March Birthstone – Aquamarine

aquamarine birthstone
Aquamarine, the traditional birthstone for March, is a member of the beryl family and whilst generally pale blue in colour, ranges to almost green and even bright blue.

Unsurprisingly, it has long been associated with the sea.  Sailors as a far back as the 5th century believed it was a mermaids treasure and that it would keep them safe whilst at sea. Its name even derives from the Latin aqua marina, meaning “water of the sea”.

By the late middle ages it was also believed to be a powerful antidote to poison and jewellery was set with the stone and worn as protection. Aquamarine was also believed to hold mystical powers of divination and was often used in fortune telling. There is even suggestion that the date of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth 1st was decided by her astrologer Dr John Dee using a crystal ball made of aquamarine to aid him in reading her horoscope.

But the weirdest fact I have found is that the Romans thought that if you carved a frog onto aquamarine, it would make friends out of enemies. If anyone knows why the image of a frog was significant, please let me know!

Image by Deidre Woollard/Flickr

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