Mohs scale hardness: 6.5-7
Bloodstone (also known as 'heliotrope' in Greek which means "sun turning") is the original birthstone for March, today, bloodstone, aquamarine and jasper are all considered birthstones for March. Perhaps this is surprising since bloodstones are usually green with red flecks and far from sun-colored.
What Color is Bloodstone
Bloodstone is a silicon dioxide and a variety of chalcedony, which is a form of cryptocrystalline quartz. It is a dark green color gemstone with red spots on it. The gemstone is technically a green jasper with presence of iron oxide giving the stone the red spots. These red spots are what gave the gem the name ‘bloodstone’. The deep green color of the stone is due to the presence of masses of chlorite in the gem. Sometimes jasper with yellow or other colors are also present, but those multi-colored jaspers are usually called "fancy jasper".
Many bloodstones are also found with no red spots at all. Some of them have brown spots, while a few exhibit multicolored inclusions. Being a variety of chalcedony it is a cryptocrystalline quartz, meaning that the individual crystals is too small and cannot be easily distinguished under a light microscope. Its belongs to the trigonal crystal system. There are two types of bloodstone: heliotrope and plasma. Plasma is very deep green, opaque, with little or no red in it, and some may have yellowish spots. Heliotrope is somewhat translucent, lighter colored and has red in it.
Legend has it that bloodstone was first formed when drops of the Christ's blood stained stone at the foot of the cross. It is for this reason that the gem is also known as the ‘martyr’s stone’. If we touch the stone, it felt so heavy. There is often some confusion between jasper and bloodstone. Fancy jasper is sometimes called bloodstone and bloodstone is sometimes called blood jasper. Jasper and bloodstone are different though closely related stones, two of them being chalcedony forms of quartz.
A good quality bloodstone should have a solid color of green with very visible red spots. The gemstone is found in a variety of cuts and shapes, some of the most common ones are round, oval, cushion cut, octagonal, cabochon and emerald cut. The name bloodstone is sometimes misleadingly used for haematite.
It is important to remember that bloodstones set in jewelry are coated with a special polish that will enhances the beauty of the gemstone, therefore you should not expose your bloodstone ring or pendant to strong detergents or harsh chemicals as this would damage the surface treatment.
There are also so many fake bloodstones out there and it is said that to know which is fake and which is real is pretty easy, rub the stone against the surface made of porcelain, if the stone leave blood-red scars then it is real bloodstone. Today India is the major source of bloodstone. There are also known deposits in Brazil, China, Australia and United states.
Bloodstone Healing Properties
Indians have long believed in the medical properties of bloodstone and they used finely powdered bloodstone to make many traditional medicines. India consumes large quantities of high quality bloodstone to make medicines even today. This is one of the reasons why pieces of gem quality bloodstone do not reach the jewelry or gemstone markets.
It is believed bloodstone have special properties:
- Used to fight evil and avoid jealousy and enviness.
- Used to stop bleeding, aid poor blood circulation and to cure blood poisoning as well as draw out the poison from venomous animals.
- To boost up your spirit and add longevity.
- To ease broken heart and brings good luck.
- If the stone turns blood-red in color, this is believed to show as a warning for the wearer of the incoming danger.
- If the stone is soaked with water and rub on the skin, it will leave some blood-like liquid behind.
- Today, finely ground bloodstone is still used as a medicine and aphrodisiac in India.
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