Bloodstone, a member of the chalcedony quartz family, also called Jasper or Heliotrope is an opaque, sometimes smoky or foggy in appearance, dark green stone with red spots. India is a major source of Bloodstone as well as South America, China, Australia, Scotland and the USA.
The red spots are caused by iron oxide and the green colour comes from particles of chlorite or included hornblende needles. The colour is variable and some Bloodstones have little or no red spots.
Bloodstone was also called Heliotrope by the ancient Greeks who once said that this stone had the power to turn the sun blood red, and to cause thunder, lightning, raid and tempests. They also believed that it brought change.
Christians gave special significance to Bloodstone as they believe that when Jesus was crucified, the dripping blood dropped on the green Jasper giving the stone its red spots and so this was the origin of the name Bloodstone. Bloodstone was known at one time as the Martyr’s Stone and was used in sculptures representing flagellation and martyrdom. Egyptians made thumb rings using Bloodstone with a design showing the rays of the sun as a symbol of their religion around their ‘sun god Ra’. It was also known as a Mother Goddess stone, and is associated with images of Isis and Horus and the Black Madonna. Many old European churches and museums have altar vessels and furniture made of bloodstone or has Bloodstone inlays.
Bloodstone was commonly carved into signet rings as a seal stone or cameos and is now cut into cabochons and beads for necklaces, bracelets and jewellery.
Treasured in ancient times, Bloodstone was named the birthstone for March, until it was replaced in 1912 by Aquamarine. However, Bloodstone is still considered the astrological gem for Aries.
Astrologers of old thought that the Bloodstone was symbolic of wisdom, courage, and vitality. The wearer of this stone was certain of health and strength, both physical and mental. It was the favoured stone of Roman athletes, who credited their endurance to its magic power.
It assured success to the wearer in any venture where a hard struggle was involved, but a calm mind was needed.Bloodstone is supposed to provide positive relief and cure many disorders and problems related to the blood. It has been used for circulation of all energy in the body and helps remove energy blocks. Bloodstone was used to stop bleeding especially nosebleeds. Helps purify toxic blood and detoxify the kidneys, liver, and spleen. Roman soldiers credited this stone the power to stop bleeding wounds, either by the direct contact with the stone or by using powdered Bloodstone. Today it has been suggested that this healing effect is because of the presence of iron oxide, an astringent used in surgery today.
Ayurvedic healing focuses on the five elements of life: earth, water, fire, air and space. Bloodstone contains the power of fire and earth and is considered a very powerful stone in the Ayurvedic healing system.
Good samples of Bloodstone can be hard to find in the market today. Some believe the reason for the shortage is due to the fact that finely powdered bloodstone is used traditionally as both a medicine and an aphrodisiac in India.
Clean Bloodstone with warm soapy water and a soft brush. It should be kept away from lengthy exposure to extreme heat and household chemicals which can damage Bloodstone. Keep the gem in a fabric bag away from harder jewellery to avoid scratching as the stone is quite soft.