The alternate birthstone for March is bloodstone, (heliotrope), a dark-green jasper flecked with vivid red spots of iron oxide.
Bloodstone dates back through historical and ancient times. The trade name of ‘heliotrope’ originated from the belief that gemstones were once thought to reflect the sun, derived from the Greek words, ήλιος and τρέπειν, which mean ‘the turning sun’.
This ancient stone was used by the Babylonians to make seals and amulets and was believed to have healing powers — especially for blood disorders.
To this day, bloodstone remains one of the most popular gemstones used by alternative healers. Most famously, bloodstone is thought to be able to purify blood and improve circulation in its wearer.
The Christians have a very long history of bloodstone use. It is actually one of the most significant gemstones in Christian scriptures. Bloodstone was believed to have been created by the blood of Jesus Christ.
It is said that during his crucifixion, the blood of Jesus dripped down from his wounds, staining the green colored jasper placed below his feet. His red blood forever stained the green stones, giving birth to the bloodstone we know today.
Bloodstone is an opaque to translucent variety of chalcedony quartz. More specifically, it is classified as a variety of microcrystalline quartz.
It’s color ranges from various shades of light to dark green and typically, the primary color is unevenly distributed, often exhibiting noticeable light and dark color zones.
Bloodstone is characterized by its dark green color and the presence of red, blood-like inclusions, which is how it earned its descriptive gemstone name.
Bloodstone’s blood-like inclusions are owed to the presence of iron oxide impurities. The ‘blood-drops’ can range from red to brownish in color.
The level of ‘blood’ inclusions vary tremendously. Some may exhibit little to no spotting, while others are very densely spotted. Droplet-shaped blood spots are more desirable than streaks.
The most common gem mines and sources for bloodstone include India, Madagascar and California, USA. There are also significant deposits from Australia, Germany, Brazil and China. The most recently reported source is the Isle Of Rum, located in Scotland.
Bloodstone is not typically dyed, heated, enhanced or treated in any way. It is one of the few gem types that remains untreated from the mine to the market.
It can be cleaned easily with warm water and a mild soap or detergent. It can be wiped with a soft cloth or brush. Always rinse your gemstones and jewelry well to remove soapy residue.
Always remove any jewellery or gemstones before exercising, cleaning or engaging in harsh physical activities such as sport.
Store bloodstone jewelry away from other gemstones to avoid scratches. It is best to wrap gemstones in soft cloth or place them inside a fabric-lined jewellery box.
We hope this article has given you a bit more of a background on bloodstone, but should you have any additional questions about this or any other jewellery related topics, you can always: “Ask the Jeweller”
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