Unveiling March's Birthstones: Aquamarine and Bloodstone
Ever wonder what gemstones sparkle for those born in the breezy month of the two March birthstones? Whether celebrating a March-born loved one or treating yourself to some gemstone jewelry, knowing the right stones associated with the month is key. Let's dive into the fascinating world of March's dual birthstones.
The Tale of Two Stones: March's Birthstone Duo
Tracing back to times when the exact origins of birthstones were as mysterious as the stones themselves, March's gems have stories to tell. The National Association of Jewelers may have penned the modern list in 1912, but the lore of birthstones stretches back to either the 1st or the 8th century, depending on who you ask.
March boasts not one but two birthstones: the serene aquamarine and the venerable bloodstone. Aquamarine shines as the contemporary choice, while bloodstone holds its ground as the historical counterpart still celebrated today.
Aquamarine Birthstone Meaning & History
Aquamarine: The Serene Sea Stone
Aquamarine is a gemstone as captivating as its name, derived from the Latin words "aqua" meaning water, and "mare" meaning sea. This gemstone's palette of blues and greens reflects the colours of the ocean, ranging from the light blue color of the sky to the deep blue of the sea.
Aquamarine Chemical Composition and Formation
Aquamarine is a variety of beryl, the same mineral family that includes emeralds. Its chemical composition is Be₃Al₂(SiO₃)₆, with traces of iron that give it the blue to blue-green colour. Aquamarine forms in pegmatites, which are large, coarse-grained granitic bodies, and it's often found in association with other minerals like mica and feldspar.
Historical Significance and Mythology
Aquamarine has been cherished for centuries, with a history that dates back to ancient seafarers who believed the gem would calm waves and protect them at sea. The Romans valued aquamarine and believed that carving a frog into an aquamarine would help to reconcile enemies and make them friends. In Medieval times, aquamarine was thought to reawaken the love of married couples.
In crystal healing and metaphysical beliefs, aquamarine is associated with tranquillity, serenity, clarity, and harmony. It's said to be a stone of courage and is believed to help with mental clarity and clear communication. Aquamarine is also considered an excellent stone for meditation, soothing the mind, and allowing the release of old patterns.
Where is Aquamarine Found?
Brazil is renowned for its aquamarine mines, particularly in the states of Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo. The gemstone is also found in other countries, including Nigeria, Madagascar, Zambia, Pakistan, and Mozambique. In the United States, Colorado is known for yielding high-quality aquamarine, and it's even designated as the state gemstone.
Bloodstone Birthstone Meaning & History
Bloodstone, also known as heliotrope, is a captivating gemstone steeped in history and lore. It's a variety of chalcedony, which is a form of quartz and is distinguished by its dark green colour with speckles of red, which are caused by iron oxide impurities, often resembling spots of blood—hence the name.
Bloodstone Composition and Appearance
The primary colour of bloodstone is a deep, rich green that can range from very dark to a lighter, more subtle hue. The red spots are typically scattered across the stone, giving each piece a unique pattern. Some bloodstones may also have yellow or white inclusions, adding to their distinctiveness.
Historical Significance and Mythology
Bloodstone carries a weighty historical and cultural significance. It has been used in jewelry and carved objects since ancient times. In the Middle Ages, the red spots were thought to be the blood of Christ, which supposedly dripped onto the green earth and solidified into stone. This association with blood has given the stone connotations of vitality, strength, and courage.
Bloodstone Metaphysical Properties
In crystal healing and metaphysical belief, bloodstone is associated with numerous healing properties. It's considered a powerful healing stone that can purify and detoxify the body. Bloodstone is also believed to heighten intuition and increase creativity. It's said to be grounding and protecting, giving courage to face life's challenges with resilience and strength.
Cultural and Artistic Use
Throughout history, bloodstone has been carved into seals, amulets, and small sculptures. It was particularly popular during the Renaissance for carving Christian scenes, especially those involving martyrdom and sacrifice, due to the symbolism of the red inclusions.
In modern times, bloodstone remains a gemstone that can offer a touch of historical intrigue and natural beauty to the everyday jewelry of those who wear it. Its associations with strength and vitality continue to make it a meaningful gift and a treasured addition to any jewelry collection.
Where is Bloodstone Found?
The best-quality bloodstones are typically sourced from India, but they are also found in Brazil, China, Australia, and the United States. The traditional Indian bloodstones are often regarded as the most valued due to their deep green colour with pronounced red spots.
WHAT IS THE MARCH BIRTHSTONE COLOR?
March boasts two distinct birthstone hues: the serene blues and greens of transparent aquamarine, reminiscent of the sea, and the rich, opaque green of bloodstone, often speckled with dramatic red. While aquamarine varies from sky blue to seafoam, bloodstone may also feature yellow or orange tints, sometimes leading it to be categorized among fancy jaspers.
