The appearance of aquamarine and bloodstone — the two March birthstones — couldn’t be much further apart from one another.
Aquamarine comes in striking hues of blue and evokes thoughts of the ever-changing sea. Bloodstone, on the other hand, is dark green, speckled and streaked by vivid red spots, which makes it feel ancient and sacred.
However, both stones come with a rich history of symbolism and mythical protection for its wearer. Read on to discover what sets the March birthstones apart.
Aquamarine is a beryl, a mineral composition that shares its structure with emeralds. They form in six-sided crystals, some of which can grow to be a foot in length. It’s also the gemstone that’s used to celebrate a couple’s 19th wedding anniversary.
Aquamarine is most commonly mined in Brazil, but there are also major mines in Nigeria, Madagascar, Zambia, Pakistan, and Mozambique. Notably, the Brazilian government gifted First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt a massive 1,298 carat, dark blue, rectangular, step-cut aquamarine in 1936.
Bloodstone is primarily mined in India, though it can also be found in countries on just about every continent, including Brazil, China, the United States, and Australia. It can be found in caves as well as in riverbeds. Bloodstone is a type of quartz known as chalcedony.
The name aquamarine translates to “seawater,” from the Latin words aqua (water) and marine (sea). It was believed by ancient sailors that aquamarine had magical powers which would keep the waves calm and protect them while at sea. It was also believed that aquamarine would bring happiness to a marriage, and that the wearer would be more amiable and have a quicker mind.
Bloodstone is also known by its ancient Greek name, heliotrope, which means: “to turn the sun.” It refers to the belief that the sun could be turned red by placing the gem in water. It was believed that bloodstones contained mythical powers to grant its bearer increased strength, to allow them to become invisible, and to provide them with good health and preserve their youth.
Aquamarine is reasonably hard (it comes in between 7.5 and 8 on the Mohs hardness scale), which makes it a durable gem for everyday wear. It can be easily cared for with warm water, mild dish soap, and a toothbrush. It’s possible to steam clean and ultrasonic clean Aquamarine, as long as there aren’t any fractures and there’s no liquid inclusions.
Bloodstone isn’t as hard as aquamarine (it rates between 6.5 and 7 on the Mohs scale), so it’s important to care to prevent scratching; it should be stored in soft fabric when not in use. To clean Bloodstone, all you need is warm, soapy water and a soft brush. Take care when drying it by only using a clean, soft cloth. Avoid exposing any Bloodstone to extreme heat or harsh chemicals.
March birthstones couldn’t be more different than one another. If you were born in March, there’s a gem to fit your personality; whether you want to make a statement with the brilliant blues of aquamarine, or you want a more subtle bloodstone with its own unusual story to tell.
At Peter Franklin, our customer experience professionals can help you select the March birthstone jewelry that matches the personality and style of you or your significant other. Visit our three locations in northeast Indiana in Angola, New Haven and Fort Wayne, and browse our selection of aquamarine and bloodstone jewelry online.