March has two birthstones – Aquamarine and Bloodstone. Although they are very different from each other in appearance, they are used for the same purpose of wellness. The color of Aquamarine is exactly like the sea. From pale light blue to dark blue with a greenish hue having almost no inclusion- this gem is as clear as water.
The Bloodstone birthstone is a dark green color with bloody red spots spread all over its surface. It was assumed that these red spots were the blood of Jesus but scientifically these spots are inclusions due to iron oxidation. The spot can vary from red to brown depending upon the oxidation level.
Aquamarine represents the purity of the soul whereas Bloodstone symbolizes strength and health. Both the gemstones are used for the common purpose of enhancing health, strength, protection, and prosperity.
In this article, we are going to discuss some fascinating facts about these two March Birthstones.
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Aquamarine- The Sailor’s Friend
Aquamarine is one of the most sophisticated and charming gemstones of all. It is a crystal clear gem with see-through transparency. Its transparency and clarity especially in bigger sizes are unmatchable. Its subtle blue color gives a gorgeous look to this gemstone.
Aquamarine works best to treat throat, liver, and stomach problems. It also improves the immune system and increases your inner strength.
This precious stone helps to reduce anxiety and stress and makes you confident in decision making.
Meaning & History of Aquamarine
Aquamarine is a combination of two Latin words, ‘aqua’ and ‘marina’. Aqua means ‘water’ and marina means ‘from the sea’. Earlier Greek sailors called this deep blue gemstone ‘the sailor’s friend’ as they claimed that this march birthstone calms down the waves and keeps the mariners safe at sea.
Previously its name was ‘sea-green-beryl’. In some places, it is mentioned that Aquamarine was one of the seven sacred stones kept during the sea journey to ensure a safe return.
Apart from being the birthstone of March, the Aquamarine also is a gemstone gifted on the 19th Wedding Anniversary.
Where is Aquamarine Found?
- The first discovery of Aquamarine has been recorded in the mountains of Siberia.
- A huge amount of deposits were found on this site.
- In 1976 it became the major source of producing the Aquamarine.
- Brazil is also one of the major sources of Aquamarine.
- Apart from the diamond; topaz; gold; and emerald, a large quantity of Aquamarine was also produced in Marambaia Valley.
- Brazil is celebrating its 300th anniversary of producing gemstones.
- Pakistan in Southern Asia is also producing good quality Aquamarine
- Pakistan supplies one of the finest quality of Aquamarine all over the world.
- Miners have to climb up to 3000-4000 meter to get this ‘water clear’ gem
- Some other important sources of Aquamarine are:
- Asia: China and Myanmar
- Africa: Nigeria, Madagascar, and Kenya
- Europe: Russia and Ukraine
- US: Colorado
How is Aquamarine formed?
Aquamarine is found in the volcanic rock magma. When magma cools down and solidifies it becomes a rock. These magma rocks are called pegmatite. Magma is underground so it takes a very long time to cool. During the cooling process of magma rock, some crystals are grown. These rocks have many cracks and slits. Within these cracks, thermal activity forms the crystals of the beryl family. Beryl is an aluminum silicate mineral. When this mineral is mixed with certain amounts of other minerals, it gives many precious and valuable gemstones. Mixing with chromium gives Emerald, with manganese we get Morganite, and finally mixing with iron gives you this beautiful, transparent gemstone called Aquamarine.
Aquamarine is a part of the beryl family. Other members of this family are emerald, morganite, yellow beryl, and many more.
- Aquamarine comes in light blue to dark blue colors with a greenish hue due to the oxidation of iron.
- Brazilian Aquamarine is most often used as a false name for blue topaz.
- Nerchinsk is often confused with Topaz.
- Blue Zircon can be sold by duping people in the name of Siam Aquamarine.
Supposed Benefits of Aquamarine
Aquamarine is the epitome of water. It boosts up the confidence level and makes you feel happy and healthy.
Suitable jewelry for Aquamarine
Aquamarine has a cool blue color that suits any type of jewelry. The hardness of the gem is 7.5 to 8 on Moh’s scale, so it can be used as daily wear jewelry like ring, bracelet, pendant, and earrings. The jewelry should be kept away from harder metals or stones to protect from scratch or break. Due to having higher hardness special care must be taken while storing it with softer stones as its higher hardness can give scratch to other gemstones also. So, always remember to keep the jewelry made with these gemstones in a way to avoid direct contact with other metal or gemstones.
Nowadays some people want an alternative to the diamond as an engagement ring. For them, Aquamarine is the best option for this occasion as this gemstone is beautiful, strong, stylish, and also maintains calmness in the relationship.
