March Birthstone Jewelry: Aquamarine
What is Aquamarine and What Color is It?
Aquamarine is a variety of beryl, a mineral family that also includes emeralds and morganite. Beryl is most noted for its six-sided, hexagonal crystal structure that can grow up to a foot long, making it ideal for cutting and polishing for jewelry. Aquamarine ranges from a pale blue color to a shade of dark blue, though sometimes it can look like light green seafoam or a darker blue-green. This spectrum of color is caused by traces of iron in the beryl crystal, which results in the aquamarine stone we all know and love. Naturally occurring deep-blue aquamarine is also one of the rarest colors of beryl, making it a highly sought-after gemstone. This is also why you might see lab-created or simulated aquamarine jewelry.
What is the Meaning and History of Aquamarine?
Aquamarine has always been a valuable and historically significant gemstone. The ancient Romans believed that aquamarine came from the treasure chests of sirens and would grant wearers protection while on the open sea. This belief was also carried into the modern era with sailors in the US Navy during World War II – they even named one of their patrol yachts the USS Aquamarine.
Aquamarines were also discovered in Ancient Greece in engravings of Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea, and it’s believed that the Hebrews, Sumerians, and Egyptians would wear aquamarines into battle to ensure victory. In the Middle Ages, Europeans believed the blue gemstone would protect against poisoning. Today, not only is the aquamarine the March birthstone, it’s also the gemstone for 19th wedding anniversaries, symbolizing fidelity and hope while fostering awareness and communication skills.
How to Care for Aquamarine Jewelry: Cleaning and Storage
As a member of the beryl family, aquamarine has a rating of 7.5-8 on the Mohs scale of hardness, making it as durable as an emerald. It can withstand daily wear and use, and it’s strong enough for an ultrasonic cleaner, but ultrasonic cleaners should be avoided if the gemstone has any cracks or imperfections. The best way to clean aquamarine is with warm water, gentle soap, and a soft brush or cloth.
For storing aquamarines, they should not be stored with softer gemstones like citrine or amethyst, as this could cause the aquamarine to scratch the other gemstone jewelry. Likewise, aquamarine can be scratched by harder gemstones like diamonds and rubies. So be mindful of where you store your aquamarine jewelry.
At JCPenney, we have an amazing collection of simulated and genuine aquamarine jewelry in a spectrum of blue colors – from pale blue aquamarine tennis bracelets, to rich seafoam aquamarine cocktail rings. Shop online for March birthstone jewelry today and save more with free shipping. We also offer special financing for fine jewelry purchases when using a JCPenney credit card, giving you more freedom to buy that perfect piece of aquamarine jewelry.