1. About the Mineral Bloodstone
2. Historical Use of Bloodstone
3. Bloodstone Healing Properties
4. More Bloodstone Facts
5. Bloodstone | Explore Our Collection
6. Read More
About the Mineral Bloodstone
The mineral bloodstone is a dark green variety of the mineral chalcedony which is a cryptocrystalline variety of quartz. Minerals described as cryptocrystalline have crystals too small to be seen with the naked eye. This popular lapidary material is opaque and takes on a high polish. When used as a gemstone it tends to be cut as a cabochon.
The red spots present in bloodstone are caused by inclusions of iron oxides most likely to be the mineral hematite.
Historical Use of Bloodstone
Historically the mineral bloodstone was used as an amulet in the belief it could stop bleeding. It was also believed to have mystical properties which included the ability to control the weather, banish evil and negativity and direct spiritual energies. Bloodstone which is also known as heliotrope was used to protect against the evil eye and in certain circumstances was believed to render the wearer invisible.
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 colouration to the mineral heliotrope. 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'. The name heliotrope came about because the mineral was believed to reflect light and for reasons unknown, was also believed to change colour after being submerged in water.
The deep red coloured inclusions were once likened to drops of blood hence legend says bloodstone was created at the foot of the cross during the crucifixion of Christ. For this reason it has always been deemed to be an appropriate material for carving scenes of the crucifixion. During the Middle Ages bloodstone was 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. The stone which is described as a reddish brown jasper is 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 to help preserve health and to protect against deception. In powdered form it has been used throughout history as a medicine and in particular to help with bleeding.
Bloodstone aka Heliotrope. Click to enlarge
Bloodstone Healing Properties
When used in conjunction with crystal healing bloodstone is still considered to be useful for matters relating to the blood and for strengthening the immune system. It has grounding and protective properties which help to keep undesirable influences out as well as teaching how to avoid dangerous situations.
Associated with the base chakra bloodstone is a powerful healing stone that may also be used to protect against stress related to EMF (electromagnetic fields). A great stone for those who find it difficult to relax and who think about things for much longer than they should, bloodstone improves focus and strengthens decision making.
Bloodstone tumbled stones. Click to enlarge.
More Bloodstone Facts
When heated the green in bloodstone turns grey and the red inclusions of iron oxide turn black. For this reason unlike many rocks and minerals which are heat treated to enhance or change their colour, the colour of bloodstone is almost always completely natural.
Mined predominantly in India, Australia, Siberia, Scotland, Brazil and the United States, the mineral bloodstone is one of the birthstones for March with the other being aquamarine which is the blue variety of the mineral beryl.
A fairly hard mineral bloodstone grades 7 on Mohs scale of mineral hardness.
The photo at the top of our article is courtesy of James St. John - Flickr. The bloodstone tumbled stones are from our collection.