Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Gemstone(s) of the Month: March

I meant to start this last month (February = amethyst) but I forgot. Or maybe I was lazy. Or procrastinated too much? In any case, oops. And here it is, already the third of March and I am just now getting around to it! Here goes nothin'.

Aquamarine is the gemstone of the month of March, as adopted by the American National Association of Jewelers in 1912. 
It is also the birthstone for the zodiac sign of Scorpio.  
It is the planetary stone for Pisces.
It is the ancient Arabic, Hebrew, and Roman stone for October.

Aquamarine's name comes from the latin 'aqua marina' which translates to "water of the sea". Pretty easy to figure out, eh? Aquamarine is a variety of beryl (mineral). The word beryl itself comes from the greek 'beryllos' which referred to a "precious blue-green color-of-sea-water" stone. Varieties of beryl have been considered gemstones since prehistoric times. Aquamarine can be found in Russia, Sri Lanka, Brazil, and the US, among other places.

For hundreds and hundreds of years, people have believed aquamarine to have certain powers. It is said to increase intelligence and make one youthful.  Wearing aquamarine is said to provide the wearer with courage, foresight, and happiness.

As a healing stone, it's claimed to be effective against anxiety and in the Middle Ages people claimed aquamarine could reduce the effects of poison.

According to legend,  sailors wore aquamarine gemstones to keep them safe and prevent seasickness.

So the aquamarine is considered the modern gemstone of March in the US, but what about other countries? Or ancient gemstones? 

Alternate birthstones:

The modern birthstone for the month of March (in the US) is aquamarine.  
The traditional birthstone is bloodstone.
The mystical birthstone is jade.
The Arabic, Hebrew, Polish, and Russian birthstones for March are bloodstone.
Italian and Russian are jasper.

The planetary stone for March is jasper and the talismanic stone is topaz.

Stay tuned next month for April - Diamond (but also sapphire, aventurine, and garnet among others!)

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