Saturday, March 19, 2011

Bloodstone is the Gemstone of the Week

Bloodstone is the traditional birthstone for March and is the gemstone of the week. It is sometimes called Heliotrope which means “sun turning” in Greek. It has also been called the Martyr's Stone. It is a silicon dixoide member of the chalcedony family. The red spots are from deposits of iron oxide. The deep green color is from masses of chlorite. There are two groups of bloodstone-plasma and heliotrope. The plasma group has the dark green color with no red spots. The heliotrope group is more translucent.
On the Moh scale, it has a hardness rating of 6.5-7. Bloodstones that are used in jewelry are sometimes coated with a special polish, so it should not be exposed to harsh chemicals or strong detergents. It should also be protected from extreme temperatures and scratches.
India is the main source of Bloodstone, but it is also found in Brazil, Australia, China and Wyoming. It is a relatively inexpensive stone.

There are a lot of fake bloodstones stones on the market today. To tell a real stone from a fake, rub the stone against a piece of porcelain. If it leaves red streaks, it is real.

This stone was highly prized during the Middle Ages. It was believed that the red spots were the blood of Jesus Christ. It was often used in sculpting statues representing martyrdom. It was also believed that it could stop bleeding with the merest touch. The belief was also held that it strengthened blood purifying organs and improved circulation. It is still finely ground and used today in making traditional medicines in India.
The pictures contain some stones from my gemstone collection.

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