Louro’s Jewellery Brief

What is your birthstone? Well if your birthday is in March then your gemstone is an Aquamarine.  Aquamarine means “water of the sea” in Latin. It is widely worn as a talisman by sailors to keep them safe.  If you have ever been mesmerized by the clear blue/green waters of some secluded island paradise that is pure and hidden from pollution or human influence, you understand the power of the Aquamarine.            

Some facts to educate and, hopefully, not bore.  The Aquamarine belongs to a family of gemstones called Beryl from the Greek beryllos and German brile.  In the past eye glasses were made from colourless Beryl. The Beryl family consists of Emeralds with its green hues, Morganites with its pink to violet hues, Heliodor with its lemon and yellow-gold hues, Bixbite with its strawberry and red hues,Golden Beryl with its rich golden yellow hues and Goshenite with its diamond like colourless brilliance.  Although Aquamarine has always played second fiddle to its more famous brother the Emerald, it truly has the most beautiful blue combinations in the world of gemology and nature.

Although Aquamarines can be found in every continent, the finest used in jewellery have been found mostly in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil.  The darker the crystal, the rarer it is and is drastically more expensive than the much more abundant light blue variety. Aquamarines are generally faceted in various shapes such as pear shapes, ovals, cushion, emerald cuts and more.  In cases where growth lines are present a cat’s eye or star can be created in the lapidary process, the finishing steps in preparing the gem. The aqua-blue colouring is due to the iron pigment in its aluminum beryllium silicate chemical composition.  Sounds complicated, but scientific names always do. Suffice to say mother nature made a beautiful stone. Aquamarine has a hardness of 7.5 or 8 on the Mohs Hardness Scale. The diamond is the hardest on Mohs’ at 10. Aquamarine also has no cleavage, a natural fault line in the gemstone, which combined with its hardness, makes this stone an excellent option for creative jewellery design and overall wearability.

Aquamarine has long been considered a symbol of happiness and eternal youth.  So if it is your birthday in March, Happy Birthday, or if you just love the unique colouring of Aquamarine, ENJOY.      

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