Aquamarine, the birthstone for the month of March, is known as the happy marriage gemstone, as it is said to be a soothing gem, bringing harmony and tolerance between couples, as well as joy and wealth to woman in particular.
Aquamarine is a light blue to greenish blue member of the beryl family of gemstones, which counts emerald among its other well-known varieties. Unlike emeralds, however, aquamarines are typically large and transparent, and often feature in dramatic jewels on a grand scale. The largest specimen known to date was found in the Minas Gerais mine in Brazil in 1910—the primary world source of the stones—which weighed 110.5 kilograms, and measured 48.5cm (19 in) long and 42 cm (17 in) in diameter. Other sources of the gem throughout the world are Mozambique, Sri Lanka, Russia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United States.
The name derives from the Latin ‘aqua’, meaning water, ‘marina’, meaning sea—clearly for its resemblance to pristine crystal blue seawater. A charming description of the stone from an early twentieth century publication describes aquamarine as seeming ‘to have come direct from some mermaid’s treasure house in the depths of a summer sea’. Pliny the Elder, the Ancient Roman naturalist, wrote of the gem, ‘There is not a colour more pleasing to the eye.’