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Bloodstone Gemstone Information

Bloodstone Gemstones from GemSelect - Large Image
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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.

Natural Bloodstone

Identifying Bloodstone

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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

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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

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Bloodstone Color

Bloodstone is primarily dark green, but it can also occur bluish gray, greenish blue and brown. Bloodstone has red to brownish, and sometimes yellow spotting owing to iron oxide inclusions. Due to uneven color distribution, bloodstone often occurs with noticeable light and dark color zones.

Bloodstone Clarity and Luster

Bloodstone's clarity ranges from translucent to opaque. When cut and polished, it exhibits a vitreous luster, often appearing slightly waxy or resinous. Typical bloodstone inclusions include chlorite and hornblende needles, as well as iron oxide.

Bloodstone Cut and Shape

Bloodstone is typically cut en cabochon. It is also very popular as tumbled stones and gemstone beads. Smaller stones are not typically faceted, but faceting is common for larger stones. Most stones are cut into oval or pear shapes, but various fancy shapes are also available, such as trillions, hearts, marquise shapes, free-forms and plain-cuts. Bloodstone is often used for gemstone carvings, seals, insignia and cameos.

Bloodstone Treatment

Bloodstone is not typically dyed, heated, enhanced or treated in any way. It is one of the few gem types that remains untreated from the mine to the market.

Bloodstone Gemological Properties:

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Chemical Formula: SiO2 Silicon dioxide
Crystal Structure: Trigonal - microcrystalline aggregates
Color: Green, apple-green, greenish-blue, brown with red spots
Hardness: 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale
Refractive Index: 1.530 to 1.540
Density: 2.58 to 2.64
Cleavage: None: Fracture rough, brittle
Transparency: Translucent to opaque
Double Refraction / Birefringence: Up to 0.004
Luster: Vitreous, waxy to resinous
Fluorescence: None

Please refer to our Gemstone Glossary for details of gemology-related terms.

Bloodstone: Varieties or Similar Gemstones:

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Chalcedony Quartz
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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.

Most Popular Similar or Related Gemstone Varieties:

Jasper, aventurine, hawk's eye, chalcedony, chalcedony quartz, agate, chrysoprase, banded agate, onyx, carnelian, quartz, cat's eye quartz, amethyst, citrine and ametrine are the most common and popular related gemstone varieties.

Lesser-Known imilar or Related Gemstone Varieties:

Dendritic agate, agate jasper, Egyptian jasper, banded jasper, basanite, hornstone, scenic jasper, picture jasper, landscape jasper, Oregon's Biggs jasper, Bruneau jasper, moukaite, plasma bloodstone, plasma jasper, silex, chrysocolla chalcedony (gem silica), sardonyx, Mohave jasper, Mt. Airy blue chalcedony, Holly blue chalcedony, African blue chalcedony, imperial jade (chrysoprase), strawberry quartz and blue quartz are some of the rarer and lesser-known related related gemstone varieties.

Bloodstone Gemstone Mythology, Metaphysical and Healing Powers

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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 Greek words that refer to 'the turning sun'. Heliotrope is also mentioned in Boccaccio's stories in the Book of Prince Galehaut, known as the 'Decameron'.

Bloodstone in Religion

The Christians have a very long history of bloodstone use. It is actually one of the most significant gemstones in Christian scriptures. Bloodstone was believed to have been created by the blood of Jesus Christ. It is said that during his crucifixion, the blood of Jesus dripped down from his wounds, staining the green colored jasper placed below his feet. His red blood forever stained the green stones, giving birth to the bloodstone we know today. The name, 'blood jasper', was derived from the Christian legend, but technically, the name is very misleading since bloodstone is not actually a type of jasper stone.

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.

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.

Disclaimer: Metaphysical and Alternative Crystal Healing Powers and Properties are not to be taken as confirmed advice. Traditional, Ceremonial and Mythological Gemstone Lore is collected from various resources and is not the sole opinion of SETT Co., Ltd. This information is not to replace the advice of your doctor. Should you have any medical conditions, please see a licensed medical practitioner. GemSelect does not guarantee any claims or statements of healing or astrological birthstone powers and cannot be held liable under any circumstances.

Bloodstone Gemstone and Jewelry Design Ideas

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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

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How to Clean your GemstonesBloodstone 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: January-07-2019
  • © 2005-2019 all rights reserved.
    Reproduction (text or graphics) without the express written consent of (SETT Company Ltd.) is strictly prohibited.
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Gems are always measured in Millimeter (mm)

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