March's Birthstones: Aquamarine and Bloodstone March 04 2014
Two very different gems share the title for March’s birthstones, the aquamarine and bloodstone. While different in appearance, both of these stones were thought to possess healing properties that made them valuable and popular in past centuries.
An Aquamarine is a form of the mineral Beryl that yields stones of all different types and colors. It appears in all shades of blue, the most prized being the darker shades. Aquamarines were said to have first appeared from the jewel casks of sirens that had been washed up from the sea. Because of this connection with the sea and its supposed importance to Neptune, sailors considered the aquamarine to have the ability to ensure safe voyages that were free from dangers of the ocean. Other than its association with the sea, it was also believed to have medicinal purposes as well as being referred to as a, “magic mirror” by soothsayers, who used it to answer questions about the future.
Bloodstone, or green chalcedony, is a particular type of quartz where the outer surface shows no sign of crystals, but in reality the stone is made up of a mass of small crystals. Bloodstone is called such due to the tiny flecks of red present in the quartz that are the result of iron oxide. Legend has it that Bloodstone was created as blood fell from Christ’s body onto a piece of green jasper. The most abundant use for this stone in history has been in the carvings of religious subjects, most famously, “The Descent From the Cross” by Matteo de Nessaro where the spots of red represent His drops of blood as they fell from the cross. Along with its artistic properties, the Bloodstone was believed to have special abilities for treating blood-related issues like disorders, poisoning, and even nosebleeds.
Pictured below are some of the Aquamarines from our loose stone collection, and an example of Bloodstone pulled from the internet.