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Spotlight on antique birthstones – Aquamarine and bloodstone for March

March birthstone jewellery


Do you prefer aquamarine or bloodstone? If you have a March birthday, you can take your pick of both the birthstones for this month.

What is aquamarine?

Belonging to the group of gem minerals known as beryl, aquamarine is one gemstone variety from the beryl family, which also includes emerald and morganite. A semi-precious gemstone, aquamarines are 6-sided crystals that can grow to substantial sizes, making them ideal for cutting and polishing in larger carat weights for dramatic, statement pieces of jewellery.

What colour is aquamarine?

With a name derived from the Latin for water (aqua) and the sea (marina), this beautiful gemstone is the most tranquil shade of pale blue and can vary from the palest clear blue to a greenish-blue in colour. The aquamarine has an even colour and excellent clarity, with a bright sparkle.

Where are aquamarines found?

Predominantly mined in Brazil, aquamarines are also found in all four corners of the world from Kenya, Madagascar, and Mozambique, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Zambia, to the US, China and Ukraine.  

What do aquamarines signify?

Ancient seafarers believed aquamarines would keep them safe by calming the waters they sailed on and it is thought to bring marital happiness and romance to longstanding relationships. Closely associated with spring, aquamarine symbolises youth and hope. 

Care of aquamarine jewellery

With a Mohs Scale rating of 7.5-8, aquamarine is durable enough for daily wear and is easy to look after. A solution of liquid soap in warm water can be applied with a soft toothbrush but pay particular attention behind the stone where dust and dirt can gather. As long as the stone is not cracked and has no inclusions, ultrasonic and steam cleaners can also be used.

What is bloodstone?

The alternative March birthstone, bloodstone is a type of quartz, known as heliotrope.

What colour is bloodstone?

Bloodstone varies in colour from a semi-translucent to an opaque dark-green jasper and typically has spots or patches of red inclusions (hence the name), which are iron oxides. Inclusions of other colours including yellow and white have been known but red is the most well-known.

Where are bloodstones found?

The majority of today’s bloodstones originate in India, but they are also found in Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Italy, South Africa, and the US. Bloodstone is found as pebbles on riverbeds and embedded in the cavities of rocks.

What do bloodstones signify?

Over the years, the bloodstone has taken on a religious significance with some believing the red represents the blood of Christ. Generally, it is associated with an increase in strength and is believed to preserve youth and health; in some parts of the world, crushed bloodstone is used in powder form as an aphrodisiac.

Care of bloodstone jewellery

Relatively fracture-, chip-, and scratch-resistant and with a Mohs scale score of 6-7, bloodstones are more often set in jewellery as cabochons, although there have been fine examples of faceted stones. Clean in a warm solution of soap but do not use chemicals and keep away from high temperatures. Store your bloodstones in a soft cloth to prevent damage from contact with other pieces.

Aquamarine jewellery and bloodstone jewellery at Hemswell Antique Centres

If you are looking for antique jewellery online, our dealers at Hemswell have over a thousand pieces to browse, with thousands more on display in our four buildings. Whether you are looking for aquamarine birthstone jewellery or bloodstone jewellery, buying from our dealers means you can shop in confidence.

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