Aquamarine: March’s Birthstone

The gemstone Aquamarine is the modern day March birthstone.  It also is the suggested gem to give on the 19th wedding anniversary.

Aquamarine is a member of the beryl family and ranges in color from an almost colorless pale blue to a blue/green.  The most sought after color is a deep blue/aqua color.  It is a 7.5-8 on the Mohs scale of hardness and gets its name from the Latin words “aqua marina” which means:  Sea water.

Some of the most valuable aquamarines come from Brazil.  Aquamarines on the market today are usually faceted, but when cut as a cabochon, it may display a cat’s eye effect know as “asterism” which is caused by inclusions of tiny, parallel needles and may result in rayed stars.

Since early times, aquamarine has been believed to give the wearer foresight, courage, and happiness.  It is said to increase intelligence and make one youthful.  It is also thought to help with anxiety and back in the middle ages it was used to reduce the affects of poisons, and to reawaken the love of married couples.  During this era it was often cut into a crystal ball and used for telling the future.  Some called it “the magic mirror”.

We created a unique wedding set for a client when she asked us to do something that wasn’t a “large diamond” that is so common in wedding sets. The ring was set with an Aquamarine on point that crosses over and inter-locks with the diamond wedding band.

Aquamarine Wedding Set
Aquamarine Wedding Set

The second birthstone for March is the Bloodstone.  The name Bloodstone comes from the Greek word heliotrope, meaning sun tamer.  It is a form of mineral quartz that is abundant.  This type of quartz exists as a mass of tiny quartz crystals formed together in large lumps.  The crystals are too small that it cannot be distinguished from the naked eye, but each of the component crystals that make up the mass, is genuine crystal.  This quartz variety is also called Chalcedony.  Green chalcedony spotted with red flecks, known as Bloodstone.  Bloodstone is found in rocks and as pebbles in riverbeds.  The best source for these stones are in India, Brazil and Australia.

Many years ago one of our favorite clients asked us to create a birthstone ring for him. Being a large man, what most people consider a birthstone ring would never work for him. He also asked us to come up with a way to bring both birthstones for March in to the ring in a way that was “masculine”. Working with an amazing Gem Carver this is the ring we designed for him.

According to legend it is believed to have been formed during the crucifixion of Christ.  A Roman shoulder thrust his spear into Christ’s side and his blood dropped onto pieces of dark green stones and the Bloodstone was created. For this reason it is also called the “Martyr’s stone”.

A good quality Bloodstone is a solid dark green with visible veins of red.  It comes in many shapes.  The most common is cabochon.

Aquamarine and Bloodstone Ring
Aquamarine and Bloodstone Ring

Bloodstone used in jewelry is usually coated with a polish to bring out the gemstones beauty. So for this reason it is best not to use any harsh chemicals while cleaning because it could ruin the surface.

Bloodstones were believed to contain magical powers.  It was believed to increase personal strength and to have great healing powers, enhance creativity and intuition. Many warriors would carry a Bloodstone during battle.  It was thought to stop all types of hemorrhaging. To this day, powdered Bloodstone is used as an aphrodisiac and in traditional medicines in India.

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