Aquamarine and Bloodstone - Birthstones for March
Aquamarine is one of the birthstone’s for March and is the gemstone associated with the 19th Wedding Anniversary.
A beautiful subtle blue colour, the aquamarine was so named after the Latin word ‘Aqua’, for water, and from ‘Mare’ or ‘Marina’ for the sea.
Throughout history there has been a strong connection with aquamarine and the sea. The ancients believed that the gemstone was brought up from the depths of the oceans in the jewel caskets of sirens.
The Greeks carried amulets carved with Poseidon on a chariot, the Greek God of the sea, into aquamarine.
Because of this strong connection with the sea, it became the sailor’s gemstone. It was said to help protect sailors and used to ensure a safe journey.
With the promise of calm waters at sea that came with this gemstone, and the symbolism between water and our emotions, it is easy to extrapolate how this gemstone was later used and believed to calm anger and emotions. It is used with the Tarot and during meditation by some to evoke tranquility.
In ancient times there was a strong influence of Aquamarine being used as protection against poisoning. This evolved from the Romans carving a frog shape from an Aquamarine crystal as they believed it could repair relationships with enemies, to later being carried into battle to try to ensure victory.
It was used to rekindle love between two people and was given as a wedding present for loyalty and unity and is a lovely stone to give for an anniversary.
Aquamarine stone was used as glasses for shortsightedness in Germany and the German word for glasses is ‘brille’ from the word beryl, the mineral which makes up Aquamarine!
The colour of Aquamarine is a pale blue, which we think only adds to its elegance and allure. But it can actually range from a pale blue colour, to deeper blue and even a green-blue. The darker shades are rare and, consequently, are sought after and more valuable.
Aquamarine is mainly mined in Brazil but also is found in Madagascar, Nigeria, Zambia, Mozambique and Pakistan.
It grows as six-sided crystals and can grown into long crystals, hence it can often be seen as large stones. It is a beryl crystal and the depth of colour comes from the degree of iron it contains. It contains little yellow tones, so regularly used in jewellery alongside other coloured gemstones which compliment it perfectly.
Bloodstone is a distinctive dark green stone, speckled with red spots and veins which are actually iron oxide. Bloodstone is often graduated in colour, trying to find an evenly coloured stone can be very difficult.
It is a form of silica quartz – a form of quartz which form a lump from masses of tiny crystals – it is actually a green Chalcedony. The are often found in riverbeds and within rock from Austrailia, Brazil and India.
Folklore said the stone was created by drops of Christ’s blood on the cross staining a jasper stone at his feet – because of this is was called the Martyr’s stone. Indeed one of the most famous carving of bloodstone was a carving by Matteo del Nassaro in 1525 entitled, “The Descent of the Cross”. It depicted Christ on the Cross and was designed in such a was as the red spots in the stone depicted drops of Christ’s blood falling.
It has since been used in many religious carvings and has proved a popular stone for seals, cameos, amulets, and men’s signet rings.
Throughout history there was a lot of meaning attached to Bloodstone, including it helping to defeat enemies in battle or in court. Known as an “enabler” stone it was believed it would bring to fruition the wishes of the wearer. The Egyptian’s even believed that it made them invisible as well as stronger. Indeed still today some athletes carry it in an amulet believing it makes them stronger.
Bloodstone has been ground and the powder used for blood ailments (this is supposedly still done in India). It was believed that holding a piece of bloodstone would stop nosebleeds. Mixed with honey and egg whites it was used to cure tumours and stop bleeding and was used to extract the poison from snake bites.
March Birthstone Jewellery
Aquamarine is often set in 9ct or 19ct gold and looks particularu attractive set in white gold. We have many aquamarine rings and a few necklaces and pendants. Bloodstone is a very rare bead and difficult to find a nice selection of jewellery in which it is used. Many pieces made specifically for a March birthday seem to incorporate other stones, for instance blue topaz instead of aquamarine, for the similarity in colour. See a full selection of March Birthstone jewellery on our website here.