Aquamarine (cloch mhuirghorm in Irish) is associated with March due to its healing properties, symbolizing the transition from winter into the spring months and their bounty of new foliage.
The concept of birthstones goes back centuries, even to Biblical times (taken from the story of the stones found in the breastplate worn by Aaron and representing the tribes of Israel), and they are based around the idea that the signs of zodiac correspond to specific gemstones.
In classical times, aquamarine was associated with the zodiac sign Aries, which corresponds to birth dates between March 21 and April 21. (Surprise, aquamarine is not associated with the zodiac sign of Aquarius.) Over the centuries, the idea of birthstone has persisted, although the details of the meaning of each stone changed, and some cultures would adopt different stones for different zodiac signs. Now each stone is more likely to be identified with its corresponding month, rather than a zodiac sign. Some cultures have passed down poetry that connects each month of the Gregorian calendar with each birthstone.
Rough cut aquamarine. Ancient Romans thought it could cure laziness. (Robert M. Lavinsky / Wikimedia Commons)
Ancient Romans thought carrying aquamarine could help defend against unknown dangers and also cure laziness. Sailors carried aquamarine to ward off evils while at sea. Along the same lines, many believe that aquamarine was the coveted treasure belonging to mermaids and used as a means of protection by generating courage in its holder or wearer.
In a more spiritual mindset, the gem is considered a harbinger of tranquility and calm to whomever wears it. Aquamarine is thought to convey mental, spiritual and physical healing, thanks to its calming bluish-green hue, reminiscent of crashing waves or the wide ocean spreading out to the horizon. Aquamarine has a flowing, peaceful energy, according to The Spruce, and it can help wearers and possessors purify their own energy.
Wearing aquamarine is thought to have a calming energy. (Sara K. Graves / Pixabay)
Then there’s the wacky history of aquamarine. Back in the Middle Ages, the conventional wisdom was that aquamarine, when worn, would literally be an antidote to poison, the American Gem Society says. Etching an image of a frog onto a piece of aquamarine would reconcile enemies and help the possessor make new friends. (In some areas of the world, bloodstone is sometimes considered March’s birthstone. But for most of Ireland, the U.S. and United Kingdom, aquamarine is the answer you’ll receive when asking a gemologist for the official birthstone of March.)
The aquamarine gemstone can be found all over the world, including Ireland. The largest ever discovered wa found in Brazil and weighed more than 240 pounds, according to the American Gem Society. It’s a variant of the mineral beryl (which is also responsible for emeralds), contains high levels of iron, and falls near the top of the hardness scale, slightly more hard than quartz and coming just short of the toughness of topaz.
Could there be a better gift to celebrate the March birthday of that special someone, one to commemorate your relationship and herald yours and their Irish heritage, than a Claddagh ring set with a sparkling aquamarine stone?
Sure, the aquamarine can be found in a wide range of colors, from dark blue to a pale, sky blue. But the birthstone for March is typically found in a bluish-green tint reminiscent of ocean water and the purity it represents (after all, the word aquamarine refers to the sea).
Set in a pewter or gold ring or pendant, designed around the classic Irish image of the Claddagh, and bearing the semi-translucent aquamarine gem, you can feel confident that this gift will hit all the right notes with your intended recipient.
ShamrockGift.com, as part of their offerings of Celtic jewelry, has aquamarine stones set in just about any piece you could want. Got an idea for a very specific item? You can find it here at the ShamrockGift.com Celtic Birthstone Collection, featuring jewelry made in Ireland.
Connemara marble may be the official gemstone of Éire, but the aquamarine stone will perform its role as a symbol of Ireland just as well when its designed as part of a jewelry piece using the classic Claddagh design. one of the iconic symbols of Ireland.
The Claddagh, so called for its namesake Irish village in County Galway, is based on the traditional design of two clasped hands holding a heart. The heart is the perfect place to set the aquamarine stone. It stands as a symbol of love, loyalty and friendship.
Aquamarine is also the traditional 19th wedding anniversary gift. Claddagh Pendant Necklace inset with aquamarine by ShanOre Jewelry. Available on ShamrockGift.com.
The Celtic cross would also be a great idea for setting an aquamarine stone on a necklace for your March birthday guy or girl. ShamrockGift.com has a wide selection of crosses, in many different shapes and sizes and materials. It also comes in varying cross styles, including the Celtic Trinity Knot and the St. Brigid Cross, named for the Irish patron saint, Brigid of Kildare.
Of course, you could also consider an aquamarine set in a shamrock pendant, earrings, brooches or bangles. The choices are nearly endless.
Finally, aquamarine is also the official gem for commemorating 19th wedding anniversaries. So if you are planning an anniversary gift for your 19th year of wedded bliss, that’s another great time to think about how to make use of the wonderful qualities of aquamarine stones.