Those born in March have it made when it comes to gemstones. They are fortunate enough to get to choose from either stunning and vibrant aquamarine or dark and mysterious bloodstone for their March birthstones. Both stones signify the month of March, but that is perhaps all that they have in common.
The March Birthstone Aquamarine: A Stone of the Seas
While aquamarine doesn't come from the sea, it is associated with the blue ocean waters in just about every other way. The name of the stone translates to water and sea and the color, which ranges from pale blue to deep blue-green, is representative of the crystal clear ocean waters located throughout the world. The lore and legend surrounding the March birthstone is also heavily tied to marine life and water.
The Legend of Aquamarine
According to legend, the Romans of ancient times believed aquamarines washed ashore from the sea after falling from jewel boxes that belonged to the sirens. They believed these beautiful gemstones were sacred to the God of the sea, Neptune.
Throughout history, sailors believed that this stone could protect them from any harm that might befall them while out on the open sea waters.
Many people believe that wearing an aquamarine gemstone provides courage and sharpens the mind. Some also believe this magnificent-looking gemstone cures laziness and brings happiness to the wearer. In ancient times people believed aquamarine gems provided everlasting youth. The Romans also believed in the stone's power to cure ailments such as liver, stomach, and throat disease.
The Value of Aquamarine
The value of aquamarine largely depends on the hue of the stone and the clarity of the gem. Typically, stones with a darker, richer blue color will be more valuable and highly sought after. An inclusion-free-cut stone is also going to demand a high price compared to a flawed gem.
Mining of Aquamarine
Brazil has long been the go-to spot for aquamarine mining, and the Santa Maria aquamarine, pulled from this part of the world, might be thought of as the King of Aquamarine. Other parts of the world have recently been noted for their aquamarine mining, including Kenya, Zambia, Nigeria, and other parts of Africa. China and Myanmar are hotspots on the continent of Asia, and Russia and Ukraine produce an abundance of aquamarine in Europe. Colorado, located in the Western part of the United States, is also a major player in the aquamarine mining game.
Bloodstone: A March Birthstone Rival
Aquamarine's stone sister is the dramatic bloodstone. This stone, first known as the sunstone, then as Christ's Stone, but now commonly known as heliotrope, is nothing like the famous, delicate aquamarine. Bloodstone is dark green in color with bright red flecks interwoven throughout the stone. The stone's color comes from jasper, and inclusions of red hematite create the red spattering effect.
A Stone Steeped in Lore
Many stones and gems have a rich history regarding folklore and tales, and bloodstone is no exception. Some people in the Middle Ages believed that the red specks in the stone were the blood of Jesus Christ and that the stone thus contained amazing powers. It was also believed that bloodstone offered clairvoyance health benefits and possessed the ability to cease bleeding simply by touch to the skin.
First-century magicians thought the stone had the ability to make them invisible, and 4th-century folklore referenced the stone's ability to create a solar eclipse and bring on elements of powerful storms.
Healing Powers of Bloodstone
Bloodstones have been long believed to release toxins from the body, encourage better immunity, and alleviate woes with the liver, spleen, blood, bladder, and kidneys. The stone has also been associated with increased fertility, healthy hormonal balances, and is even thought by some to combat miscarriage.
The Value of Bloodstone
High-quality bloodstone is quite rare, partly due to the location of major mining and uses for the stone in certain parts of the world. Major mining in India has depleted sources, and much of the bloodstone pulled from this region is crushed up and used for various medicinal purposes.
In looking at a high-quality bloodstone, one will want to consider the color of the jasper. This green should be bright and solid. A high-quality bloodstone should also have easily visible red specks included within the stone. Stones with minimal red flecks, no flecks, or light red streaks are of less value when compared to stones, including the greenish stone contrasted with red spots.
Mining of Bloodstone
Bloodstone is found throughout several parts of the world, where it is heavily mined. Large deposits of bloodstone can be found in portions of the United States, Brazil, China, and Madagascar. India has long had bloodstone quarries as well, and most mining has historically been concentrated in this region.
Choose Your Favorite
The beautiful March birthstone, aquamarine, is an elegant gemstone with blue hues that rival those found in nature. Its sister-stone, bloodstone, is a unique alternative for those with a March birthday. March is a unique month in that both of the stones attributed to it are so vastly different in just about every way possible.