Along with aquamarine, bloodstone is the other birthstone of March…and it’s a stone of Biblical proportions! Red specks in this beautiful stone were believed to be the blood of Jesus Christ (hence the name) in the middle ages and the stone itself was, therefore, believed to possess amazing powers.
There are a lot of other fun and interesting facts about this birthstone, so let’s explore 10 facts you may not know about bloodstone:
- Bloodstone is the more common name in jewelry for the mineral aggregate heliotrope, which derives its name from the Greek words helios (“Sun”) and trepein (“to turn”). Its appearance comes from green jasper with inclusions of red hematite.
- In folklore, it was believed that the stone would offer clairvoyance and preservation of health, as well as having the power to stop bleeding by the mere touch to the skin.
- Bloodstone is found in various deposits in locations all over the world, including the United States, Brazil, Australia, China and Madagascar. The largest deposits are in India, where it is used medicinally.
- Albert the Great called heliotrope the “stone of Babylon,” believing it to have magical powers. First century magicians thought highly of the stone as well, as they believed it would make them invisible.
- 4th century folklore added to the history and mystery by referencing this birthstone’s ability to cause solar eclipse and make the sun turn red, as well as causing rain, thunder and lightning.
- High quality bloodstone is much less common than it used to be. It is believed that this is because in India, where the largest deposits are located, much of the mined mineral is crushed into powder and used both medicinally and as an aphrodisiac.
- Bloodstone is most commonly used as beads in necklaces and bracelets or cut into cabochon for pendants and brooches. It is not commonly faceted, but is popular in being cut for setting in signet rings.
- Being a member of the quartz family, it ranks on the Mohs scale with a hardness of 7 on a scale of 1 to 10. Better than medium hardness, but it needs some TLC. Drastic temperature changes can cause fractures and you shouldn’t wear it when you’re going to be physically active, as it can be damaged by scratches and bumps and dinks.
- Be careful when cleaning your bloodstone jewelry, as it can be ruined by chemicals and cleansers. In fact, you don’t want to even get it wet, as its high gloss finish comes from a special treatment that will wear off in water. If you find that the shine just isn’t there like it used to be, bring it to us.
- While the highest quality bloodstone is indeed rare, the best gauge to use for choosing your piece is that the green color should be solid and the red spots should be easily visible. Some specimens sold have little or almost no red spots or have brown spots or streaks. These are the less valuable pieces, although they still tend to be beautiful.
If you have questions about this or other precious and semi-precious gemstones, stop by and have a chat with us, call us or send us a question on our contact form.