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01 Mar

A Gift from the Sea

March's Birthstone is Aquamarine which is also the gemstone for a 19th wedding anniversary.

Aquamarine is derived from the two Latin words 'Aqua' meaning Water and 'Marina' meaning of the Sea. It is the blue to blue-green transparent variety of Beryl. Other Beryl gemstone varieties include Emerald and Morganite. My brother uses Aquamarine found mainly in Brazil, but it is also mined at very high elevations in Pakistan's Karakoram Mountains.

It has a hardness of 7.5 to 8 on the MOHs scale. The largest Brazilian aquamarine on record was found in 1910, in Minas Gerais, Brazil weighing in at 244 lbs about 17.5 stone.

According to folklore the stone could be carried aboard a ship in order to calm waves and keep sailors safe at sea, it has also been said to give the wearer protection in battle and at some time also it was meant to be a charm to aid in a happy marriage.

The best Aquamarines combine high clarity with a crystalline transparency. Because Aquamarine’s colour is light, cutting is important and well-cut gems show brilliance. The stones are often cut into round or oval brilliants or emerald cuts but can be cut into almost any shape. The gemstone’s hardness and transparency make it popular with designers and artists. Gem sculptors use aquamarine for fantasy cuts and ornamental objects.

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