This Month’s Birthstones

March’s birthstones: ice queen Aquamarine, and down-to-earth Bloodstone.


March’s birthstones are as different as any in the gemstone world: icy blue-green Aquamarine wears the crown as the main gem, and earthy Bloodstone (aka Heliotrope) is the alternate stone. Aquamarine is also our state gem here in Colorado, so it holds a special place in our hearts!

Aquamarine is just one member of the Beryl group, which includes such famous members as Emerald, Morganite, and rarest Red Beryl (previously known as Bixbite). Its blue-green hue comes primarily from iron and titanium impurities in colorless beryl (goshenite). Aquamarine is found in some of the highest elevation gem fields in the world, including Colorado’s own Mount Antero and Mount White.

From the name, you might guess that Bloodstone would, for sure, be red—surprisingly, it is a dark green chalcedony with red spots. It was once known as heliotrope, and one interesting lore suggested that the red drops represented the blood of Christ. Bloodstone is not all that common in the world of chalcedony, but can be found in many location nonetheless, primarily Madagascar in modern times. There is a similar material called seftonite, or African bloodstone, which contains much more translucent agate in its structure than jasper, but is punctuated by large jasper clasts.


Healing lore associates aquamarine with protection, cooling, and courageous self-expression. In ancient times it was worn by sailors, and sometimes even thrown into the sea as an offering, to appease mermaids and other mercurial sea spirits. Bloodstone is connected to physical health, vitality, courage, and strength.