March celebrates “The Wearing of the Green”, a tradition observed by many, Irish or not, to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Wearing green is a statement of Irish pride, but even those with no connection at all to Ireland get in the spirit. Will you be wearing green this year? Hat, scarf, sweater, maybe green socks? Actually, here’s a better idea. How about emeralds! What better way to celebrate the Emerald Isle than by “wearin’ the green” of the perfect gemstone. Aquamarine, the birthstone for March, is another good choice. In fact, it’s actually from the same mineral family as Emeralds, and is another way to let your green shine through!
Empire Loan’s pawn shops in NH and Massachusetts always have a great selection of emerald and aquamarine jewelry for sale. But what does a consumer need to know about these beautiful stones? Here’s a little background. Emeralds are actually the traditional birthstone for the month of May but the association with the Emerald Isle of Ireland has made the stone very popular with the Irish culture. Emeralds may be appraised using the same standards used for other gemstones like diamonds: cut, color; clarity and carat. Emeralds can be round, brilliant cut, marquis, princess, emerald cut or any other typical style. The carat weight or size of the stone can also have a wide range. The color of an Emerald can range from a yellow-green to a blue-green hue, with the medium to dark stones being the ideal. Emeralds tend to have numerous inclusions and fissures that are considered “imperfections”. Because the imperfections are visible in the stone, unlike diamonds, they tend to be graded by eye. As with diamonds, the fewer the imperfections, the more valuable the stone.
As we mentioned, the traditional birthstone for March, the Aquamarine, is in the same mineral family as Emeralds. Aquamarine takes its name from the Latin word, meaning “Water of the Sea”. The name is a good description of the stone’s ethereal color — blue or turquoise. Like most gemstones, the Aquamarine comes in many shapes (cuts) and sizes (carat weight). Unlike Emeralds, Aquamarines tends to have excellent clarity and few inclusions, with an almost glass-like luster. Also unlike its softer relative, the Emerald, an Aquamarine is an extremely hard and durable gemstone. Aquamarines range from a very light blue to a darker blue-green color. The more saturated the color and the darker the blue in an aquamarine, the more desirable it is. While they are found all over the world, Brazil is the number one producer of Aquamarines.
With a little background about these beautiful March stones, you’ll know what to look for. Come into any of Empire Loan’s pawn shops in NH and MA and check out our great selection of Emerald and Aquamarine jewelry. Whether you wear these beautiful gems on St. Patrick’s Day, or other special occasions, you’ll wear them with pride.