Best known for its unique appearance, Bloodstone is a variety of microcrystalline quartz. The deep green stone is best known for its red inclusions, which appear almost blood-like. These inclusions are what gave the stone its official name. Sometimes, Bloodstone is referred to as ‘heliotrope’ and ‘blood jasper’. Before it was replaced by Aquamarine, Bloodstone was the official birthstone for March. While the stone is now only regarded as an alternative birthstone, it is still the official zodiacal stone for Aries.
The green colour of Bloodstone is the result of the stones chemical composition; when inspected, chlorite and hornblende needle inclusions can be found. While Bloodstone is typically dark green, the exact shade of colour can vary from light to dark green. In some specimens, the body colour is unevenly distributed. This means that the stone will have some darker areas, and some lighter. The blood-like inclusions in the stone are the result of iron oxide impurities. The colour of these inclusions ranges from deep red to reddish-brown. Some specimens exhibit yellow spotting, too; stones of this nature are referred to as ‘plasma’. The amount of blood-like inclusions present in Bloodstone varies between each specimen. Additionally, the appearance of the inclusions ranges from stone to stone. Some specimens boast droplet-shaped spots, while others exhibit streaks. Typically, droplet-shaped spots are the most desirable. In this article, we explore Bloodstone in more detail.
Due to its unique appearance, Bloodstone is fairly easy to identify – even to the untrained eye. The body colour of the stone is usually dark green, though some specimens can appear blue-green or even blue-grey. Even if the base colour isn’t the typical green shade, Bloodstone can still be identified from its blood-like inclusions.
Trained professionals can also identify the stone by its extreme hardness. This can be assessed through a simple scratch test. Currently, there are very few minerals that are hard enough to scratch Bloodstone. This means that performing a scratch test can distinguish the stone from similar minerals. Bloodstone is made from Silicon Dioxide, so professionals can also identify the stone this way. The mineral can occasionally be confused with Jasper; however, the composition of Jasper is much more grainy than that of Bloodstone, so the two can be distinguished fairly easily.
Bloodstone is an opaque variety of microcrystalline quartz. As quartz is one of the most readily available minerals on earth, Bloodstone has many closely related gemstones. Jasper, Chalcedony, Chalcedony Quartz, Banded Agate, Onyx, Carnelian, Citrine, and Aventurine, and Quartz are some of the most popular related stones. Thankfully, most of the related minerals are not similar in appearance, so Bloodstone can be distinguished easily by eye.
If you’re looking to purchase a piece of Bloodstone, it’s worth looking out for stones referred to as ‘blood jasper’, too. In the trade, Bloodstone is often referred to by this name. Sometimes, the mineral is also referred to as ‘heliotrope’. However, this name is rarely used today in the gemstone market.
As mentioned previously, Bloodstone is usually dark green in colour. The exact shade of the stone may vary, though, with some stones appearing bluish or brownish green. All specimens of Bloodstone exhibit blood-like inclusions, though the appearance of these may vary. Typically, they are red in colour, with some stones also showing shades of yellow.
The clarity of Bloodstone is typically opaque, though some stones may appear translucent. When the mineral is cut and polished, its surface starts to become slightly waxy. The strong lustre that polished Bloodstone boasts makes it popular for use in gemstone jewellery. When used in jewellery, the stone is usually cut en cabochon; however, the mineral can also be turned into tumbled stones or beads. Typically, larger gemstones are facetted and cut into an oval shape. Bloodstone can also be purchased in decorative shapes such as hearts and trillions, or even carved into intricate ornaments for those willing to pay the price.
Today, the majority of Bloodstone is sourced from Madagascar, India, and the USA. Smaller deposits can also be found in Germany, Brazil, Australia, and China. In recent years, the Isle of Rum in Scotland has also been reported as a source of Bloodstone.
Like most gemstones, Bloodstone boasts a range of healing benefits. In day-to-day life, the stone is often used to boost the immune system and cleanse the blood. It can also be used to detoxify many of the vital organs such as the liver, kidneys, intestines, and bladder. Additionally, the stone is thought to help combat disorders of the blood, making it beneficial for those suffering from leukaemia, anaemia, and various infections.
For many years, Bloodstone has been associated with pregnancy and childbirth. When worn around the neck, the stone is thought to prevent miscarriage during pregnancy and aid the birthing process when the time comes. The vibrations of the stone are believed to help the baby travel through the birth canal, and also provide the mother with the strength to endure the process.
Good-quality Bloodstone is loved worldwide. Today, the most notable deposits of the stone are found in Madagascar, India, and the USA, though the mineral can also be found in Australia, Germany, Brazil, and China. Loved for its saturated green colouring and blood-like inclusions, good-quality Bloodstone is often used in gemstone jewellery. Whether you’re hoping to use the stone for its benefits within crystal healing or you’re looking for a beautiful new addition to your jewellery collection, purchase a piece of Bloodstone to reap the benefits.