Aquamarine’s name comes from the Latin for seawater and it was said to calm waves and keep sailors safe at sea. March’s birthstone was also thought to enhance the happiness of marriages. The best gems combine high clarity with limpid transparency and blue to slightly greenish blue hues. (source: GIA) It is a relatively hard stone, coming in at 7.5-8 on the Mohs scale (diamond is 10, talc is 1) and is a member of the beryl family which also includes emerald.
Aquamarine is a beautiful stone and I’m often asked if I can source it for use in my designs. The only ethical & traceable aquamarines currently available come from Sri Lanka. These are pale blue to almost clear in colour. Aquamarine is mined in many countries (including Madagascar, China, Africa and Pakistan), but they will not meet the standards of traceability and ethics I ask for in my stones and they come with no reassurances about conditions in the mines. I only use stones that are traceable and ethical and/or meet the standards of Fairtrade Level 1 or 2. If you’d like to know more about why I choose ethical traceable stones, click here.