Cochise College           Student Papers in Geology

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Roger Weller, geology instructor

wellerr@cochise.edu


History of Gemstones
by Tonya Pike
Physical Geology
Spring 2012
                  

 

The Captivating Powers of Stones
 

Everyone says diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but did anyone stop to think that she may want a gemstone instead? There are many gemstones that visually challenge the appearance of a diamond. Many of which the majority have not even seen or heard of; if given the chance, most gemstones because of their physical makeup, could make even diamonds look as dull. In fact, gemstones are becoming once again popular to the masses due to their one-of-a-kind colors and designs within each stone. One gemstone in particular, bloodstone, possess a very fascinating history and appearance, which makes it one of the most treasured gemstones to many around the globe. This gemstone is able to effortlessly captivate eyes and hearts due to its unique composition, its numerous associated mythologies, as well as its ancient and present powers.


photo courtesy of R. Weller
 

Visually, bloodstone is a very unique gemstone and can be easily distinguished among a selection of other stones. The composition of bloodstone is quite simple, but nonetheless continues to draw the intention of many around the globe. Bloodstone consists of a “deep-green color with bright-red nodules” (“Bloodstone”). The contrast between the dark green and vibrant red embedded in the stone creates a visually pleasing sight. This complimentary color combination draws attention to the composition of the stone. Upon a closer look, an observer is able to see the complexity of the interweaving colors and patterns. Enhancing “the beauty of the stone” is that fact that it is a translucent gemstone (“Bloodstone”; Weller “Mineral”). The gemstone allows “light…[to] pass through the mineral but is diffused so that images cannot be seen clearly.” This fact adds to bloodstone’s visually captivating makeup (“Transparency”). Scientifically, bloodstone is a part of the quartz family and, specifically, a variety of a type of quartz called chalcedony, a cryptocrystalline quartz. It is a green jasper with red spots that have been colored by iron oxides (Weller “Bloodstone”).
 

Bloodstone is able to catch one’s eye, not only because of its physical appearance, but also because the stone has many myths associated with it. There are several legends and mythologies regarding the origination of bloodstone and how it received its name. One theory suggests that the red material in the stone was the blood of Christ that fell on the stones beneath him during his crucifixion: “The bloodstone was believed to represent the blood of Christ Jesus.” (Wong). Because of this story behind its name, bloodstone has become popular to those whom are religious and believe in God. After the name was given from this idea the red (colored by iron oxides) was the blood of Christ, bloodstone became a popular stone to use for reasons in relation to God and Christianity. These uses ultimately led to a its other secondary name—martyr’s stone. Bloodstone began to called by this additional name because it was used “to carve scenes of the crucifixion and martyrs” (“Bloodstone”). Another legend related to stone belongs to the Greeks whom called the stone “Heliotrope”:  “Helios, for the sun, tropos for turn” (“The Legend”). The Greeks interpreted that two-toned color of the stone to symbolize the relationship between the sun god and the gods of the sea due to “the stone’s resemblance to the reflections of the setting sun on the waters of the sea, which would have appeared to be very deep green in the gloomy light” (“The Legend”).


photo courtesy of R. Weller
 

In addition to its myths and legends, bloodstone is able to grab the interest of common society with the ideas that it is thought to have healing abilities. In ancient and medieval eras, the bloodstone was believed to possess mystical powers and healing abilities: “People believed that it could heal hemorrhages and give relief from stomach pain. Even today bloodstone is believed to have magical powers and that wearing it would increase ones knowledge” (“Bloodstone”). These hypotheses may have been the result of the legend related to Christ. Because it was believed that the dark red color in the gemstone was the blood of Christ, many believed that bloodstone consequentially possessed the power to heal. Even to this day bloodstone is thought to have some sort of “good-health power” and is “used for circulation of all energy in the body and helps to remove energy blocks” (“Healing”). Due to the fact that bloodstone is thought to have healing abilities, more people search desire bloodstone items and, thusly makes the stone popular for jewelry and other treasured items. In addition to healing, other common powers include:

“…to fight evil and avoid jealousy and enviness [sic]…to stop bleeding, aid poor blood circulation and to cure blood poisoning as well as draw out the poison from venomous animals…boost up your spirit and add longevity …[and] to ease [a] broken heart and bring good luck.” (“Bloodstone Healing”)

There are so many additional powers associated with the stone, making it sentimental if given as a gift. Not only people appreciate the look of bloodstone, but also the powers the stone is sought to possess; this attribute makes the stone more treasurable to its receiver and/or wearer.










 

From the years of Christ to today, bloodstone continues to mesmerize whoever lays eyes on it with its physical appearance, healing powers, and mythologies. There are many gemstones, but because of these attributes, bloodstone remains one of the most treasured. They say that popular styles eventually come back into current society, which is beginning to seem true for the gemstone. Gemstones are, again, gaining popularity due to the exclusive content of each and every stone. Who knows, they might even hold the power to be a girl’s new best friend!











 

Works Cited

“Bloodstone.” mapsoftheworld.com. Mapsoftheworld.com, 2007. Web. 31 Mar. 2012.

“Bloodstone Healing Properties.” List of Gemstones. Game Frog, 2009. Web. 31 Mar. 2012.

Bloodstone Necklace. Digital image. Ann’s Gemstone Jewelry. Ann Stretton, 2012. Web. 01 Apr. 2012.

Christ and Bloodstone. Digital image. Squidoo. Squidoo, 2012. Web. 01 Apr. 2012.

 “Healing Properties of Bloodstone.” Emily Gems: Joyful Crystals and Gemstones. n.p., n.d. Web. 31 Mar. 2012.

“Legend of the Bloodstone.” bloodstones.com. bloodstones.com, 2012. Web. Apr. 2012.

Polished Bloodstone. Digital image. Charms of Light. Caryl Haxworth/Charms Of Light, 2012. Web. 01 Apr. 2012.

“Transparency.” Geology: Rocks and Minerals. The University of Auckland, 2005. Web. 31 Mar. 2012.

Weller, Roger. “Mineral Information on: Quartz.” Geology Home Page: Cochise College. n.p, 2012. Web. 31 Mar. 2012.

Weller, Roger. “Bloodstone.” Geology Home Page: Cochise College. n.p, 2012. Web. 31 Mar. 2012.

Wong, Susan. “Bloodstone: Information and Facts.” Squidoo. Squidoo, LLC., 2012. Web. 31 Mar. 2012.