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The Birthstone of March: Aquamarine!

March has historically been an unusual month. This is a transitional time, from winter blues to summer blues. It’s also a windy month, and the weather can be fickle as one day is cold and the next warm. It’s supposed to be the first month of spring, but it can feel like the last month of winter. Even literature views it as a conflicted month. Shakespeare warned Caesar to “Beware the Ides of March” in his eponymous play, “Julius Caesar.” Despite the ups and downs of this month, one element remains bright, shining, and beautiful: the March birthstone, aquamarine. A beautiful word that conjures the sea.  

Aquamarine gem by Omi Gems
Aquamarine gem by Omi Gems

Aquamarine is most often light in tone and ranges from greenish blue to blue-green. The color usually is more intense in larger gemstones, and darker blue gems are very valuable. This gemstone is mined mainly in Brazil but also is found in Nigeria, Madagascar, Zambia, Pakistan, and Mozambique.

Aquamarine and gold earrings by Lika Behar Collection
Aquamarine and gold earrings by Lika Behar Collection

Like emeralds, this gemstone is a variety of a mineral called beryl. Large gems have been found all over the world, including one gem found in Brazil that weighed over 240 pounds. Aquamarine grows in large, six-sided crystals that can be up to a foot long, making it a great gem to be cut and polished in larger carats for statement pieces.

Not only is aquamarine one of the March birthstones, but it’s also used to celebrate 19th wedding anniversaries. It’s a beautiful gem with little or no yellow in it, so it looks great in many settings with different colored metals and gemstones.

Aquamarine and diamond earrings by Goshwara being held between a woman's index and middle fingers
Aquamarine and diamond earrings by Goshwara

How to Select Aquamarine Birthstone Jewelry

First, visit an AGS jeweler, who will be happy to help you pick out the perfect piece. Next, look at the gemstone’s cut. Since aquamarine can be very lightly colored (and sometimes appear almost colorless), the cut is very important to the overall appearance of the gem and how saturated, or even, the color appears. Of course, choose the color that most appeals to you. However, it’s generally accepted that lighter-colored aquamarines are less valuable than the stronger, deeper hues of blue or blue-green.

White gold aquamarine bar pendant with diamond accent by Dianna Rae Jewelry
White gold aquamarine bar pendant with diamond accent by Dianna Rae Jewelry

Next, take a look at the gemstone’s clarity. Most cut gems do not have inclusions that are visible to the eye, and some rarer or more expensive aquamarines are available without visible inclusions, as well.

Since aquamarine crystals can grow to be quite large, larger cut gemstones are possible to purchase as a part of beautiful statement pieces. While you may not be looking to buy in that range, even smaller aquamarines make for lovely solitaires or companion jewels in larger pieces.

Ready to see aquamarine up-close and in person? Find an AGS Jeweler near you. Just don’t forget to bring your jacket… or not. It’s March, after all. Who knows what the weather will be like?