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MARCH BIRTHSTONE

Aquamarine is the modern gemstone for March, bloodstone is the traditional and ayurvedic birthstone with jade being the mystical gemstone and rock crystal being an alternate gemstone.

The aquamarine was the stone of the sea-goddesses and sirens of the past times. Beads of aquamarine are found in ancient Egyptian mummy tombs. They were used as a tribute gemstone to the Gods of the Nether world for safe passage. King Solomon is said to have worn one in his breast plate of the 12 holy gemstones. This cool, water-colored beryl has a long history of use as a curative substance. In common with many other blue or green stones, aquamarine was used to cure eye injuries. Remedy was effected in one of two ways. The first method involved grinding the stone very finely, passing the particles through a sieve to remove impurities. A small quantity of powder was then placed in the injured eye, and the patient was instructed to lie still until it took effect. The alternative measure was to soak the stone in water which was then used to bathe the injured eye. Rubbing swollen glands with an aquamarine was believed to reduce the swelling. Wearing it prevented spasms, convulsions, and liver ailments. Seafarers often carried aquamarines engraved with the image of Poseidon, god of the sea, to protect themselves during storms. Aquamarine also was a handy cure for an affliction which, although not serious, could be quite annoying - hiccoughs! Sufferers had only to drink water in which an aquamarine had been dipped to gain instant relief.

Bloodstone, green flecked with red, the bloodstone is credited with many religious and curative properties. The red specks were thought to represent the blood of Christ, and the stone is often associated with the Crucifixion. Because it was believed to stop bleeding, the heliotrope, as it is also called, was often carried by warriors. Its value to warriors was further enhanced because the bloodstone was thought to inspire courage and to ensure success in hazardous enterprises. Longevity was another benefit attributed to this gem. The weather also was affected by this stone, which was said to cause thunder, lightening, rain and tempest.

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