Aquamarine Care and Cleaning
Taking care of Aquamarine is pretty simple if you follow some simple yet important points:
- Aquamarine is a strong and durable stone and does not scratch easily. But it is very sensitive to chemicals such as alcohol, ammonia, and acids. So, avoid the chemical wash of this gemstone.
- Keep away from direct sunlight or heat for a longer duration as it fades the shine of color.
- You can clean this gemstone with soapy water with the help of a soft brush to remove the dirt on it. Rinse it with plain water and pat to dry with the help of a soft cloth.
- Ultrasonic cleaner or steamer is not recommended to clean this gem.
- Remove the Aquamarine jewelry or gemstones before doing any physical activities as it causes sweating that can react with the gemstone.
- Always place these precious gemstones in a separate container to prevent from scratch and to give a scratch.
Aquamarine Buying Guide
Consider the following important factors when buying good quality Aquamarine:
The finest and natural shade of Aquamarine is sea blue with maximum transparency and with almost no inclusions. Although the intensity of blue shade is very important in this gemstone, some of the gemologists also prefer the pale or pastel color Aquamarine.
Evenness in color and no visible inclusion are the signs of the best quality gemstones. The intensity of the blue color is a major factor in determining the cost of this March birthstone. Santa Maria and Double Blue are the most valuable Aquamarines.
The color of this gem shows different shades from different angles ranging from dark blue to almost no color. This phenomenon is known as Pleochroism.
Almost all the Aquamarines are eye-clean. It means that there are no inclusions visible in the gemstone. This gemstone represents the seawater so they have high clarity. These gemstones tend to be transparent or very light in color. The Aquamarine with visible inclusion is generally used for cabochons or beads. It can also be used in fancy or stylish carvings.
Aquamarine can be cut into any shape such as oval, round, or any other fancy and stylish cut. Many gem artists use Aquamarine for designer jewelry because of its even color, high clarity, and almost no inclusion. Many gem cutters find it very useful to experiment with various cuts and shapes because of Its big size.
Aquamarine is available in larger sizes. Finest quality gems of 5-25 carats are easily available. Mostly the small size of Aquamarine is pale whereas the large size is dark in color.
Bloodstone- The Miraculous Gemstone
Bloodstone is a dark green color gem with red spots. It was believed that these red spots represent the blood of Jesus. But in reality, it is due to iron oxidation. These spots can be brown or even multicolored. Bloodstone is opaque as against transparent Aquamarine.
Bloodstone has tremendous healing power. It has magical properties. It can even change the weather. Besides, Bloodstone is an effective aphrodisiac, as well. This miraculous gem also has astrological and future telling power. You can feel the spiritual power in this gemstone just by holding it in your hand with closed eyes.
Meaning & History of Bloodstone
Bloodstone is one of the most popular gemstones used by mankind. It is chalcedony quartz. It is also called heliotrope. This name is derived from Greek where bloodstone means sun and red spots are a reflection of the sun in the sea. Its meaning is to ‘turn the sun red’ if you keep this birthstone in the water.
It is semi-translucent to dark green color with inclusions of red color due to iron oxides.
In the 15th and 16th century the delicate and elegant cups, bowls, and beautiful vases generally featured Bloodstones. They are presently displayed in Prado, Louvre, and British Museums.
Where is Bloodstone Found?
Bloodstone is available all over the world. However, the main sources of the bloodstones are listed below:
- India is the main source of Bloodstone.
- It is easily available so it is used in many Ayurvedic medicines.
- It is also available in various parts of Brazil, China, Australia, and the United States.
- Scotland is also one of the prominent sources for Bloodstone
- It is found on the Island of Rum
How is Bloodstone formed?
Similar to the formation of Aquamarine, this magical gem is also formed by the solidifying magma rock.
When this magma rock cools down and gets hard, gas bubbles are formed with some cracks and fissures. When magma hardens into rock, space leftover by gases gets filled with fluids like silica. The solid green color is the result of the presence of Chlorite and Amphibole minerals. The red spot on the surface of the Bloodstones is due to impurities of iron oxide.
When this green colored gem is fully formed it is harder than the surrounding rock. Everything except the Bloodstone in the surrounding is wiped out by wind, rain, and ice. The Bloodstone before collection travels a long journey by flowing with rivers and settling on river beds as pebbles for millions of years.
Bloodstone is of Quartz family. Quartz is a mineral made with a combination of silicon and oxygen. The following are some of the gemstones belonging to this family:
- Large crystals are Amethyst, Citrine, Rose Quartz, and Ametrine.
- These gemstones are transparent to translucent
- Small crystals are Chalcedony.
