Bloodstone Properties Facts and Photos
1. What is Bloodstone?
2. History of Bloodstone
3. Bloodstone Healing Properties
4. A Few More Facts
5. Article Pictures
6. Shop for Bloodstone
What is Bloodstone?
Bloodstone is a dark green variety of the mineral chalcedony. Chalcedony is a cryptocrystalline variety of quartz. Minerals described as cryptocrystalline have crystals too small to be seen with the naked eye.
Bloodstone is an opaque stone that takes on a high polish. When used as a gemstone it tends to be cut as a cabochon.
The red markings in bloodstone are caused by inclusions of iron oxides most likely from hematite.
The History of Bloodstone
Historically bloodstone was used as an amulet to stop bleeding. It was also believed to control the weather, banish evil and negativity and direct spiritual energies.
Bloodstone was widely used to protect against the evil eye. Some believed it could even render the wearer invisible. For this reason stones were often carried by thieves.
Pliny the Elder Ancient Roman author and naturalist (23-79 AD) wrote;
"Heliotropium is found in Æthiopia, Africa, and Cyprus: it is of a leek-green colour, streaked with blood-red veins. From the circumstance that, if placed in a vessel of water and exposed to the full light of the sun, it changes to a reflected colour like that of blood; this being the case with the stone of Æthiopia more particularly.
Out of the water, too, it reflects the figure of the sun like a mirror, and it discovers eclipses of that luminary by showing the moon passing over its disk.
In the use of this stone, also, we have a most glaring illustration of the impudent effrontery of the adepts in magic, for they say that, if it is combined with the plant heliotropium, and certain incantations are then repeated over it, it will render the person invisible who carries it about him."
Heliotropium is a genus of flowering plant with similar colours. The name came about because the flowers were understood to turn to face the sun. The Greek word 'helios' means 'sun' whilst 'trepein' means 'to turn'.
Bloodstone is also known as heliotrope. This name came about because the stone was believed to reflect light. For reasons that are not fully understood, it was also believed to change colour after being submerged in water.
The dark red inclusions in bloodstone were once likened to drops of blood. Legend says it was created at the foot of the cross during the crucifixion of Christ. This made it popular with the church hence bloodstone was used for carving scenes of the crucifixion.
During the Middle Ages it was often used for sculptures that depicted flogging, whipping, lashing and martyrdom.
An intaglio housed in the British Museum which dates back to the late 2nd or 3rd century is one of the earliest depictions of the crucifixion. Described as a reddish brown jasper, it's believed to be bloodstone.
Well known to the Aztecs who used it to regulate blood flow, bloodstone was also used in the 1st century BC. It was believed to preserve health and protect against deception.
In powdered form bloodstone has long been used as a medicine particularly to prevent bleeding.
Bloodstone Healing Properties
When used for its healing properties bloodstone is still used for matters relating to the blood. It's also believed to strengthen the immune system.
A grounding and protective stone it can help keep undesirable influences out. When carried as an amulet it offers strength and support when dealing with dangerous situations.
Associated with the base chakra, bloodstone is a powerful healing stone that protects the mind from the stresses of everyday life. It's perfect for those who find it difficult to relax and who think about things for longer than they should.
The base chakra also known as root chakra is close to the base of the spine. It's said to be the roots that secure body and soul to Earth. The root chakra is related to survival, instincts and stability. When correctly aligned you should feel safe, secure and firmly grounded in yourself and in relation to what's going on around you.
Bloodstone can also be used to improve focus and strengthen decision making.
A Few More Facts
When heated the green in bloodstone turns grey and the red inclusions of iron oxide turn black. For this reason the stone's colour is always natural.
Bloodstone is mined predominantly in India, Australia, Siberia, Scotland, Brazil and the United States.
According to the traditional and ayurvedic birthstone chart bloodstone is the birthstone for March. Aquamarine and jasper are listed as alternatives. On the mystical birthstone list bloodstone is the birthstone for February. It's also associated with the zodiac sign for aries.
Widely used for lapidary purposes, bloodstone is quite hard and grades 7 on Mohs scale of mineral hardness. Mohs scale measures the scratch resistance of one stone against another. Hardness is not the same as toughness.
The bloodstone at the top of our article is courtesy of James St. John. The piece in our second photo and the tumbled stones are from our collection.
All three images are clickable and redirect to the original non-compressed photo.