Bloodstone, also known as heliotrope, is a variety of chalcedony which is a species within the mineral family of quartz. Chalcedony is cryptocrystalline meaning it is comprised of tiny interlocking crystals instead of growing as one large crystal such as quartz’s amethyst or citrine.
This gemstone has a very distinct appearance of a dark green body color with mottled specks of red iron oxide. The green coloration is attributed to the presence of hornblende and/or chlorite mineral inclusions. Bloodstone can range from translucent to opaque in transparency.
The main sources of this gem are Australia, Madagascar, India, and sometimes Scotland.
History & Lore
Bloodstone has deeply mystical roots. First mention of the stone heliotrope was by Pliny the Elder in 1st century Rome. Then it was mentioned again in the 3rd century Egyptian document Leyden Papyrus, wherein it was suggested that whoever’s name is inscribed on the stone would be guaranteed power and resurrection.
Ancient Christianity believed that the rock at Christ’s feet during his crucifixion was permanently stained with his sacrificial blood, coining heliotrope’s new name, bloodstone. After the crucifixion, Roman soldiers and Christian medicine used the stone to try to heal wounds. Science has proven iron to be a natural astringent, so miracles associated with the stone may have some truth to them.
In Jewelry & Care
Since bloodstone is cryptocrystalline in nature, it is an incredibly durable gem. It is most often cut as a tablet or as a cabochon, and very rarely, translucent rough will be faceted. Bloodstone has been carved as intaglio for centuries and is often seen as a signet.
Bloodstone was the original birthstone for the month of March.
Bloodstone can be washed with warm soapy water and a soft bristled brush. When being stored, it should be wrapped to ensure it will not be scratched by harder stones. As always, avoid harsh chemicals when wearing any kind of jewelry.