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Mermaid's Treasure — Aquamarine, the March Birthstone

Seaman Schepps Aquamarine, Diamond and Pearl Bubble Earrings

Although the original birth-stone of the month of March was jasper and, more specifically, of the variety known as bloodstone, we now associate the aquamarine with the month as well as with the dominant Zodiacal sign – the Pisces.

Edwardian Aquamarine and Pearl Necklace

Edwardian Aquamarine and Pearl Necklace

Aquamarine is an ancient stone with a relatively modern name. As simply another variety of beryl, it was commonly referred to as “sea-green beryl.” The contemporary name combines “aqua” meaning “water,” and “marine” meaning “sea” or “ocean” which offers a description of the clear and instantly recognizable coloring of the gemstone. As lapidarian Bruce G. Knuth notes, the famed Roman historian, Pliny, described the stone as “… seem to have come from some mermaid’s treasure house, in the depths of a summer sea” which reinforces the concept of the aquamarine as both directly related to, and symbolic of, the ocean as well as being a stone of peace and serenity. (Gems in Myth, Legend and Lore, 51)

Oscar Heyman Aquamarine and Diamond Brooch

Oscar Heyman Aquamarine and Diamond Brooch in Platinum

Being the gemstone representative of the ocean has its own important symbolism as well. The sea indicates dynamic energy, the ability to transition and universal life. The aquamarine, therefore, contains its own dynamism and vivacity which aligns itself perfectly with the month of March. March is a transitional period between full winter and full spring – a time during which the energies of the world are being awakened and life is beginning to burgeon from the slumber of winter. It is largely hopeful and light and the clear, gentle blue of an aquamarine seems to illuminate that lightness.

Avakian Aquamarine and Diamond Bracelet

Avakian Aquamarine and Diamond Bracelet

Besides being the gemstone for the month of March, the aquamarine is also the stone associated with the Zodiac sign of Pisces. Pisces (February 20 – March 20) is the final sign of the Zodiac and is often depicted figuratively as a pair of fish facing away from each other. It is a mutable water sign and many people born under this symbol are thought to be emotionally profound, artistic and highly sensitive. The sign is related to transitional moments in life where one cycle is ending and another beginning simultaneously and as such represents an essential duality – just as the month of March represents both the end of winter and the beginning of spring; and the aquamarine gemstone represents both the formlessness of water (through its color and historic associations) and the firmness and stability of the earth (through its origin and crystalline structure).

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