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The Meaning of March’s Birthstones

White gold aquamarine signet ring

The third month of the year has two birthstones, and both reflect March’s qualities – a month that can include dark days of late winter but also the whimsy of spring. There’s no better fit for correlating gemstones than the depth of bloodstone and the light, airy vibe of aquamarine.

What is the March birthstone?

March has two birthstones, and they couldn’t be more different. Aquamarine is the color of the sea, a clear turquoise color suggesting springtime. Bloodstone is opaque and dark green with red spots of iron oxide. Let’s dig into the history of these gemstones that honor the month of March and those born in March.

Aquamarine Birthstone History & Symbolism

If the beautiful blue color of aquamarine reminds you of the sea, its name should as well. The March birthstone aquamarine comes from the Latin words for water and sea. The specific name aquamarine was first published in 1609 by gemologist Anselmus de Boodt in his Gemmarum et Lapidum Historia.

The legends of aquamarine are as colorful as the gemstone itself. Ancient Romans thought that if a frog was carved into an aquamarine, it would turn enemies into friends. Another Roman legend told that the gemstone would absorb the feelings of young love and bring that bliss to its wearer. Ancient Greeks thought that aquamarine would bring safe passage through stormy seas.

Aquamarine is also a charm for marriages. It was used by couples of the Middle Ages to bring loving feelings back to marriages, but they also thought wearing aquamarine would make knights invincible.

In more recent times, aquamarine has been a gift from husbands to their brides the day after their wedding. Aquamarine is also used to celebrate 19th wedding anniversaries. If the gemstone’s powers don’t work as a love charm, aquamarine’s beauty will.

The powers of aquamarine support good health, cleansing, and clarity. These stones are also said to promote justice, compromise, quiet strength, and negotiations. Aquamarines can also encourage open conversation.

Where is Aquamarine Found?

Large aquamarines are found around the world, including in Pakistan’s Karakoram Mountains. One that weighs more than 240 pounds was found in Brazil. These six-sided crystals can grow up to a foot long. Since large aquamarines are more easily found than other stones, they can become the centerpiece of statement jewelry pieces.

Value of the Aquamarine Birthstone

Like emerald, aquamarine is a type of beryl. Aquamarine is usually light in color, ranging in tone from blue and green. Larger aquamarines are usually deeper in color. The deeper the blue of an aquamarine, the more valuable it is.

Though aquamarine is not considered a precious gemstone, it can be quite valuable. Deeply colored large aquamarines of more than three carats could be worth over $1,500. Stones of two to three carats are usually worth more than $1,000. Smaller aquamarines that tend to be lighter in color can be worth $500 to $675 depending on their size.

Aquamarine Birthstone Cleaning and Care Tips

The best way to keep an aquamarine looking its best is to keep it clean. Using warm, soapy water and a soft-bristled toothbrush, gently clean your aquamarines and aquamarine jewelry (as long as it’s set with solid gold or silver, that is). Rinse the soap away with warm water and dry with a soft cloth.

Bloodstone Birthstone History & Symbolism

The other March birthstone, bloodstone, also has a storied past. If aquamarine suggests March’s bright blue spring skies, bloodstone shows the dark and dramatic side of March with its streaks of red against dark green.

Also known as heliotrope, a blend of Greek words that translate to “sun turning,” bloodstone reminded people in ancient times of the deep red of a setting sun. One legend of bloodstone is that the first heliotrope was created when Christ’s blood touched it. The jasper at the foot of the cross was then turned into bloodstone. Because of this, bloodstone is said to carry spiritual powers.

Medieval Christians would carve crucifixion scenes into bloodstones because of this symbolism. It’s also referred to as the martyrs’ stone. Since Lent is often during March, the religious symbolism can make bloodstone jewelry a meaningful gift on a March birthday or for Easter. In more recent times, a bloodstone carved with the seal of German Emperor Rudolf II was added to the collections at the Louvre.

These gemstones are said to promote purity, strength, and protection. Their red streaks are said to provide healing for blood-related disorders. Sleeping while wearing a bloodstone is said to bring clear and vivid dreams as well as protection.

Where is Bloodstone Found?

A form of chalcedony, bloodstone is found in India, Brazil, China, Australia, the Czech Republic, Russia, Germany, Scotland, and the United States.

You can easily spot the difference between natural and manufactured bloodstone. A natural bloodstone will leave a red mark if rubbed on porcelain.

Like aquamarine, bloodstone can be cut into many shapes including cabochon, emerald, cushion, octagonal, round, and oval.

Value of the Bloodstone Birthstone

Bloodstones are relatively affordable among gemstones. The color and number of red streaks in a bloodstone factor in its value. The artistry in a piece of bloodstone jewelry or a bloodstone carving can also influence the value of bloodstones.

Bloodstone Birthstone Cleaning and Care Tips

While bloodstones are sturdy stones and can be mechanically cleaned, they are easy to clean with a little warm water, mild detergent, and a soft-bristled brush.

March Birthstone Facts

Here are more facts to add to the intriguing backgrounds of the birthstones of March:

  1. Aquamarine is so clear that it was used to correct vision before the invention of modern eyeglasses. Legend holds that Emperor Nero in Ancient Rome wore the first aquamarine eyewear.
  2. The Aztecs used bloodstone as a treatment to regulate blood flow.
  3. Heat can permanently change the color of aquamarine, changing it from seafoam green to light blue. Since that sky blue color is popular, some aquamarines are treated with high heat.
  4. Powdered bloodstone is believed to be an aphrodisiac in India.
  5. Legends say aquamarine would bring sailors good fortune and prompt mermaids to give them good sailing weather.
  6. Ancients believed that bloodstone could control the weather, bring thunder and lightning, and turn the sun red.
  7. Aquamarine is the state gemstone of Colorado since the stone has been mined there since the late 1800s.
  8. Warriors would wear bloodstones to protect them from evil and stop any battle wounds from bleeding.
  9. Aquamarines and emeralds are both members of the beryl family of gemstones. In addition to these green beryl stones, beryl also comes in red, pink, yellow, colorless goshenite, and pink-red pezzottaite.
  10. Bloodstones promote calm and are said to boost confidence and clarity of vision while reducing anxiety. These qualities tie into the tranquility in the deep green hues of bloodstones.

March Birthstone FAQs

What are the birthstones for March?

March has two official birthstones, aquamarine and bloodstone, but other gemstones including jasper, jade, and siva-linga are also traditional birthstones for March. In ancient calendars, jasper was the stone related to Aries, a sign that lands partially in March.

In Tibetan calendars, jade is the traditional March birthstone, while in Hindu culture, the sacred gold siva-linga stone relates to March. Siva-linga is so sacred that it is rarely carved into jewelry.

What is the March birthstone color?

Aquamarines are as clear and blue as a spring sky or a blue-green like the waters of the ocean. Bloodstones are dark green with streaks of red.

Final Thoughts

Which of March’s birthstones do you prefer? Aquamarine or bloodstone? Let us know on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, or in the comments section below!

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The Meaning of March’s Birthstones - Brilliant Earth Blog