March has two birthstones – aquamarines and bloodstone. This post focuses on aquamarines. Aquamarines are part of the beryl family of gemstones, along with emeralds, pink morganite, yellow heliodor and golden beryl. They are a pale, delicate blue, and transparent. They can sometimes have a slight greenish tint. Aquamarine takes its name from the sea, literally, water of the sea, and you can visualise a sea near the water’s edge which is just floating over a sandy seabed.

Edwardian aquamarine necklace

Aquamarines can be quite light in colour but must show a distinct blue, otherwise they should be described as goshenite, a white beryl. Unlike emeralds, whose many impurities and internal inclusions are considered to be indicative, aquamarines are expected to be clear, with few inclusions. The stones can be quite large, like the emerald cut ring at the top of the post.

Vintage aquamarine ring set in gold

Some blue topaz can be confused with aquamarines but the former are generally a stronger blue. There are some synthetic aquamarines but not to the extent as other gemstones like diamonds, rubies and emeralds.

Antique aquamarine and kunzite necklace