March already! March means Aquamarine, the gemstone said to have originated in mermaid's treasure chests. Thought to protect sailors at sea, the beautiful blue of this gemstone is very popular with jewellers and designers.
Mainly mined in Brazil, very large pieces of aquamarine have been found, some weighing several tonnes! Unfortunately these haven't been of gem quality and their colour has been weak or more grey. The largest aquamarine of gem quality was found in the Minas Gerais mine in Brazil back in 1910. It weighed 110.5kg, measured 18in in length and 15.5in in diameter, and was cut into many gemstones weighing more than 100,000 carats!
The largest single piece of Aquamarine to be cut weighs 26kg and was cut by gemstone designer Bernd Munsteiner in 1992, called the "Dom Pedro" (pictured below)
In the Middle Ages, it was believed that the cosmos was reflected in gemstones with aquamarine being associated with Neptune. The Greeks and Romans also thought of Aquamarine as the sailors stone, believing it ensured safe passage across stormy seas. Although the healing powers of gemstones is one debate that will continue, it is thought that aquamarine helps with arthritis, inflammation of the eye, sore throats and varicose vein! Whatever you believe, I'm sure you'll agree it's a stunning gemstone.