Aquamarine is March's birthstone. Aquamarine is a type of beryl that is blue, and naturally comes in shades from pale blue to deep aqua. Other types of beryl include emerald, morganite, and golden beryl. All beryl, including aquamarine, have a hardness of 7.5 to 8 on Moh's Hardness scale, and can be transparent (let light pass through), translucent (partially let light pass through), or opaque (do not let light pass through).
In the United States, aquamarine is found in places such as Connecticut, Colorado, and Wyoming. Maine is a hub for American aquamarine, as it is for tourmaline, since beryl and tourmaline both grow in a class of igneous rocks called "pegmatites". I made the necklace above, "Pura", using a large piece of opaque to translucent Maine aquamarine. I just love the shape of this stone, and the peaceful pleasing color. I handmade the setting using eco-friendly recycled sterling silver and a small accent of recycled 18K green gold.
Songo Pond Quarry in Bethel, Maine has produced some very beautiful aquamarine of which I am lucky enough to have a few pieces. Sadly, the owner of the mine passed away last year and I don't think the mine is operating any longer. These are very special, irreplaceable gems and I am looking forward to designing for them. Their color is so lovely - calming and uplifting at the same time. Like a breath of spring!