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What color emerald is March?

March is associated with the birthstone aquamarine, a pale blue-green gemstone that resembles the color of seawater. But some people also consider emerald, a rich green gemstone, to be an alternate birthstone for March. So what is the true color for the March birthstone – blue-green like aquamarine or green like emerald?

The History of March Birthstones

The tradition of birthstones dates back thousands of years, but the origin is unclear. Some sources trace it back to the Breastplate of Aaron in the Bible, which contained 12 gemstones representing the 12 tribes of Israel. Others link it to astrology and the belief that certain gems were linked to zodiac signs. By the 18th century, each month had an established birthstone in Western culture.

Originally, emerald was considered the traditional birthstone for May. Aquamarine was not established as the March birthstone until the early 20th century. However, some sources had previously identified emerald as an alternate or secondary stone for March. This may be because of its green color evoking the new growth of spring.

Modern Birthstone Charts

Today, the primary modern birthstone list used in the United States was adopted by the Jewelry Industry Council in 1912. On this list, emerald is the established May birthstone and aquamarine is the accepted March stone. However, alternate birthstone charts have emerged that place emerald as a secondary gem for March.

Here are two authoritative modern birthstone charts:

Month Primary Birthstone (Jewelry Council) Alternate Birthstone (AGTA)
March Aquamarine Emerald
May Emerald Chrysoprase

As shown in the table, the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) publishes an alternate birthstone chart that lists emerald as a secondary March stone. This reflects the enduring association of emerald’s green color with the springtime month.

March Birthstone Colors

The pale blue-green aquamarine nicely represents the crisp colors of March. The blue tones evoke the sky and raindrops, while the green hues depict new leaves and sprouts. However, emerald’s deeper green also fits March’s themes of renewal and fresh growth.

Here are the signature colors of the two March birthstones:

Gemstone Color Hue
Aquamarine Pale blue-green Sea green
Emerald Rich green Grass green

Aquamarine ranges from a soft blue-green to a light seafoam green. Emerald’s vivid color intensifies from yellow-green to a dark grassy green. While aquamarine better matches the pale new colors of early spring, emerald represents the lush green shades of late spring.

March Birthstone Meanings

In addition to their springlike colors, aquamarine and emerald also have symbolic meanings that connect to March.

Aquamarine is thought to represent youth, health, hope, and love. Its icy blue-green color is said to cool tempers and promote mental clarity. Ancient sailors believed it would ensure safe passage on the seas. Aquamarine’s serene energy invokes the tranquility of March’s rain showers.

Emerald represents rebirth and growth. Its verdant green radiates life force and vitality. In ancient times, it was believed to preserve and strengthen eyesight and ward off evil spirits. Emerald also symbolizes friendship and loyalty. The revitalizing energy of emerald aligns with the fresh beginnings of springtime.

March Zodiac Signs

The March zodiac signs also connect to the energies of the birthstones for the month. The March astrological signs are:

  • Pisces: February 19 to March 20
  • Aries: March 21 to April 19

Dreamy Pisces is represented by two fish swimming in opposite directions, evoking images of the sea that complement the watery tones of aquamarine. Aries the Ram is associated with determination and courage, similar to emerald’s vitality.

Choosing a March Birthstone

The pale seafoam greens of aquamarine beautifully match the springtime blooms of March. But the lively grass greens of emerald also capture the spirit of renewal and rebirth during the month. Both stones make meaningful and powerful March birthstone choices.

Aquamarine is the traditional modern March birthstone, displaying crisp blue-green shades that represent the colors of spring. For those who want something bolder, emerald provides an excellent alternative with its vivid green vibrancy.

When selecting a March birthstone, consider the preferred color tone, birthstone meaning, and symbolism:

  • Aquamarine for its soft blue-green hue evoking rain showers and new leaves.
  • Emerald for its lively green vibrancy representing vitality and growth.

Both aquamarine and emerald make meaningful March birthstone gifts with their springlike colors and empowering energies.


While aquamarine is March’s primary modern birthstone, emerald has an enduring connection as an alternate. Its verdant green perfectly embodies the regenerating spirit of spring. But aquamarine’s light blue-green also strongly represents March with its rainwater and new bloom symbolism.

The March birthstone color ultimately contains a spectrum ranging from aquamarine’s oceanic blue-greens to emerald’s vital grassy greens. Those born in March are lucky to have two beautiful birthstone options that reflect the hopes and dreams of spring.