The Diamond Pro

March Birthstones: Aquamarine and Bloodstone

By Michael Fried

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March Birthstone Aquamarine Ring with 'Mar'

The March birthstone is aquamarine and boasts of a rich color that has long been viewed as a symbol of both youth and hope. Its color ranges from a pale to deep blue that is very reminiscent of the sea which is a nod to all you Pisces. It is also the perfect color to celebrate the spring and summer months.

Aquamarine Symbolism and Meaning

The cool blue and blue-green colors of this gemstone evoke the beauty of a calm sea. That sense of tranquility inspired more than one ancient civilization to imbue aquamarine with the powers of healing and relaxation. Europeans in the Middle Ages thought it could save someone who had been poisoned. Others ground the stone into powder to cure all sorts of ailments and diseases.

Coming from the Latin aqua marinus, meaning “water of the sea,” aquamarine was a natural talisman to protect seafarers and served as an exquisite adornment for mermaids. Seers also associated aquamarine with the moon, perhaps connecting the lunar orbit, the tides and this gem of the sea.

New Age believers continue to cultivate the meditative powers of aquamarine, which is said to bring about harmony. It is connected to the throat chakra, soothing the fear of speaking and allowing the speaker to express their truth and wisdom.

Aquamarine was once a traditional bridal gift, symbolizing life-long love. Some believe it can also rekindle lost love.

Aquamarine Color

This March birthstone is made of beryllium and aluminum silicate and comes from the beryl mineral family, same as emeralds. The difference in colors is based on the other minerals present when the gem forms. In effect, iron gives aquamarine its blue or cyan shades. The gemstone comes in a variety of hues, from nearly transparent to bluebird sky. The deeper blues are deemed more valuable. Light-colored stones are more common, while some rare specimens will exhibit a cat-eye effect that is particularly stunning for pendants.

It’s a hard stone, scoring between 7.5 and 8 on the Mohs scale of hardness, with hexagon-shaped crystals. The crystals can grow to be quite large, which can be cut into impressive pieces fit for a queen. In fact, Queen Elizabeth II has a set of aquamarine jewels that include a diamond-and-aquamarine brooch.

Aquamarine march's birthstone on the mohs scale of hardness compared to diamonds

Aquamarine Origins

Aquamarine is found throughout the world in mountainous regions. Brazil is a noted producer of this gemstone, and the largest aquamarine stone of quality was discovered there more than a century ago, weighing about 240 pounds. Pakistan has a reputation for producing high-quality aquamarine, but it can also be found in the United States, Colombia and in parts of Africa, including Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya.

Tips for Buying Aquamarine Birthstone Jewelry

Aquamarine happens to be one of the most popular semi-precious stones in existence and for good reason. This gemstone belongs to the beryl family which is also where the emerald is from. While aquamarine is the birthstone for March, it is also the gemstone typically gifted to celebrate sixteenth and nineteenth year anniversaries.

When purchasing aquamarine stones, you will want to first consider the color of the stone. The color is the most important factor when choosing these gemstones. The deeper the color of the stone, the more valuable it will be.

Pay close attention to the intensity of the color as well. A valuable aquamarine stone will have a pure, almost clear blue appearance.

Aquamarine stones are also great in smaller sizes and can be used as a brilliant way to adorn and accent a much larger center stone on a ring.

Most aquamarine stones are clean and lack any visible inclusions or imperfections. Examine the stone and make sure of this before you purchase, so you know you will be buying a stone with good transparency and clarity.

Cleaning and Caring for Your Aquamarine Birthstone Jewelry

The aquamarine jewelry will always last much longer when it is properly cared for. This means using only warm water and soap to clean the stones. If you use any other method, you will want to be completely sure there are no inclusions because other cleaning methods, such as steam cleaning, can damage the stone if there are inclusions.

You will also want to keep aquamarine stones out of extreme heat and keep them from extended amounts of light exposure to help retain their color.

Bloodstone: Secondary Birthstone

March’s other birthstone, bloodstone, is also associated with healing powers. It has been called the Martyr’s Stone or Christ’s Stone, as legend has it that blood from Jesus Christ flowed onto some jasper during the crucifixion, forever staining it crimson. The ancient Greeks called it by another name: heliotrope, meaning sunstone, for the way it reflects light. The Babylonians used it to make seals and amulets, with other references and bloodstone artifacts, such as decorative vessels, dating back 5,000 years.

Bloodstone is a variety of quartz. Color can range from light to dark green, with splashes of rusty red, like looking into a molten lava lake. Others may have yellow inclusions or almost no color at all. It rates 6.5 to 7.0 on the Mohs scale of hardness and runs the gamut from translucent to nearly opaque. It can be polished to a high luster, with an appearance that can be described as waxy.

Large stones are not uncommon, making bloodstones more affordable than other gems. They are found all over the world, from California to China. Its size and color make it particularly appealing for men’s rings, while its spiritual associations make it a popular stone for religious items like crucifixes and for alternative healing purposes.

Purchasing Bloodstone Birthstone Jewelry

Bloodstone is a semi-precious stone most commonly associated with Christianity and is said to carry healing powers. Before you buy bloodstone jewelry, it is important to examine the stones closely so as not to be misled into purchasing something that is not genuine.

One of the biggest characteristics to look for when it comes to bloodstones is the brightness and how well it shines. This is also a good indication of whether it is a natural gemstone. Bloodstone is typically opaque and nonporous so you will very rarely take much time considering the clarity of the gemstones.

Bloodstone is best complimented by yellow gold or sterling silver to really make the darker and richer color of the stone stand out. It makes a beautiful pendant piece and can be cut into several different shapes to adorn any type of ring.

Bloodstone jewelry with sterling silver or gold metal makes the perfect jewelry accessory for people of all ages and is an affordable birthstone jewelry option to consider if you or your loved one’s birthday falls during the month of March.

Fun Facts

  • Aquamarine jewelry is a traditional gift for 18th and 19th (primary) wedding anniversaries, while bloodstone is favored for the 14th wedding anniversary.
  • The official stone of Colorado is aquamarine.
  • Celebrities certainly favor aquamarine for its stunning color and style, but perhaps none is more well known than Princess Diana, who owned an exquisite aquamarine and diamond ring.
  • David Beckham favors gemstones, including the bloodstone, which he may wear for its reputation to promote physical endurance.

Gift Ideas

Jewelry made from aquamarine is chic and stylish. Anyone with a March birthday—or born any time of the year—would be pleased to own this shiny gem in any setting, but here we’ll highlight a few options.

The size and cut of aquamarine is similar to that of a diamond, making it an excellent choice for a ring.  This light-colored aquamarine stone set in white gold is as simple as it is beautiful.

Aquamarine rings seem to shine especially bright when matched with diamonds. You could be bold and choose an aquamarine gem encircled by diamonds as an engagement ring. And here’s a similarly elegant twist on the same theme.

Aquamarine and diamonds pair equally well with these white gold pendants:

As well as these studded earrings:

About the author
Mike learned the diamond business from the ground-up at Leo Schachter Diamonds - one of the world's top diamond manufacturers. He has been recognized as a diamond industry expert by Time, PeopleMoney, The Daily Mirror, NerdWallet, The Times Herald, Yahoo Finance Australia, The Art of Charm, The Washington Diplomat, The Next Web, and more. See more
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