The deliciously refreshing pool blue of the March birthstone invites you to dive right into this variety from the Beryl mineral species. Aquamarine’s preferred color is a dark blue to slightly greenish blue with moderate intensity. As discussed in last month’s blog, the mineral beryl is aquamarine’s species, and varieties of beryl include aquamarine and emerald.
Both are attractively colored stones that are not as hard as a diamond and require a bit of special care when cleaning. A soft cloth dampened with water works best to clean the stone and setting; avoid chemicals to keep it sparkling bright.
According to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), aquamarine crystals are sometimes big enough to cut fashioned gems of more than 100 carats. The largest cut aquamarine, the Dom Pedro, housed at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, is a whopping 10,363 carats — or nearly 5 pounds. The blue-green giant was mined in Brazil in the late 1980s, and when famed German gem cutter Bernd Munsteiner began carving the crystal, it weighed nearly 60 pounds.