Aquamarine, the blue form of beryl, is the designated birthstone for the month of March. The term aquamarine is of Latin origin and means "water of the sea", aqua marina.
Aquamarine displays several shades of blue to blue-green, from the deeper hues to the palest blue which is nearly colorless. Traces of iron found in the hexagonal crystalline structure of aquamarine are responsible for its color.
Mainly targeted as the gem choice to make a fine jewelry, aquamarine is usually faceted to bring out its brilliant tone that evokes the color of the sea and sky. In terms of clarity, aquamarine is almost entirely flawless; definitely a perfect gem for evening wear.
Occasionally, the beryl species including aquamarine can exhibit chatoyancy and with proper cutting a distinct "cat’s eye" or stars should be visible. To emphasize this phenomenal effect, the stone can be set on polished metal to reveal a stronger "eye."
While aquamarine is normally a clean gem, it can also be identified for having long, hollow tubes. These inclusions might rarely occur in the stone, but they are the distinctive features of the beryl mineral. Enough of these hollow tubes cause the cat’s eye or star visible in the stone.
In gem lore, aquamarine is believed to dispel negative emotions and cleanse the mind. The crystal is best used for meditation as it is known to facilitate balance and concentration.
Aside from diamond, aquamarine is gaining popularity as an alternative stone for engagement rings. Modern designers now offer timeless pieces, combining diamond with this semi-precious gem.
Adding to a collection of amethyst rings, necklaces, bracelets, earrings and pendants is a perfect idea for birthday, graduation, and 19th wedding anniversary gifts.
Although the largest deposits of aquamarine stones come from Brazil, some other portions are mined in Zimbabwe, United States, Russia and Pakistan.