March Birthstones | Aquamarine and Bloodstone Gemstones
For the lucky people with March birthdays, two birthstones are associated with this early spring month: aquamarine and bloodstone.
Both gemstones are very different from one another in appearance, but each share a similar symbolism of preserving or enhancing the health of the wearer. Learn more about each March birthstone by browsing the links below.
The serenely colored aquamarine invokes the tranquility of its namesake, the sea. In fact, the name aquamarine is derived from the Latin word aqua, meaning water, and marina, meaning the sea.
Aquamarine is most often light in tone and ranges from greenish blue to blue-green; the color usually is more intense in larger stones, and darker blue stones are very valuable. This gemstone is mined mainly in Brazil, but also is found in Nigeria, Madagascar, Zambia, Pakistan, and Mozambique.
Like emeralds, this gemstone is a variety of a mineral called beryl. Large gemstones have been found all over the world, including one gemstone found in Brazil that weighed over 240 pounds. Aquamarine grows in large, six-sided crystals that can be up to a foot long, making it a great gemstone to be cut and polished in larger carats for bold statement pieces.
Not only is aquamarine one of the March birthstones, it’s also used to celebrate 19th wedding anniversaries. It’s a beautiful gemstone with little or no yellow in it, so it looks great in many settings with different colored metals and gemstones.
This gemstone was once believed to protect sailors, as well as to guarantee a safe voyage. The serene blue of aquamarine was said to cool the temper, allowing the wearer to remain calm and levelheaded.
In the Middle Ages, many believed that the simple act of wearing aquamarine was a literal antidote to poisoning. The Romans believed that if you carved a frog into a piece of aquamarine jewelry, it would help to reconcile differences between enemies and make new friends.
Still, other historical groups took this lore even further, using aquamarine as gifts to the bride at a wedding to symbolize long unity and love. Some even believed it could re-awaken love between two people.
The Sumerians, Egyptians, and Hebrews all admired aquamarine, and many warriors would wear it into battle to bring about victory. Many ancient medicines used powder from aquamarine to help cure all manner of infection, but it was thought to be particularly good for eye ailments.
Today, fans of aquamarine like it for its cool and tranquil color, and as the perfect complement to any skin tone or setting.
Aquamarine is a beautiful gemstone to purchase for any occasion, especially for someone with a March birthday or is celebrating or re-kindling romantic love. The color ranges from nearly clear to a strong dark blue and is a perfect way to communicate affection, tranquility, and peace.
Like diamonds, aquamarine can be judged along the lines of cut, color, clarity, and carat weight.
First, look at the gemstone’s cut. Since aquamarine can be very lightly colored (and sometimes appear almost colorless), cut is very important to the overall appearance of the gemstone and how saturated or even the color appears.
While you’re welcome to choose the color that most appeals to you, it’s generally accepted that lighter colored aquamarines are less valuable than the stronger, deeper hues of blue or blue green.
Next, look at the gemstone’s clarity. Most cut gems do not have inclusions that are visible, and some rarer or more expensive aquamarines are available without visible inclusions, as well.
Since aquamarine crystals can grow to be quite large, larger cut gemstones are possible to purchase if you're looking to make a statement. Princess Diana had a famous aquamarine ring and bracelet set, and Queen Elizabeth II of England has a breathtaking set of aquamarine jewels that include a large tiara, necklace, earrings, and bracelet.
While you may not be looking to buy in the “crown jewels” range, even smaller aquamarines make for lovely solitaires or companion jewels in larger pieces. And, of course, the symbolism or sentiment behind the purchase can make aquamarine priceless to the wearer.
The second birthstone for March is bloodstone, a dark-green gemstone flecked with vivid red spots of iron oxide. Generally found embedded in rocks or in riverbeds as pebbles, primary sources for this gemstone are India, Brazil, and Australia.
Bloodstone is also called heliotrope, a word from the ancient Greek that means “to turn the sun.” Many believe it was probably named such because of ancient ideas about how minerals reflect light. In fact, some believed that the sun itself would turn red if this stone was put into water.
Bloodstone is sometimes known by another name, Blood Jasper, although it’s actually chalcedony, a cryptocrystalline quartz. There are two forms of bloodstone: one is more transparent (heliotrope) with red spots while the other is more opaque (plasma) and has little or no red spots.
For those looking for good-quality bloodstone, a solid green color with visible veins of red is usually considered the best. It also comes in many shapes and cuts, including traditional cuts like emerald, oval, and cushion.
Bloodstone may not have the overt beauty of aquamarine, but many value this gemstone for its symbolism and other properties.
This ancient gemstone was used by the Babylonians to make seals and amulets, and was believed to have healing powers, especially for blood disorders. It is sometimes called the "martyr's stone", as legend tells that it was created when drops of Christ's blood stained jasper at the foot of the cross.
Many other ancient cultures believed bloodstone had magical powers, with some references to its ability to heal dating back to 5000 BC.
The Babylonians used bloodstone in their divination, and the Egyptians prized bloodstone because they believed it helped them to defeat their enemies. They also believed it increased their strength or made them invisible.
Still, others believed that bloodstone could help control or change the weather, win legal battles or give the gift of prophecy. It was so loved for its properties, many used the gemstone in jewelry, signet rings, and even small cups or statues.
Today, some still wear bloodstone as a lucky charm. No matter how you use or wear bloodstone, it’s a unique gemstone great for everyday wear.
Whether purchasing bloodstone as a gift for a March birthday, or simply wanting to have your own “lucky charm,” it is an affordable way to enjoy a unique gemstone.
The color of bloodstone can range from light to dark green, with subtle or prominent spots or stripes of red or rust. Most gemstones have very distinct light and dark color zones, so you may not want to be on the hunt for an evenly colored bloodstone as this may be a very difficult or impossible task. The color gradient is part of the bloodstone’s distinctive look and unique charm.
Bloodstone can range from translucent to nearly opaque. When cut and polished well, it can have a beautiful shine and luster, though the luster is different than other gemstones and will generally appear smooth or waxy.
Depending on the size of the gemstone, it may be cut with facets into unique or traditional shapes. Smaller gemstones are often cut and polished into beads, and can also appear as a part of carvings, shapes (like hearts), seals or cameos.
Bloodstone looks particularly beautiful as a pendant or a beaded bracelet. Since bloodstone is rife with symbolism and positive properties, many may choose to wear as an everyday piece or small amulet, so be sure that the way it is set and mounted is durable and secure enough for heavier wear.
If you’re looking for bloodstone birthstone jewelry, click here to find a jeweler near you.
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