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Aquamarine or Bloodstone - March Birthstones

Aquamarine
Two gem stones have been assigned as birthstones for the month of March: the aquamarine and the bloodstone.The aquamarine derives its name from aqua and mare meaning "sea water." It was poetically described by an ancient writer as "...a thousand leagues of sunlit sea imprisoned in a cup." Its color varies from deep blue to greenish-blue and is like the transparent sea itself. Aquamarine has long been considered the symbol of happiness and everlasting youth. The Egyptians, Greeks and Romans valued it highly, and many museums exhibit aquamarine specimens enhanced by old intaglio engraving and cameo carving. It was once the special talisman of ocean travelers, reputedly assuring them a successful voyage and safe return. The hopeful counted on it to renew married love, develop forbearance, cure laziness and further litigation.In the Middle Ages the aquamarine was said to bestow insight and foresight and, on the other hand, to have the power to induce sleep. The supposed power of the stone to fight evil was said to enable its wearer to conquer all wickedness. Water in which an aquamarine was soaked was believed to cure eye trouble, stoppage of breath and hiccups. Aquamarines were associated with the purity of the oceans and hence were credited with the power to keep its wearers clean in body and spirit. The ancients wore aquamarines engraved with the head of Neptune, the sea god, to protect them against the perils of the deep. In Egypt the stone is believed to have been used to invoke the aid of cunning water spirits and mighty heroes. In the ordering of the New Jerusalem, the gem was assigned to St. Thomas, the apostle, who made long journeys by sea to preach the faith.The lovely color in aquamarines is caused by a minute amount of iron compound. The aquamarine is the blue variety of beryl, the same mineral as emerald. The best aquamarines have great transparency and brilliance and often come in large crystals.In 1910 an aquamarine crystal was found in Brazil that weighed 243 pounds and was so transparent that objects could be seen through its long dimension of nineteen inches. The British Museum of Natural History has on display a flawless sea-green specimen that weighs 879.5 carats, and the American Museum of Natural History has several cut specimens, including a 271-carat Russian aquamarine, a 335-carat gem from Sri Lanka, an emerald-cut 144.5-carat Brazilian stone, and another one of top quality weighing 400 carats. Experts consider the most beautiful aquamarine ever discovered to be one that came from Brazil and was once owned by that country's emperor Dom Pedro. Aquamarines are mined principally in Brazil.In America the aquamarine was given an enormous boost in popularity in 1906 when President Theodore Roosevelt's daughter, Alice Roosevelt Longworth of "Alice Blue Gown" fame, was given a beautiful heart-shaped aquamarine by Vice President William Howard Taft as a wedding gift.The companion birthstone for March is the bloodstone, which is mainly worn by men and is often carved with monograms, initials or crests.The bloodstone is said to represent the blood of Christ Jesus. Bloodstone gems have been embellished with a thorn-crowned head of Jesus so placed that the red of the bloodstone simulate drops of blood trickling down his hair and face. Such gems are especially revered as Christian amulets.The bloodstone was once thought to be able to check hemorrhages. Certain Indians also considered the bloodstone a remedy, but they first cut it into the shape of a heart. Because of its religious significance, the bloodstone has reputedly had many other curative powers and was once used to counteract poisons.As the March birthstone for men, the bloodstone is supposed to give its wearer courage and make him brave in the face of all danger. In addition, it is reputed to impart wisdom and an ability to detect and foil enemy plots.


Birthstones
January Garnet
May Emerald
September Sapphire
February Amethyst
June Pearl
October Opal
March Aquamarine
July Ruby
November Citrine
April Diamond
August Peridot
December Tanzanite

Other Gemstone Learning
What Makes a Mineral a Gemstone - The Origin of Birthstones

Gemstone Learning ...
What Makes a Mineral a Gemstone
The Origin of Birthstones

  January Garnet
  February Amethyst
  March Aquamarine
  April Diamond
  May Emerald
  June Pearl
  July Ruby
  August Peridot
  September Sapphire
  October Opal
  November Citrine/Topaz
  December Tanzanite






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