Birthstone for March – Aquamarine
The name evokes the romance of the sea through its variations in color ranging from a vibrant blue to one softly tinted with a modicum of green. Since ancient times many have held that this color scheme promotes a certain calmness and overall peace of mind.
Likely the above derives from its historic association with both Neptune, the Roman god of the sea, and Poseidon, his Greek counterpart. In fact, beginning with seafaring Greeks, it became customary for ancient sailors to wear aquamarine amulets, complete with an image of Poseidon, all to the purpose of promoting safe passage.
Aside from serving as birthstones, aquamarines traditionally have been gifted on the 19th wedding anniversary, specifically to confer happiness in the marriage.
For the past two hundred years, the majority of aquamarines have been mined first, within the State of Minas Gerais in Brazil, and second in Pakistan near Karkorum. But, they`re also found in various regions of Africa, and to a lesser extent, within the USA, China, Ukraine and Myanmar.
The largest faceted aquamarine in the world is currently housed at the Smithsonian Institution, where it`s one of the most popular attractions. The Dom Pedro Aquamarine is 14-inches in height, weighs in at 4.6 lbs and comprising 10,363 carats.
Aquamarine's hardness (7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale) makes it durable and highly resistant to scratching. However, as with most jewelry, do be careful not to expose it to harsh chemicals such as ammonia.
Also, keep aquamarines away from any source of strong or high heat as this can be detrimental to coloring. Finally, try not to expose your aquamarine to direct sunlight for lengthy periods as some stones can fade perceptively.
To clean your aquamarine, simply use soapy water and a soft cloth. Be sure to rinse well to remove soapy residue. As with most gemstones, ultrasonic cleaners and steamers are not recommended.
Store aquamarines away from other gemstones to avoid scratches. It is best to wrap gemstones in soft cloth or place them inside a fabric-lined jewelry box.
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