Aquamarine is March birthstone and also used to celebrate 19th wedding anniversaries

The origin of the name

“Named after seawater, aquamarine’s fresh watery hue is a cool plunge into a refreshing pool.”

The term aquamarine comes from a combination of two Latin words. The first one, aqua, means water and the second, marina means sea. Together, the word translates to the color of the sea.

Taking its name from its color, we will explore further in a moment its characteristic blue hue.

Aquamarine crystal


Aquamarine belongs to the Beryl family alongside the well known Emerald but also Morganite, Heliodor, Bixbite and Goshenite. Unlike the emerald, it is not a precious stone because of its relative abundance in nature. Aquamarine is therefore a semi-precious stone.

Aquamarine often comes in large size hexagonal crystals. The biggest one found to date, the Dom Pedro specimen, comes from Brazil and is 10,363cts big! It weighs about 100lbs aka 45kg and you can see it at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC.

Pure beryl is colorless. Traces of iron are responsible for the greenish blue to blue color of aquamarine. Under heat, it becomes even bluer.

A range of blue color

Aquamarines can range from a very light, almost imperceptible color to crystals with a rich vibrant color. A small aquamarine with a rich blue color will cost a lot more than identical-size stones with a faint blue color.

The AIGS, Asian Institute of Gemological Sciences, has identified a certain category of blues labeled as “Santa Maria”. This color range was characteristic of the Santa Maria de Itabira mine in Minas Gerais, Brazil. The mine produced aquamarine considered to be among the best in terms of color—a saturated blue—but is now almost depleted.

Aquamarine classification by blue color variations implemented by AIGS

Where does aquamarine come from

Brazil is the world's major source of fine aquamarine gems. Localities include Minas Gerais, Rio Grande do Norte, Ceara, and others.

Africa is becoming a strong rival, with mining activities in countries such as Madagascar, Mozambique, Nigeria and Tanzania. Madagascar has more than 50 specific localities that produce fine, blue gem material.

Other countries of origin include Pakistan, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Russia and the United States.

The powers of aquamarine

Aquamarine evokes the purity of crystal blue waters, and the relaxation and feeling of calm that the sea brings. Spiritually, it is associated with trusting and letting go.

In ancient times, aquamarine was believed to be the treasure of mermaids. Sailors used the stone as a talisman to bring good luck on the open waters. The gem was used as a symbol of protection and fearlessness too.

The blue semi-precious stones have numerous benefits other than simply helping to boost one’s confidence. The stone’s color lends itself to a sense of harmony and joy. It can bring its wearer energy and a sense of playfulness.


Aquamarine jewelry

Here are some examples of fine jewelry pieces using the beautiful sea blue semi-precious stone:

diamond aquamarine and bicolor tourmaline studs set in 14k yellow gold
diamond aquamarine and bicolor tourmaline studs set in 14k yellow gold
aquamarine and bicolor tourmaline solid gold earrings
aquamarine and bicolor tourmaline solid gold earrings
Cassiopeia constellation necklace in 14k gold
Cassiopeia constellation necklace in 14k gold

I was recently commissioned by Rachel to customize the bicolor heart necklace using the birthstones of her two children: aquamarine for her first born in March and emerald for her second born in May. It looks like this:

bicolor heart necklace emerald and aquamarine
bicolor heart necklace emerald and aquamarine

If aquamarine appeals to you because it is your birthstone or simply because you like its color, I would be happy to create a custom piece of jewelry for you including this beautiful semi-precious stone. Just fill out the form here:

Virginie Dyvorne