March—and her birthstone, the Aquamarine—is here! The name Aquamarine was coined in 1677; the clear, aqueous blue gemstone was reminiscent of seawater, or "water" + "from the sea." But the stone had been well-known well before this date. Ancient Romans believed that the gemstone had the power to calm the seas, thus protecting seafarers. In New Age circles, the aquamarine's clear, bright coloration symbolizes youth, purity and happiness. And they are believed to help bring happiness to marriages. Aquamarine is the state gemstone of Colorado.
Aquamarines are the aqua blue variation of the gemstone Beryl. Because they are rather plentiful, aquamarines are not very expensive (unlike the much-rarer beryl variant, the emerald). And enormous aquamarines have been mined; the largest stones have topped 100 pounds and 19" in length. And one last interesting fact about beryl: the first eyeglasses, made in the 13th Century, were made of polished beryl (since glass at that time was not clear enough).
The pair of English Art Deco cufflinks, shown above are finished in white and aquamarine enameling (not the gemstone itself). Click on the photo above to learn more about them.
Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well! Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (www.LEOdesignNYC.com).
We also can be found in Pittsburgh's historic "Strip District" at Mahla & Co. Antiques (www.mahlaantiques.com) or in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (www.antiquecenterofstrabane.com).
Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only). 917-446-4248