March birthstone: Aquamarine. March Birthstone Color is Pale Blue.
By Devorah Isenberg
, Tuesday, August 23, 2011
By Devorah Isenberg
, August 23, 2011
Q: What is the birthstone for March?
With the first spring breeze of March comes the return of hope and joy after a long winter. March may not be as warm as the months to come, but as the first crocuses poke their way through the cool ground and as the afternoon sun begins to shine with a little more warmth, spring is finally in the air. It is fitting that the March birthstone reflects this mood and the spirit of the month itself. The birthstone for March is aquamarine, a pale blue stone that reflects the blue of the sky in spring.
Aquamarine Swan Engagement Ring
It is the perfect gift for someone with a spring birthday as well as anyone who loves that pale but intense blue shade. Its clarity and clear blue color make it universally flattering, but especially beloved by women and men with blue eyes. With its blue color reflecting the sea and the sky, the aquamarine gives the wearer a feeling of connection to the earth and a sense of eternity and spirituality unmatched by any other stone.
The birthstone of March is actually a variety of the mineral beryl, but it is not hard to see why the ancient Romans named it after the sparkling blue waters of the Mediterranean ocean. According to their mythology, aquamarine fell out of the treasure chests of the sea sirens and washed ashore, and was therefore a connection to Neptune, the god of the sea. Roman sailors wore aquamarines as amulets to protect them against the danger of the sea. In medieval times, the aquamarine’s connection to water led healers to immerse it in water and have patients drink that water as a cure for anything from a sore throat to heart disease. Aquamarines were also said to be an antidote to certain water-borne poisons as well as an aid to fortune telling and an amulet to help correct poor vision. Some clear varieties of beryl are still used today in the manufacturing of eyeglasses. The biggest aquamarine ever mined was found at the city of Marambaia, Minas Gerais, Brazil, in 1910. At 19 inches long and 17 inches wide, it weighed over 110 kilograms.
Although aquamarines are all relatively similar in color, the March birthstone color can still vary from a very light pastel blue to a deeper blue green. Aquamarines are often heat-treated to remove the undesirable green color and strengthen the blue tones. The deepest, most desirable blue tones are called maxixe. Although pure beryl is colorless, chemical impurities can create various colorations, ranging from orange to green. It is the presence of iron in the beryl crystal that gives the aquamarine its distinctive hue—the color is usually more even and regular than other varieties of beryl. Aquamarines are hard and durable enough for use in jewelry, and tend to have excellent clarity. Their relative abundance, especially in Brazil, makes them less expensive than other varieties of beryl, such as emeralds, but they are still highly valued for use in birthstone and fashion jewelry.
The fresh, bright sparkle of the birthstone March has given them the symbolic value of reawakening. Like the spring month they represent, aquamarines are a visible sign of new beginnings, making them a perfect anniversary gift that will reawaken romance and excitement in a long-standing relationship. Aquamarine is also said to symbolize youth and hope, like the revival of new things every spring.
Aquamarine has always been a popular stone, but designers have now embraced it in every kind of fashionable jewelry, from cocktail rings to bangle bracelets.
For more observant Christians, the March birthstone has long been associated with the bloodstone, a dark green quartz stone known for its red streaks. The bloodied appearance of the stone has a strong religious connotation for Christians, who believe that Jesus’ blood spilled onto a stone of green jasper. In addition to its religious significance, bloodstone is also used to carve cameos and beads and is said to symbolize courage.