Aquamarine: The Birthstone For March
Aquamarine’s name comes from the Latin for seawater and it was said to calm waves and keep sailors safe at sea.
March’s birthstone is also thought to enhance the happiness of marriages. The best gems combine high clarity with limpid transparency and blue to slightly greenish blue hues.
Like many beryls, aquamarine forms large crystals suitable for sizeable fashioned gems and carvings.
It has been said that the mineral beryl gives the wearer protection against foes in battle or litigation. It makes the wearer unconquerable and amiable, and also quickens the intellect.
The gem is also given as a present on the 19th wedding anniversary.
As for famous ones, in 1936 the government of Brazil gave US First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt a dark blue rectangular step-cut aquamarine that weighed 1,298ct. It was the larger of two stones faceted from a piece of aquamarine rough that itself weighed an impressive 2.9 pounds. It is now housed at the Franklin D Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park, New York.
A celebrated attraction at the Smithsonian Institution is the 10,363ct (about 4.6 pounds) Dom Pedro Aquamarine – believed to be the largest faceted aquamarine in the world. The approximately 14 inch high obelisk was fashioned by acclaimed German gemstone craftsman Berndt Munsteiner using the fantasy cut technique.
Fantasy cut gemstones have grooves, optic dishes, and concave facets – all made possible by the development of tools to cut these design elements into gem materials. Traditional gemstones are fashioned by placing them on a faceting machine with a flap lap tool, which grinds away and polishes the stone.