by Brooke Bartlett
Aquamarine, the brilliant blue birthstone of March, is a hugely popular gem with jewelers and consumers alike. Easy to wear because of its hardness, aquamarine is an ideal gem for any jewelry setting, and its bright color complements any complexion. Often manifested in flawless specimens, aquamarine jewelry is striking and gorgeous. Choose from a variety of aquamarine jewelry, like rings, pendants and earrings.
Appearance. Aquamarines are available in a range of blue hues, from pale icy blue stones to gems that resemble the depths of the ocean. Many natural aquamarine stones have green undertones, though these are often treated to create the more popular blue aquamarine shades. Aquamarines feature a brilliant shine similar to that of diamonds. This stone is known for being largely free of inclusions, and its translucent, shining surface sparkles in practically any light. Aquamarine gemstones can be cut into a variety of shapes, and gems with many facets are common.
Special colors. As with most gems, the more intense shades of aquamarine are the most popular, and the intensity of the shade changes depending on the source of the stone. The most sought-after color is known as the Santa Maria aquamarine. Santa Maria aquamarines are a deep ocean blue and have an enchanting fire and brilliance. Found at a single mine in Brazil called the Santa Maria de Itabira mine, Santa Maria aquamarine stones are quite rare.
Selection tips. Aquamarine is an easy stone to buy because there are almost no limitations to how it can be cut or mounted in jewelry. Jewelry designers adore aquamarine because it can easily be fashioned into a variety of designs and set into a myriad of jewelry pieces. Inclusions are not common in aquamarines, and when inclusions are found, jewelry designers will often work with them to create jewels that are unique.
Mythology. Aquamarine is, not surprisingly, associated with water, and it has long been known as a gem that brings good fortune to sailors. Legend says that this intensely blue stone comes from the jewelry boxes of mermaids, making it a popular bauble choice for anyone who loves the ocean.