, and their popularity grows every year — check out some of these beautiful pieces in our online store!

aquamarine earrings

Besides jewellery, just like with any other gemstone, aquamarine is used in alternative medicine and it is believed that it has certain healing properties.

Per belief, aquamarine can help with building confidence and can improve the overall health of one’s respiratory system.

Also, many people believe that aquamarine is the protector of sea travellers and that it brings luck to fishermen.

Either way, with or without these properties, aquamarine will evoke positive feelings with its incredible beauty.

aquamarine ring

How Much is Aquamarine Worth?

Aquamarine usually costs around £500 per carat but due to its size, carat growth usually increases the price by 40-60%.

So a single carat aquamarine can cost around £500, but 2-3 carats would cost around £750-1100.

There are also lab-grown aquamarines, and they cost far less, as they are not as rare as natural ones, and there’s no mining process involved.

Conclusion

Aquamarine is a beautiful gemstone and is March’s birthstone. It’s very popular and its popularity is on the evergreen rise thanks to its stunning colour and ability to fit into any type of jewellery.

Interested to see some of the most amazing aquamarine jewellery pieces? Check out our shop here!