A great deal of history and lore surrounds the March birthstone of aquamarine. The name is a combination of two Latin words, aqua and marina, meaning water and sea. The appearance of the stone is reminiscent of clear seas, most often displaying a rich blue color; they may be pale blue as well. The stone is very hard by nature and is a member of the beryl family of minerals. The durable quality and beautiful color make aquamarines a popular choice for jewelry.
The legend of the aquamarine goes back to Roman times, and its association with water is equally as ancient. The Romans believed the aquamarine was sacred to the god of the sea, Neptune, and they carried stones engraved with his likeness to ensure safety on their voyages. They believed that the stones originally fell from the possession of mermaids, or sirens, and having been lost to those creatures of temptation, the aquamarine would provide protection to all who set sail on dangerous waters. Another view stated that aquamarines invoked water spirits who would provide sailors with safe passage.
In addition to protection, the stone is highly associated with love, and Roman men about to wed would offer aquamarines as gifts to their brides. Another belief held that carving an aquamarine into the shape of a frog would help turn enemies into friends. In medieval times, the association with love led to the belief that an aquamarine would ensure a long, happy marriage, and it could also rekindle love between a long-married husband and wife.
Aquamarines have a number of mystical qualities as well. They are thought to enhance awareness, leading medieval fortunetellers to make crystal balls from the gem to aid their visions of the future. The stones enhance confidence, increase strength and support optimism. This March birthstone is also believed to ease problems with communication, and its soothing color is said to calm tempers and promote harmony, which furthers the belief regarding enemies becoming friends.
The aquamarine additionally possesses many physical healing properties. It provides restful sleep, relieves stress-induced illness, is believed to reverse the effects of poison, and it helps heal maladies of the throat, mouth, stomach, liver and heart. The association with water includes the transference of healing properties to water that has been infused with aquamarine or that has had the stone immersed in it.
As the March birthstone, aquamarines are associated with the astrological sign of Pisces, which is a water sign. Water signs deal with emotions, which invokes the stone’s connection to love. Beliefs hold that someone wearing an aquamarine will receive the protective and healing qualities of the stone. Its feminine beauty is the perfect symbol of March’s spring renewal.
Aquamarine jewelry options abound in both traditional pieces and in progressive body adornment, such as dazzling belly rings, delicate nose rings and many more choices that quickly draw the eye.