March’s birthstone is the breathtaking aquamarine. There is also an alternative birthstone for March - the bloodstone. You can learn more about each of these great gemstones, their histories, and their meanings. Whether you’re celebrating a birthday, an anniversary, or just love how they look, there are many options for how to wear these gorgeous gems.
You can’t help but think of spring and summer when you see the gorgeous blue of this gemstone; its name even comes from the Latin for seawater. While most often seen in light blue shades, the color does range to a much deeper blue. For many, aquamarine symbolizes health, hope, and youthfulness. It was believed it could keep sailors safe while they traveled the seas and that it would bring happiness to marriages - it’s traditionally given on the 19th wedding anniversary.
Aquamarine is found around the world. It is particularly abundant in Brazil, which has been the main supplier of this gem for centuries. The government of Brazil gifted Eleanor Roosevelt a 1,298 carat dark blue aquamarine when she was First Lady. You can also find aquamarine in certain regions of Pakistan, China, Russia, some areas of the United States, and Africa. The gemstone gets a 7.5 to an 8 on the Mohs scale, so you can certainly wear it every day.
Bloodstone is also called heliotrope and has a variety of colors in it. It’s a type of quartz with jasper and spots of iron oxide inclusions, which is how you get the vivid red spots on this gemstone. The name “heliotrope” means “to turn the sun”. This name, as well as “bloodstone”, comes from ancient beliefs such as the belief in Greece that putting a bloodstone in water would turn the sun red and that its color pattern has religious significance to later belief systems, that the red specks on the gem are related to the blood of Christ.
In ancient times, people believed that this gemstone could preserve youth and health (much like aquamarines), provide strength, and even give the wearer the ability to become invisible! Even in modern times, many view the bloodstone as a lucky charm and it is often worn by athletes. Most bloodstone you see today comes from India, but can be found in a variety of other countries as well, sharing some locations with aquamarine. While beautiful, bloodstone is not as hard as aquamarine and needs to be carefully cleaned, stored, and worn to avoid scratching. It’s only a 6.5-7 on the Mohs scale. It is still fairly resistant, but caution should be taken to keep it in its best shape.At Vanscoy, Maurer & Bash Diamond Jewelers in Lancaster, PA, we can provide you with a wide array of options featuring the March birthstones. We have several pieces featuring aquamarine in store and can order in something with bloodstone if you’d prefer it. We can also work with you to design custom pieces that best suit your budget and bring your vision for a piece to life.