Bloodstone Gemstone Information
About Bloodstone - History and Introduction
Bloodstone is an opaque to translucent variety of chalcedony quartz. More specifically, it is classified as a variety of microcrystalline quartz. Bloodstone is characterized by its dark green color and the presence of red, blood-like inclusions, which is how it earned its descriptive gemstone name. Bloodstone is also known as 'heliotrope' and 'blood jasper'. Bloodstone was once the original birthstone for March, but it was later replaced by aquamarine. Today, bloodstone is still an alternative birthstone for March and it is the zodiacal stone for Aries.
Bloodstone's green body color is a result of dense inclusions composed of chlorite or hornblende needles. Bloodstone's color ranges from various shades of light to dark green and typically, the primary color is unevenly distributed, often exhibiting noticeable light and dark color zones. Bloodstone's blood-like inclusions are owed to the presence of iron oxide impurities. The 'blood-drops' can range from red to brownish in color. Some stones may display yellow spotting, these are known in the trade as 'plasma' and are often mistaken for a variety of jasper. Bloodstone's level of 'blood' inclusions vary tremendously. Some may exhibit little to no spotting, while others are very densely spotted. Droplet-shaped blood spots are more desirable than streaks.
Bloodstone in Religion
Bloodstone was also known as the 'stone of martyrs'. Throughout historical times, bloodstone was commonly used for the carving and sculpting of symbols and seals that represented martyrdom and flagellation. The most famous bloodstone is a gemstone carving currently displayed in the Louvre Museum of Paris. It is the seal of German Emperor, Rudolf II, and it is the most famous 'martyr stone' in the world.
Identifying Bloodstone Back to Top
Bloodstone is easily identified by its characteristic 'classic' appearance. The base color of bloodstone ranges from green to bluish green, and sometimes even bluish gray. The most distinguishing aspect is the presence of red, brownish or yellow 'blood-like' spotted inclusions.
Bloodstone is a variety of quartz and has excellent hardness. There are not many other materials capable of scratching bloodstone, therefore, a simple scratch test can often distinguish bloodstone from imitations. Bloodstone is composed of silicon dioxide and it has a trigonal crystal structure made up of microcrystalline aggregates. It can sometimes be confused with jasper, but because jasper has a much more grainy composition, they can be easily distinguished from one another.
Bloodstone Origin and Gemstone Sources Back to Top
The most common gem mines and sources for bloodstone include India, Madagascar and California, USA. There are also significant deposits from Australia, Germany, Brazil and China. The most recently reported source is the Isle Of Rum, located in Scotland.
Buying Bloodstone and Determining Bloodstone Gemstone Value Back to Top
Bloodstone Gemological Properties: Back to Top
Please refer to our Gemstone Glossary for details of gemology-related terms.
Bloodstone: Varieties or Similar Gemstones: Back to Top
Bloodstone is a distinct variety of chalcedony quartz. It belongs to the microcrystalline branch of quartz. Quartz is the second most abundant mineral on earth. There are several closely related gemstones, but there are not many that could be mistaken for bloodstone by appearance alone.
In the trade, 'blood jasper' is sometimes used to refer to bloodstone, as well as 'heliotrope'. The trade name, heliotrope, is slowly fading from commercial use when referring to the gemstone, but it is still commonly used in reference to the mineral.
Bloodstone Gemstone Mythology, Metaphysical and Alternative Crystal Healing Powers Back to Top
Bloodstone dates back through historical and ancient times. The trade name of 'heliotrope' originated from the belief that gemstones were once thought to reflect the sun, derived from the Greek words, ????? and ???????, which mean 'the turning sun'. Heliotrope is also mentioned in Boccaccio's stories in the Book of Prince Galehaut, known as the 'Decameron'.
Bloodstone was once used in medicines and aphrodisiacs throughout India. It was held in very high regard for its metaphysical and crystal powers. To this day, bloodstone remains one of the most popular gemstones used by alternative healers. Physically, bloodstone is thought to alleviate pain associated from hemorrhages, as well as stomach, intestinal and bowel problems. Most famously, bloodstone is thought to be able to purify blood and improve circulation in its wearer. For centuries, Christians believed that the red spots of bloodstone were the blood of Jesus and therefore possessed the miraculous healing powers of the Son of God.
Bloodstone is the stone for Aries, as well as Pisces and Scorpio. It is also the planetary stone for Mars. Bloodstone is associated with the element of fire and is believed to have a very strong protective energy, linked with the root chakra. It can also be used on the heart chakra as well, but because it holds such strong energy, practitioners advise using the stone with extreme caution. Bloodstone was once the original birthstone for March, but is now an alternative birthstone for aquamarine. Precious gems have long been used for their own specific gemstone meanings and abilities.
Bloodstone Gemstone and Jewelry Design Ideas Back to Top
Bloodstone is often used for the making of seals and insignia. It is most popular for the production of men's rings. Bloodstone is also very popular for gemstone collectors and for making religious gemstone carvings, such as those of crucifixes and martyrs.
Bloodstone is a variety of quartz, making it very durable and suitable for any type of jewelry design. Bloodstone is also very affordable and large stones can be easily found, which is why it is prized by many jewelers and designers around the world. Bloodstone is one of the most popular gemstones for alternative healing and other metaphysical purposes, because it is one of the few untreated gemstones, which is important for crystal healing. Nearly every type of jewelry imaginable can be crafted from bloodstone for both men and women, and worn for its crystal energy.
Note: Buy colored gemstones by size and not by carat weight. Colored stones vary in size-to-weight ratio. Some stones are larger and others are smaller than diamond by weight in comparison.
Bloodstone Gemstone and Jewelry Care and Cleaning Back to Top
Bloodstone can be cleaned easily with warm water and a mild soap or detergent. It can be wiped with a soft cloth or brush. Always rinse your gemstones and jewelry well to remove soapy residue. bloodstone has a relatively good level of hardness and durability, but there are many other gems capable of scratching bloodstone. Too many surface scratches will cause loss of polish and luster, affecting the overall beauty of bloodstone.
Care should always be taken when wearing or storing bloodstone. Do not use harsh chemicals or cleaners when caring for your bloodstone jewelry. It is also recommended to remove any gemstones and jewelry before engaging in vigorous physical activity, such as sports and exercise, as well as prior to performing daily household chores, such as washing dishes. Avoid exposure to extreme heat and temperature fluctuations. When storing your gemstones, wrap them in a soft cloth or place them inside a fabric-lined box. Always store gems separately from one another to prevent damage to your gemstone jewelry.
- First Published: August-08-2013
- Last Updated: September-09-2016
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