Named after the Latin meaning "water,” and marina, meaning "of the sea,” the aquamarine gemstone is light blue in colour and favoured in jewellery making - particularly in Art Deco and Art Nouveau jewellery.
The aquamarine is the birthstone for those born in March and it is thought to represent tranquillity, serenity, and success. Pieces of aquamarine jewellery work as fabulous gifts for anyone who has a birthday in March, or anyone who has a particular affinity towards glamourous Art Deco jewellery. Most commonly cut in the emerald, oval, or pear cuts, aquamarines are associated with elongated elegance, and aquamarine jewellery is often extremely flattering on the wearer.
What is an aquamarine?
Aquamarines are part of the beryl family. These gems are normally pale blue in colour, but light blue-green and light green varieties are also common. This variety of beryl is given its colour by its high iron content. Although it is the light blue variety of aquamarine that we most commonly encounter in jewellery today, the sea-green variety was the most popular during the 19th century.
Cat's eye aquamarine is another popular variation of this gem. It is green-blue in tone and exhibits a rare phenomenon known as cat's eye chatoyancy. This is an optical display that mimics the slit-eye of a cat due to a particular reflection of light.
The best quality aquamarine gemstones are found in Brazil, most commonly formed within cavities or alluvial deposits of gravel.
The History of the aquamarine
Throughout the ages, the aquamarine has always been believed to serve a symbolic purpose and bring luck to the wearer.
During the Roman era, these gemstones were often embellished with a carved image of a frog, creating a talisman that was thought to reconcile enemies and make them friends. In addition to this, the Romans also believed that aquamarines would "absorb the atmosphere of young love." Because of this, the gemstone was considered the most appropriate gift to give to a bride on the morning after her wedding. There was another Roman belief that aquamarines would help to cure illnesses; particularly of the stomach, liver, jaw, and throat.
For the Romans and the Greeks, the aquamarine was believed to be the sailor's gem, presumably because of the stone's resemblance of the ocean. Having an aquamarine on the ship was thought to ensure a safe passage through rough and choppy tides.
The pale blue stone was later believed to bring luck to soldiers. During the medieval period, it was thought that wearing an aquamarine into battle would render a soldier invincible. It was also believed, within medieval society, that this gemstone would reawaken the love of married couples.
After the Victorian era, in the late 19th century, Aquamarines encountered perhaps their biggest surge in popularity. During this time, Art Nouveau styles rebelled against the strictness of the Victorian era and jewellery makers took inspiration from nature and animals creating swirling, playful designs often incorporating gold. The aquamarine was also a jewel of choice when it came to the Art Deco era during the early 20th century. The elongated, emerald cut gems perfectly suited the sleek geometric jewellery styles that this artistic movement was so famous for.
The symbolism of the aquamarine
Folklore dictates that aquamarines are lucky omens that bring victory in battles and other disputes. These gemstones are known for emanating calmness and serenity, negating any need for a quarrel. What's more, this gemstone is also believed to bring out the best in the wearer, rendering them more friendly and intelligent.
As well as this, the aquamarine symbolises tranquillity, vitality, hope, loyalty, and truth. Its association with the ocean has long made people believe that it is both powerful and serene, as well as being beautiful to look at.
Any piece of aquamarine jewellery would make a wonderful March birthstone jewellery gift for anyone who celebrates their birthday within this month. Hopefully, the gem will bring luck and serenity as promised.
Here at AC Silver, we have a wide variety of exquisite aquamarine necklaces, rings, bracelets, earrings, and brooches for you to choose from. For an elegant and dazzling look, aquamarines are an excellent choice. They also look particularly eye-catching when paired with smaller sparkling diamonds.
Andrew Campbell started trading in antiques during the 1970s. Initially, Andrew lived in the South of England, travelling the country, searching for items of silver to buy. Andrew sold these items at various London markets and antique fairs. Over time, and through selling at a range of venues, Andrew built up a large and diverse customer base from private buyers to national and international trade customers.