- These gems are translucent to opaque
- Some similar gems are Agate, Onyx, Jasper, and many more. Each one can be differentiated by the stripes, colors, and patterns on these gemstones.
Supposed Benefits of Bloodstone
As we discussed earlier, Bloodstone has many magical properties. Its healing power is unmatchable in comparison with other gemstones. Including this, it offers many psychological and physiological benefits including:
- Bloodstone gives you the inner strength required to build confidence in you.
- It helps to increase positivity in your approach that indirectly allows you to feel calm and relaxed in any critical situation.
- It re-energizes you if you are feeling depressed or low.
- As it helps to boost self-confidence, it is also helpful when your colleagues, family members, or classmates bully you. You can confidently confront them without any fear.
- It helps to make you feel comfortable in day to day activities and reduces your stress due to lower confidence levels at the workplace.
There are many physiological benefits of this miraculous gemstone including:
- It is very useful for women during pregnancy, delivery, menopause, and other gynecological related issues. It maintains the oxygen level during pregnancy for the proper flow of blood necessary for the proper growth of the baby.
- As its name suggests bloodstone is one of the best gemstones that regulates the blood pressure, maintains proper flow of blood, and removes all impurities of blood through detoxification.
- Bloodstone is also very helpful in the proper functioning of the liver, kidney, and spleen.
- This green color gem promotes healthy bone marrow and also improves the immune system.
Suitable Jewelry for Bloodstone
Bloodstone is a very strong and durable gemstone with a hardness of 6.5 to 7 on Moh’s scale. Earlier it was lavishly used to make earrings, pendants, and amulets.
Nowadays Bloodstone is very popular among men’s jewelry because of its rich green color that sometimes represents a masculine property. It is generally used in domed rings, cufflinks, and other jewelry items.
As bloodstone is available in large sizes it is suitable for stylish jewelry.
This deep green gemstone is not very costly because of its easy availability. That’s why bloodstone is the best gem for beginners in jewelry design.
Bloodstone Care and Cleaning
The hardness of this stone is from 6.5 to 7 which is enough to get scratched by other gemstones or metal and give scratch to other gemstones.
- It is better to keep this beautiful healing stone in a separate container safely.
- You can clean the bloodstone in warm soapy water. Use a small and soft brush to clean any dirt on the gemstone. Rinse thoroughly under water and dry it using a soft cloth.
- Ultrasonic cleaners and steam cleaning are also used to clean other gemstones but it is not recommended for Bloodstone as the color of Bloodstone fades away with overexposure to heat.
- It is highly recommended to remove this gemstone before doing any physical activities such as sports, exercises, household works, and so on.
Bloodstone Buying Guide
The best Bloodstone is a deep green color with visible inclusion of bright red color on the whole surface of the stone. In Hematite this deep green is almost black color covered with red, orange, or sometimes brown spots.
The dark green color of the stone is due to the presence of chlorite mineral with a combination of other minerals. Variation in the quantity of these minerals can also change the green shades of bloodstones.
There are three types of clarity categories of gemstones. These are:
These gemstones allow the light to pass through when you hold the gem in front of the light.
These gemstones allow some light to pass through it but it is not very clear.
These gemstones fully allow the light to pass through and you can see very clearly through it.
Bloodstone can be cut into any shape such as oval, round, and pear outlines. It is best used as a cabochon. As it can be cut into any shape it is useful in stylish jewelry. It is also used as beads. Beads are used to make necklaces, bracelets, etc.
What is special about March Birthstones?
Aquamarine is a transparent blue color gemstone. Its clarity and transparency are very attractive in bigger size gems. It is the dream gemstone of the designers. It can be carved neatly without any risk of breaking. It can be cut into any shapes and being a bigger size gem, the cutter can experiment with the new cuts and shapes. The subtle blue color gives a sophistication or stylish look to this precious gemstone.
The second March Birthstone is Bloodstone which has a very sweet history of jewelry starting with beads to vases and jugs and now stylish domed rings, pendants, and cufflinks. It has many magical healing powers. You can feel the spiritual power of this opaque green gemstone by holding the gemstone in your hand.
The March birthstone Aquamarine looks very pure and clear. It is a very powerful stone that keeps all the impurities away and makes you feel stress-free and calm.
The second birthstone for March called Bloodstone is an opaque green colored stone with bloody inclusions all over the gem surface. It has extraordinary healing power with a beautiful appearance.
Both the birthstones are used for wellness. They improve self-confidence and make you feel cool and calm in any critical situation. They help in maintaining good relationships between the couples.
Overall, the March Birthstones are for building a good relationship with everyone, making you confident, and giving you a healthy body.