Derived from the Roman word “aqua,” meaning “water” and “mare,” meaning “sea,” the serene March birthstone, aquamarine, certainly does recall the clear blue of the ocean. The ancient Romans believed that aquamarine was sacred to Neptune, the God of the Sea, having fallen from the jewel caskets of his sirens and washed ashore. Early sailors wore aquamarine talismans, engraved with the likeness of Neptune, for protection.
Large emerald cut aquamarine and diamond ring, circa 1950. Gallery: Samuel Saidian & Sons.
In the Roman era, in addition to granting prosperous voyages and protection from perils at sea, the aquamarine was thought to have other properties, including the power to heal various illness. Soothsayers called the stone the “magic mirror” for aiding their ability to see the future. Due to its tranquil color, the stone is also said to “cool the temper.”
A diamond, 18k gold, and aquamarine brooch by Jean Schlumberger; Tiffany & Co., France, c. 1989.
Perhaps for this property of promoting level-headedness as well as its association with safe journeys, it’s considered a symbol of security and thought to reawaken love in long-standing relationships, making it a perfect stone for any anniversary although it is traditionally the wedding anniversary gift of the very long-standing 19th wedding year.