March’s Birthstone; Aquamarine

How welcome is  the sight of a crystal clear blue sky after the stormy and dull weather we’ve had a recently? Or the vibrant changing hue of unspoilt sea against sunny clifs and shore line. It lifts our spirits, brightens the day both literally and emotionally. For me, anyway, it makes my day take on a more positive note. 

That same colour, clarity  and freshness can be glimpsed on a miniature scale in March’s birthstone – aquamarine. This pale to mid blue gem is a real tonic to behold.

Aquamarine has long been imbued with some pretty important properties. Dating back to medieval times, the stone was believed to protect the passage of sailors over stormy seas. Back on dry land, it was given the task of ensuring soldiers were invincible, that fading love between married couples was re-ignited, and the wearer was protect against poisoning! No pressure then, for this blue version of Beryllium Aluminium silicate. 

When working with existing stones in old pieces fo jewellery, I often find that aquamarines have dulled due to scratched and abrasions. Again, beaches of their subtle pale colour and extreme clarity, any scratches and matt surfaces can affect their appearance quite dramatically. One very satisfying thing that can be done to restore a dull and damaged stone is to have it re-polished.

The results of a well needed re-polish are quite miraculous. The stone looks as good as new, and ready to go back into it’s original mount. Claws that hold the stone can suffer from wear and tear over the years and get very thin. Usually they can be repaired by adding new tips.  Each claw has to be separately – it is a time consuming, and skilfully demanding labour of love! That said, the end result of a restored pice of jewellery is always breathtaking and extremely rewarding!