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Birthstones
Michael Schweska
Physical Geology
Spring 2005

 

                                            March Birthstone-Bloodstone

 
The gemstone Bloodstone is the modern March birthstone. Bloodstone is 6.5 - 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness. Bloodstone is mined in India, Australia, and the United States. Bloodstone

This attractive chalcedony, microcrystalline, quartz is also known as Heliotrope because in ancient times polished stones were described as reflecting the sun: perhaps the appearance of the gem reminded the ancients of the red setting sun reflected in the ocean. Medieval Christians often used bloodstone to carve scenes of the crucifixion and martyrs, leading it to also be dubbed the martyr's stone. A beautiful example of carved Bloodstone with the seal of the German Emperor Rudolf II can be seen at the Louvre museum in Paris. Even today, finely powdered bloodstone is used as a medicine and aphrodisiac in India. Perhaps that explains why today it is difficult to find fine specimens of Bloodstone on the market. Click here for a picture in natural form (red jasper). Click here for more Chalcedony specimens. Click here for more Jasper specimens.

Description:

Bloodstone is a green jasper dotted with bright red spots of iron oxide. The legend of the origin of bloodstone says that it was first formed when some drops of Christ's blood fell and stained some jasper at the foot of the cross.

Chemistry:

Bloodstone is a variety of Quartz, SiO2, Silicon Dioxide. A Green Chalcedony with red spots (the green due to chlorite, the red due to ferric iron).

Legends, Myths and Healing Properties:

The legend goes that this stone trapped the blood of Christ as it fell (the legend also speaks of St. Stephen's blood, hence the name, St. Stephen's Stone). Therefore its healing qualities are often associated with stemming hemorrhages and nose bleeds. Thought to heal blood diseases and "purify" the blood. Women wore bloodstone to prevent miscarriage and hemorrhaging during childbirth. The redder varieties are thought lucky for soldiers going into battle, thought to instill courage, strength and power to the wearer. Hence it is considered a beneficial stone to athletes. The greener varieties are associated with money and wealth. It is said a bloodstone in the cash drawer of any business, will draw a steady flow of money. A pendant is said to attract wealth to it's wearer. It has been used magically to become invisible--or at least not attract attention. This was achieved by rubbing the gemstone with crushed Heliotrope flowers, then carrying or wearing the gem.