This very slightly greenish-blue gemstone is a close relative of the emerald, for they are both members of the beryl family of gems. Its colour, however, is quite unique and can range from nearly colourless with just a hint of blue to an intense, deep blue.
It is not surprising then, that this birthstone for March derives its name from the Latin meaning “sea water”. The azure waters of the Caribbean are a fine comparison for the colour of this gemstone.
The truly intense blue aquamarines of the past are now very scarce and the price for such stones has escalated considerably. Most gems mined today are noticeably paler in hue and this has lead researchers to intensify the colour in modern stones. Careful heating results in the lessening of green hues making enhancement permanent.
The legends connected with aquamarine include the idea that it brings courage to those who wear it and helps to establish happy marriages.
* image courtesy the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA)