March Birthstone - Aquamarine

March - a beautiful month for so many reasons. It's when we wave goodbye to cold, dark, wintery nights (and days) and greet lighter nights and longer days with open arms.

In crystal terms, March is the month for aquamarine - whose name derives from two Latin words: aqua, meaning water and marina meaning 'of the sea'.

This ties in the beautiful sea blue colour of the crystal, which can vary from being a transparent, pale blue to having slightly greenish blue hues.

It has been said that the natural mineral of aquamarine, Beryl, gives the wearer protection against foes in battle or litigation.

It makes the wearer unconquerable and amiable, and also quickens the intellect. Usually a pale blue, clear crystal, heat treatment can intensify the colour of aquamarine and give it a darker shade of blue.

Aquamarine crystals are known to be large in size and relatively clean and well-formed, making them particularly valuable to collectors of mineral specimens.

With Brazil being especially important in the mining of aquamarine, the president of Brazil gave Queen Elizabeth II an aquamarine crystal as gift from himself and the people of Brazil for her coronation in 1953.

This crystal sits in the centre of the Queen's tiara. The other mining areas for aquamarine are in Vietnam, Pakistan, Madagascar, Zambia, Mozambique and Nigeria.

So whatever your preference, be it a beautiful ring or a stunning pair of earrings, why not treat yourself for your March birthday and invest in some aquamarine.

Did you know?

- Aquamarine is also the crystal to celebrate a 19th anniversary

- It comes from the same mineral as the emerald

- The largest gem-quality aquamarine crystal mined to date is 19 inches long!

- Aquamarine is mined at high elevations in Pakistan’s Karakoram Mountains, sometimes as high as 15,000ft.