Color: Dark green with red spots Streak: White
Mohs' Hardness: 6 ~2 - 7 Specific Gravity: 2.55 - 2.65
Cleavage: None Fracture: Conchoidal
Refractive Index: 1.535 - 1.539 Birefringence: up to 0.006
Dispersion: None Pleochroism: None
Crystal System: Hexagonal (trigonal) microcrystaline aggregates
Chemical Composition: Si02 silicon dioxide
Bloodstone is a dark-green variety of chalcedony with inclusions of iron which
produce red or brownish spots within the stone. White or yellowish spots may
also be evident. Stones without reddish "blood" spots are usually referred to as
a green chalcedony. The gem is most often cut as a cabachon.
has been known by a variety of names. Modern gemologists also call this
stone plasma. It has also been known as jasper, bloody jasper, Babylonian gem,
and in ancient times, heliotrope. The term heliotrope comes from two Greek words
meaning sun-turner. The gem was believed to alter the reflected rays of the sun,
giving them a red color. This single characteristic was expanded upon by the
ancient historian Damigeron. He states, Now, if it is put in a silver basin full
of water and placed against the sun, it turns to it and makes it as if bloody
and cloudy. . . . the air becomes cloudy with thunder and lightning and rain and
stones, so that even those experienced in the power of the stone are frightened
and perturbed, such divine powers does this stone have.
The stone was said to make water boil, stop anger, bring strength and
courage, and promote mental health. If thrown in pure water, bubbles of gas
were said to rise to the surface and the water would become blood-red. This test
for authenticity was important to the ancients. A true sample was valued as a
"touching stone." It was believed that if the stone was placed in contact with
tainted food or drink, it would detect the poison's presence. It was considered
hardly possible for a person to be so poor that they could not keep such a stone
to guard their family.
A statement in the Leyden Papyrus contradicts the statement that this stone may
be possessed by all. The Papyrus praises the stone as an amulet and ranks it
with great value.
The world has no greater thing; if any one have this with him, he will be given
whatever he asks for; it also assuages the wrath of kings and despots, and
whatever the wearer says will be believed. Whoever bears this stone, which is a
gem, and pronounces the name engraved upon it will find all doors open, while
bonds and stone walls will be rent asunder.
Other beliefs concerning this common stone abounded in the Middle Ages. Rubbed
with the juice of the herb heliotrope, the stone would make the wearer
invisible.~ A similar tale prescribes mixing powdered bloodstone with the same
herb and applying it to the hands and face to cause the subject to vanish. "To
this notion Dante alludes where he sees the damned running about under a hail of
fire, �No hope of hiding-hole or Heliotrope." The stone was reputed to stop
internal or external hemorrhaging. The methods favored were to cool the stone in
water and apply it with pressure to external wounds, or to apply the cooled
stone between the shoulder-blades for internal hemorrhages. Other practitioners
recommended cooling the stone in water and placing it in the right hand of the
patient. This medicinal use was reinforced when early Spanish explorers found
Native Americans using it for the same purpose. Franciscan friar Bernardino de
Sahagun recorded numerous cures of hemorrhage caused by plague when he was
treating the Indians. In his Booke of Thinges That are Brought from the West
Indies (1574) he writes,
The stone must be wet in cold water, and the sick man must take him in his right
hand, and from time to time wet him in cold water. In this sort the Indians do
use them. And as touching the Indians, they have it for certain, that touching
the same stone in some part where the blood runneth, that it doth restrain, and
in this they have great trust, for that the effect hath been seen.
Spaniards, Mexicans, and Indians in New Spain also cut the stones into
the shape of a heart to guard against diseases of the organ. It was also used to
heal and cool inflammatory illnesses and fevers. Another testimony as to the
stone's efficacy was recorded by Vasari (1514-1578). He wrote of a visit to the
artist Luca Signorelli who was working on an altar piece for the church at
Orezzo. During the visit, Vasari was seized with giddiness and hemorrhage and
fell fainting to the floor. Signorrelli brought a bloodstone amulet and placed
it between his shoulder-blades. Vasari states with certainty that this action
stayed the flow of blood and saved his life. From that day forward, Vasari
carried the healing stone with him, and the malady never reoccurred.
A long-standing legend has been passed down in the Christian tradition. The
bloodstone was said to be green jasper which was at the foot of the cross at
Christ's crucifixion. One version of the story says that drops from the Savior's
wounds were splattered onto the stone. Another says the red spots are from drops
which fell from the tip of a Roman soldier's sword. Gem carvers have used the
stone as a medium for their art. The face or figure of Christ is carved into the
stone to serve as a religious icon. The most extraordinary examples are those
which feature Jesus' face with carvings are arranged so the red spots appear to
flow from the wounds of the crown of thorns. Lost carvings have been found by
This is the aichemical sign for bloodstone. It also serves as a symbol for
According to Diderot~c Encyclopedia this sign was use by eighteenth century
chemists in France to mean bloodstone or hematite.
and thought to be of natural occurrence. Records of the Roman Catholic Church
show requests for verification of such wondrous finds and the canonization of
the finder. Charlitans have commissioned such carvings, buried them, and
unearthed them as miraculous acts.
Vedic texts of India relate a story of the origin of bloodstone. Vala, a demon
god, was slain and dismembered by the demigods. The parts of his body were
strewn about the earth and universe to create the various gemstones we know
today. Agnideva, demigod of fire, stole the complexion of Vala and transformed
it into the seeds of bloodstone. These seeds were dropped primarily into India's
Narmada River. Other seeds washed up upon the lands occupied by the lower caste
while the rest were spread around India and the world. Wherever they settled,
deposits of bloodstone originated.
Contemporary advocates of crystal power give bloodstone many healing powers. It
is said to be an intense healing stone and a "stone of courage." The gem is
reported to have cleansing energy, especially regarding physical imbalances in
blood, bowel, and stomach. It is also said to aid in purification, calming, and
soothing the mind and emotions. The belief continues that it is able to
neutralize toxins in the body and help in the elimination of the same.
Bloodstone is still used to stabilize blood flow and is gaining favor as a
marrow builder in the treatment of leukemia.