MARCH BIRTHSTONE JEWELRY
Aquamarine is a popular choice for jewelry, especially as a centrepiece for rings, necklaces, and earrings. It's a relatively hard gemstone, ranking 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale, which makes it durable enough for everyday wear. Its clarity and range of sizes also make it a versatile stone for both statement pieces and more delicate, intricate designs.
Aquamarine's allure lies not just in its beauty but also its storied past and the sense of calm and clarity it's believed to bestow. Whether set in a pendant that catches the light or a ring that's worn daily, aquamarine continues to be a cherished gemstone for its durability, beauty, and the touch of sea-swept mystery it brings to any piece of jewelry.
Bloodstone can be cut into cabochons or faceted, and it's often used in men's signet rings, as well as in pendants, earrings, and cufflinks. The stone's hardness of 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale makes it durable enough for various types of jewelry. However, it's not typically seen in mainstream jewelry stores as often as other gemstones, which can make it a unique and distinctive choice.
March Birthstone Care and Maintenance
To care for aquamarine jewelry, avoid exposure to heat and harsh chemicals, which can damage the stone. Cleaning should be done with warm, soapy water and a soft brush. Ultrasonic and steam cleaners are usually safe for aquamarine, but it's always best to consult a professional jeweller before using these methods.
To care for bloodstone jewelry, it's recommended to clean it with a soft cloth and soapy water. Avoid harsh chemicals and prolonged exposure to sunlight, which can fade the stone's colour. Bloodstones should also be stored away from other gemstones to prevent scratches.
Synthetics and Treatments
It's important to note that aquamarine can be treated to enhance its colour. Heat treatment is common and typically permanent, turning greenish-blue stones into a more desirable pure blue stone. There are also synthetic versions on the market, so when purchasing aquamarine, it's advisable to seek reputable dealers who can provide certificates of authenticity.
It's relatively uncommon for bloodstone to be treated or enhanced, which means that most bloodstone jewelry features the dark green gemstone mostly in its natural state. However, as with any gemstone purchase, it's wise to buy from reputable dealers who can provide information about the stone's origins and any treatments it may have undergone.
STONES SIMILAR TO THE MARCH BIRTHSTONES
There are a few stones that can look similar to aquamarine. Blue Apatite is a reasonably close match, while blue zircon and blue topaz can resemble aquamarine if it's on the lighter-hued side. You might occasionally find blue tourmaline gemstones with similar colouring, though they tend to be darker and greener than the aquamarine March birthstone.
On the spendy end of the spectrum, blue diamonds may have a look similar to aquamarine. However, due to their rarity, they are incredibly expensive.
Bloodstone doesn't have as many close matches. While some other pieces of jasper can have a similar look, that's commonly about it. Amazonite, aventurine, jade, and malachite can have the right deep dark green color but don't have red spots or veining. The veining in gaspeite can look red, but the green colour of the stone is usually too bright, coming in closer to an apple or lime green.
Luckily, while bloodstone isn't as widely used in jewelry as aquamarine, pieces featuring the stone aren't usually overly expensive. As a result, getting a genuine article is affordable for many shoppers.
March Birthstone FAQs
What is the original birthstone for March?
The original birthstone for March is believed to be bloodstone, according to historical listings. Bloodstone, with its distinctive dark green colour with red spots, has been associated with March since ancient times. Aquamarine was the second birthstone added and is now considered the primary modern birthstone for the month.
What Zodiac is aquamarine gem?
Aquamarine is associated with the Zodiac sign Pisces, typically covering February 19 to March 20. Some also link it to Aries, which starts on March 21, due to its position as a March birthstone.
Is aquamarine a good luck stone?
Aquamarine has long been considered a stone of good luck and protection. Sailors, in particular, would carry aquamarine to ensure a safe and prosperous journey across stormy seas. In broader metaphysical contexts, it's thought to bring good luck and a happy marriage.
Who should wear bloodstone?
Bloodstone is often recommended for athletes or those who engage in physical activity due to its association with vitality, endurance, and strength. It's also suggested for anyone who desires to ground themselves or requires courage to face challenges. Additionally, bloodstone is considered beneficial for those born in March or those who have an affinity for the stone's historical or spiritual significance.
Who should not wear bloodstone?
There are no specific guidelines suggesting who should not wear bloodstones. Since believing in gemstones' metaphysical properties is personal and not scientifically substantiated, it's more about personal preference and belief systems. If someone feels uncomfortable or negatively reacts to the stone, they might choose not to wear it.
What stone works well with bloodstone?
Bloodstone pairs well with other grounding stones like smoky quartz and black tourmaline, which can amplify its protective qualities. It also complements jaspers and agates, which share a similar earthy energy. For those looking to balance bloodstone's intense energy, pairing it with calming stones like rose quartz or amethyst can create a harmonious balance.
Remember, the use of gemstones is deeply personal and can vary greatly depending on individual beliefs and preferences. Whether for their historical significance, aesthetic appeal, or personal meaning, choosing a birthstone is a unique expression of identity.