This ancient gemstone was used by the Babylonians to make seals and amulets. Bloodstone was believed to have healing powers, especially for blood disorders. It is sometimes called the “martyr’s stone,” as legend tells that it was created when drops of Christ’s blood stained jasper at the foot of the cross.
Many other ancient cultures believed bloodstone gems had magical powers, with some references to its ability to heal dating back to 5000 BC.
The Babylonians used bloodstone in their divination, and the Egyptians prized bloodstone because they believed it helped them to defeat their enemies. They also believed it increased their strength or made them invisible.
Still, others believed that bloodstone could help control or change the weather, win legal battles or give the gift of prophecy. It was so loved for its properties, many used the gemstone in jewelry, signet rings, and even small cups or statues.
Today, some still wear bloodstone jewelry as a lucky charm. No matter how you use or wear bloodstone, it’s a unique gemstone great for everyday wear.
Aquamarine is made of two Latin words: aqua, meaning “water,” and marine, meaning “of the sea.” It was once believed that this gemstone would protect sailors and guarantee a safe voyage. Legend has it that aquamarine’s serene blue color would invoke calming properties of the sea, helping to cool tempers and allow the wearer to remain calm and levelheaded.
Yet sailors aren’t the only ones who thought aquamarine could protect them. People in the Middle Ages believed that wearing aquamarine would prevent them from being poisoned. Ancient Romans would carve a frog into the gem to help turn enemies into friends. Ancient medicines were made from aquamarine powder to help cure a variety of infections, eye ailments, and allergic reactions.
In folklore, aquamarine represented not only the sea, but also the heavens since the sky reflected in the water. It was believed that its reflective properties and symmetry could reveal hidden aspects of reality and things deep within our souls. This made aquamarine a popular stone with healers, mystics, shamans, and prophets.
When meditating with aquamarine, people believed it enhanced their paranormal abilities and aided in the occurrence of epiphanies. They focused on the stone’s perceived ability of calming reflection.
Other legends say that aquamarine helped with decision making, perseverance, and responsibility. People felt it aided with clear reasoning and feeling empowered during debates in order to come to a compromise.
There’s something about birthstones that creates fascination, whether the focus is on their history and lore, or the emotional connection an individual may have with their birth month’s gem(s). In fact, the most searched topic on the American Gem Society website is “birthstones.”
Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group, in collaboration with the American Gem Society, has created a handy, go-to guide for birthstones. The guide features interesting facts about each birthstone and how to care for them. Click here to learn more!
Historically speaking, March is an unusual month. It’s a time of transition, from winter blues to the summertime blue of swimming pools. It’s a windy month, too, and the weather can be fickle as one day is cold and the next is warm. It’s supposed to be the first month of spring, but sometimes it feels like the final month of winter.
Even literature has a conflicted relationship with the month. Shakespeare warned Caesar to “Beware the ides of March” in his eponymous play, “Julius Caesar.”
Despite the ups and downs of March, there is one bright, shining and beautiful factor. Aquamarine.
It’s a word which evokes the sea.
Beautiful aquamarine gems. Courtesy of Suna Bros.
Aquamarine is most often light in tone and ranges from greenish blue to blue-green; the color usually is more intense in larger stones, and darker blue stones are very valuable. This gemstone is mined mainly in Brazil but also is found in Nigeria, Madagascar, Zambia, Pakistan, and Mozambique.
Aquamarine and diamond ring from Suna Bros.
Like emeralds, this gemstone is a variety of a mineral called beryl. Large stones have been found all over the world, including one stone found in Brazil that weighed over 240 pounds. Aquamarine grows in large, six-sided crystals that can be up to a foot long, making it a great gem to be cut and polished in larger carats for statement pieces.
Not only is aquamarine one of the March birthstones, it’s also used to celebrate 19th wedding anniversaries. It’s a beautiful stone with little or no yellow in it, so it looks great in many settings with different colored metals and gemstones.
Opal pendant surrounded by aquamarine and diamonds. From Yael Designs.
First, visit an AGS jeweler, who will be happy to help you pick out the perfect piece. Next, look at the stone’s cut. Since aquamarine can be very lightly colored (and sometimes appear almost colorless), the cut is very important to the overall appearance of the stone and how saturated, or even, the color appears.
Of course, choose the color that most appeals to you, however, it’s generally accepted that lighter colored aquamarines are less valuable than the stronger, deeper hues of blue or blue-green.
