This article is a reprint from AGS, originally published here.
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 jewelry 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.
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 gemstone 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 gems, 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.