Aquamarine is a blue variety of beryl, found in places like Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Columbia, Zambia, and the United States. This gem comes in a variety of shades, from light and airy turquoise to a dark blue variety called maxixe, which is much rarer.
Larger gemstones amplify the color effect, while smaller pieces may be less intense. Heating aquamarine can permanently enhance color quality, though some consumers prefer the greenish, ocean-like hues of some pieces. Its unique blue color makes it a favorite among modern jewelry designers.
Often free of inclusions, aquamarine is more even than its cousin emerald and possesses a strong, durable hardness. The Santa Maria color variety from Brazil is arguably the most famous, drawing acclaim from gemstone enthusiasts the world over.
As the birthstone of March, aquamarine is a symbol of fidelity. The color of water and the infinite sky, aquamarine’s blues promotes feelings of trust, mutuality, friendship and harmony, making the gem is perfect for couples, and a favorite for anniversary gifts. According to legend, aquamarine was given to mermaids by Neptune, the Roman god of the Sea, and has retained its status among sailors as a harbinger of well-being.