Aquamarine, the color of the sea on a warm tropical holiday or a cool iceberg in the Antarctic.
It is the color of earth’s life-giving forces, and surely one of the cheeriest on the colored gemstone palette.
It is most commonly associated with the sea; the name is Latin for seawater (aqua means water and marine means “of the sea”). Blue is a cool color, but there is something warm and breezy about aquamarine that makes it as perfect for a summer day as for a winter evening.
As the birthstone for March, it is the ideal color to usher in spring. This year, aquamarine is also the color of fall fashions: Marine Blue is one of the top ten Pantone Fall Fashion colors this year, and it made a splash on the runways of the fall ready-to-wear shows.
As a gem, aquamarine is accessible, beautiful and wearable – it can take a few knocks without chipping or scratching. Aquamarine is a greenish blue to blue green variety of the mineral species beryl. Emerald is also a beryl, but with trace amounts of chromium (and sometimes vanadium) which make green to bluish green in color.
The coloring of the stone
Aquamarine obtains its blue color from iron impurities within colorless beryl. The deeper the blue color, the more valuable it is, but aquamarine is generally very light. It is routinely heat treated to bring out the blue tones, but the treatment is undetectable and very stable.