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March Birthstone Spotlight: Aquamarine

March has two birthstones: the most recognized is aquamarine and the other is bloodstone.

Aquamarine

Aquamarine is one of two March birthstones. The color of this birthstone can range from a greenish blue to blue-green, and larger aquamarines typically have a more intense color. The name is derived from the Latin word “aqua”, meaning water, and “marina” meaning the sea.

Throughout history, aquamarine has been linked to water and the seas. Many believed this gemstone could calm waves and keep sailors safe at sea. Also, Roman fisherman used aquamarine as protection, for safe travel by boat, and for luck in catching fish.

Aquamarine has a rich history and was admired by Sumerians, Egyptians, Hebrews, and Greeks. Roman physicians used this March birthstone to treat overeating and bloating, Egyptian mummies were found with aquamarine beads, and thousands of years ago, people in Greece engraved designs into these gemstones. This birthstone has also been linked to the apostle St. Thomas, who frequently traveled by boat.

Brazil is a main source of aquamarine, but this birthstone can also be found in Nigeria, Madagascar, Zambia, Pakistan, and Mozambique. U.S. sources include Riverside and San Diego counties in California, and Colorado, where aquamarine is the state gemstone.

Bloodstone

Bloodstone is the second, less popular March birthstone. This is a dark-green gemstone speckled with vivid red spots of iron oxide. There are two kinds of bloodstone: heliotrope and plasma. Like its name suggests, this gemstone is said to cure blood-related issues, including the ability to stop nosebleeds, blood disorders, and help blood circulation. It was believed that this birthstone turned blood red in the setting sun. Bloodstone can be found embedded in rocks or riverbeds as pebbles, with main sources being India, Brazil, and Australia.