Aquamarine is the birthstone for March. (Actually an alternate is bloodstone but this isn't seen around much anymore.) Unfortunately what most people think of when they think of aquamarine is a kind of washed out very light blue stone. That, of course, is only because they haven't shopped at Daniel Spirer Jewelers. There are some magnificently colored blue aquamarines that are available if you'd like to spend a little more money for something that is actually blue.
Aquamarine is a member of the beryl family of gems which include emeralds, morganite, golden beryl and goshenite. With a hardness of 7 1/2-8 it is just below sapphire in hardness which makes it a relatively durable gem material. Almost all aquamarine is heat treated to burn off a green tone that is present in almost all material when it comes out of the earth. I have had occasion in the past to own some untreated aquamarine and the greenish blue color can be somewhat attractive, but it is hard to find.
Aquamarine can occur in huge sizes; of note is a crystal found in Brazil in 1920 that weighed in at a whopping 243 pounds and that yielded many fine cut gems. There are a number of notable pieces that weighed in at well over 150 cts. each.
In ancient times aquamarine (the name comes from Latin meaning "sea water") was supposed to impart the wearer with insight and foresight. Anyone out there who thinks they are psychic might want to try wearing one to help them see some of the future. It also was thought to induce sleep, and when soaked in water, cure eye troubles, stoppage of breath and hiccups. Potent stuff this stone!
Pictured above is a simple pendant I just made up with a very fine, medium dark blue aquamarine in it. If your birthday is this month come on in and look at it!