Aquamarine and bloodstone, March’s two birthstones, are very different when it comes to appearance, but they share a similar reputation for protecting one’s well-being.
The aquamarine birthstone evokes the colors of the sea. From deep green-blue to light, slightly greenish blue hues, faceted aquamarines are often free from inclusions and as clear as water, symbolizing purity of spirit and soul. The bloodstone birthstone is typically a dark-green cabochon that contains red spots of iron oxide, the “blood” that brings health and strength to the wearer
Aquamarine’s name comes from the Latin for seawater, and ancient mariners claimed the gem would calm waves and keep sailors safe at sea. This March birthstone was also thought to bring happiness in marriage. Beryl was believed to give the wearer protection against foes in battle and litigation. It was also thought to make the wearer unconquerable and amiable, and to quicken the intellect.
The Brazilian state of Minas Gerais has been an important source of aquamarine for the past two centuries.
Aquamarine is also found high in the Karakorum foothills of Pakistan.
Aquamarine birthstones are also mined in Kenya, Madagascar, Nigeria, Zambia and Mozambique, as well as elsewhere in Africa. U.S. sources include the Mount Antero area of Colorado (it’s the state gem) and California’s Riverside and San Diego counties. In addition, aquamarine has been found in China, Myanmar, Russia and Ukraine, among other countries.
With a hardness of 7.5–8 on the Mohs scale, this March birthstone is durable enough for everyday wear.
Bloodstone, also known as heliotrope, is a variety of chalcedony (cryptocrystalline quartz) that is traditionally semi-translucent to opaque dark green jasper with red inclusions of iron oxides, especially hematite.
Several metaphysical properties have been attributed to this March birthstone. They include increasing strength, giving invisibility, and preserving health and youth.