March birthstone name consists of two words. As you may guess, they are "aqua" (water) and "marine." Both terms refer to the sea, as the gem has its color. However, there are plenty of disputes regarding the origin of its name. The cause is that the ancient authors took many stones for Aquamarine due to their similarity. Thus, Boethius and Saint Jerome described Chrysolite. Pliny, most likely, confused Topaz and Aquamarine. But, in fact, Aquamarine is a variety of Beryl of sea-blue color with a greenish tint.
History & Legends
The story of this gemstone starts in Brazil. It came to the European markets from this country. The Aquamarines that appeared in Europe were cut and sold by weight. But the most ancient sources tell us that first Aquamarines arrived from Russia, Dauria district. These mentions we may found in the ancient Chinese treatises. According to them, Russian merchants changed these gems in return for furs. But this might be a delusion as well, given the fact that Russia is famous for its fur trade. So, we assume that rather ancient Russians changed the furs for gemstones. However, taking into account that Dauria locates on the Russian -- Chinese border, both versions have the right to exist. Also worth noting that Aquamarine and Emerald both had the same value for the ancients.
Aquamarine is usually greenish-blue or bluish-green Beryl. Sometimes, its color called Emerald-green. The unique color of this gemstone is due to the presence of a small quantity of chromium in its crystals. Some varieties of Aquamarine also have yellowish-blue color. That's why jewelers call them Golden Beryl. Therefore, we may consider Golden Beryl as March Birthstone as well.
Magical & Healing Properties
Due to its similarity of the color of sea water, the ancients believed that gemstone capable of protecting man against troubles offshore. Therefore, Aquamarine served an amulet for sailors. In the Middle Ages, humans thought that Aquamarine gives its wearer an ability to discover the third eye, and thus the sense of foresight and insight. These people who wear this gem were able to keep a proper balance between heart and mind. In a nutshell, it was marked as a forecast stone. In the 17th century, women used Aquamarine for divination. The Medieval authors also called it "sweet-tempered stone."
The method was as follows: a ring containing Aquamarine handed on a thread above a bowl filled with water. The edges of the bowl resembled a clock face, were written the letters instead of numbers. The ring was oscillating from side to side until stopping upon a particular letter. People believed that this way the gemstone contacted the spirits who answered the questions. Aquamarine referred to Pisces Birthstone. It also may be worn together with Narcissus, a birth flower for March.