Aquamarine and diamonds in a gold setting. From Erica Courtney Jewelry
Next, take a look at the stone’s clarity. Most cut gems do not have inclusions that are visible to the eye, and some rarer or more expensive aquamarines are available without visible inclusions, as well.
Since aquamarine crystals can grow to be quite large, larger cut gemstones are possible to purchase as a part of beautiful statement pieces. While you may not be looking to buy in that range, even smaller aquamarines make for lovely solitaires or companion jewels in larger pieces.
Ready to see aquamarine up-close and in person? Find an AGS Jewler here. Just don’t forget to bring your jacket. . . or not. It’s March, after all. Who knows what the weather will be like?
Directional colors and styles of jewelry shape up annually based on a trio of familiar factors—what’s trending in Hollywood, what the fashion designers are sending down the runways, and the gem material that Mother Nature provides. The following six jewelry trends were born from the intersection of these occasions, so keep them top of mind this year for gifts and self-rewards.
Oversize earrings. Calderesque versions in costume materials were evident on models at several spring couture shows though karat-gold numbers are an heirloom-quality choice. AGS members have plenty of options!
Chandelier earrings in 18k gold with rose-cut diamonds and rubies from Vivaan.
Hearts. Love takes a literal interpretation next season. Just look at the word itself on sweaters by Michael Kors! While hearts can elicit mixed reactions—are they kitsch or cool?—know the fashion gods have committed to them this year. Would you wear a heart? Diamond options (here and below) are hard to resist!
Ring in platinum with a heart-shaped yellow diamond, a heart-shaped emerald, and colorless diamonds from Setaré.
Choker necklaces. These continue to enjoy the spotlight. Both Céline and Versace sent choker-wearing models down the spring runways to create chic style messages. Chokers can feature traditional (think cameos) or contemporary elements ideal for wear dressed up for evening or down with denim during the day.
Choker necklace in 18k Strawberry Gold with Chocolate and Vanilla diamonds and a Neon Paraiba Tourmaline from Le Vian.
Mismatched earrings. These range from subtly mismatched styles—one stud and one drop—at Dior to completely different designs on each ear. And related to this trend of uneven mates are the large single earrings being worn solo. No matter how you wear the mismatched look, its novelty will attract attention and admirers.
Statement necklaces. Recent red carpet jewelry placements have fueled a growing appetite for attention-grabbing necklaces. Expect to keep seeing bibs, big pendants on long chains (think Givenchy’s über-cool agates), and multi-layer options that build a look by using many slimmer styles.
Collar necklace in 18k gold with blue chalcedony from Goshwara.
Pearls. From natural-color Chinese freshwaters to Japanese Akoya and South Sea varieties, pearls are making a comeback among jewelry designers for their iconic beauty. Even fashion brands like Gucci worked pearl accents into 2017 lines, further cementing the lustrous orb’s must-have status.
If you’re loving these jewelry trends, search for an AGS jeweler near you. They’ll help you find any of the above designs, match you with similar looks, or help you design your very own trend-setting style!
By Robin Skibicki
There are two birthstones that represent the month of March: aquamarine and bloodstone. Both are beautiful and unique gems, but aquamarine is currently the most popular of jewelry designers and wearers.
The aquamarine is a member of the beryl family—same as the emerald—and its colors can range in tones from colorless pale blue, to blue green or teal. The larger the stone, the more intense the color. The most valuable gemstones come from Brazil, but is also mined in Nigeria, Madagascar, Zambia, Pakistan, and Mozambique.
This gemstone was believed to protect sailors, guaranteeing a safe voyage ahead. It is said its serene colors can cool the temper, allowing the wearer to be calm and levelheaded. This leads to heightened awareness, better communication, and the ability to retort with a quick response.
The healing powers associated with this stone are believed to cure ailments of the liver, jaws, stomach and throat. The transparent aquamarine was once used to make eyeglasses and lenses.
Now that you know a little more about these brilliant blue beauties, here are a few exquisite examples of how designers showcase the gorgeous gem.
An 18K white gold stunner by AG Gems, with an 9.59 carat aquamarine flanked by blue sapphires, accented by diamonds.
Aquamarine and diamond pendant, a new addition to Jye’s International Inc. Luxury Collection.
Elegant dangle earrings by Spark Creations, featuring aquamarine and diamonds.
A glistening collection of aquamarine favorites by SUNA Bros.
A diamond swan and garnets frame a soothing, 75.59 carat aquamarine. The Swan Lake pendant by Yael Designs.