Monday, March 14, 2011

Aquamarine -- March Birthstone

the Aquamarine

"By her who is this month was born

No gem save Aquamarines shall be worn

They will ensure her constancy

True friendship and fidelity."

                                   Author Unknown

The name aquamarine is from the Latin words meaning water and sea. This is supported by the legend that says aquamarine was first found in a mermaids treasure chest. This has led to the belief that if sailors wear the gemstones it keeps them safe from harm and will prevent seasickness.

Aquamarine ranges in color from an almost colorless pale blue to blue-green or teal. This gemstone is a member of the beryl family. It is generally faceted; however they do make beautiful cabochons.

Folklore associates aquamarine gemstones with the properties of faithfulness, courage and friendship. It is also believed to enhance awareness, quick response and easing communication problems.

In the middles ages it was thought to be effective as a treatment for anxiety and that it would reduce the effect of poisons in the body.

Now gemstone associations have evolved over the centuries, for various reasons. From ease of acquisition, to new stones found, to an attempt to standardize the list for jewelry sellers. Below I have touched a bit on the history of the birthstone charts and listed some of the variations in them.

Birthstones variations for the month of March:

1.) On the Modern list, which is what most of us are familiar with, they have Aquamarine gemstone listed. This list was adopted in 1912 as the official birthstone list by the American National Association of jewelers.

2.) From Indian medicine and beliefs that date back to 1500 b.c., comes the Ayurvedic birthstone list. Which list Bloodstone gemstones as the appropriate stone for those born in the month of March.

3.) The Mystical birthstone list dates back over 1000 years and is of Tibetan origin. This list claims that jade gemstones is the stone associated with those born in the month of March.

I find it interesting that when researching different cultures most that I could find list the same stone regardless of geographical location. The difference being that some of them list a specific stone in the family of gemstones. Jasper is listed as the birthstone for Russia, Italian and Hebrew cultures. However the Roman, Polish, Arabic cultural lists specify bloodstone gemstones which is a member of the jasper family. The Hebrew list is the only one that I found that lists jasper gemstones and then a specification of bloodstone gemstones.

While this bit of history may seem daunting it is a good reminder that some gemstones resonate better with some people than they do others. This is why I recommend using the lists as a guide in helping you choose a gift for those born in the month of March.

By no means is this a complete list of the birthstone charts out there, which are being used. Whether they are historically accurate or have a sound basis of where they came from. It is fun to see the differences and I enjoyed the research of them.

Do you have a different birthstone list that you use? Willing to share?

Please also see Birthstones: January, February

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