A mystical stone, actually the mineral Heliotrope, a form of Chalcedony that appears as an opaque dark green stone with red spots, also known as Bluestone.
The red spots in the Bloodstone were once thought during the Middle Ages to be drops of Christ's blood, hence its name.
The Bloodstone has been used as Talismans and protective Amulets for thousands of years. The classic bloodstone is green chalcedony with red inclusions of iron oxide or red jasper. Sometimes the inclusions are yellow, in which case the mineral is given the name Plasma.
The Bloodstone was treasured in ancient times. Polished Bloodstones were described as reflecting the sun: perhaps the appearance of the gem reminded the ancients of the red setting sun, mirrored in the ocean. The Bloodstone was often placed in ancient Egyptian tombs to protect the deceased. Roman and Greek soldiers wore it into battle, believing they would be protected from a loss of blood if they were wounded. Sometimes the Bloodstone would be called a "touching stone," because people believed it would reveal tainted or poisoned food or drink when placed in contact with it. It was also reputed to be capable of boiling water, prevent disagreements, promote courage, and provide mental clarity. The Bloodstone was also believed to stop bleeding, both internally and externally.
In Christianity, the 'Blood of Osiris' became the 'Blood of Christ'. Medieval Christians often used Bloodstone to carve scenes of the crucifixion and martyrs, for which reason it was also dubbed the martyr's stone.
According to the legend about the origin of Bloodstone, it was first formed when drops of Christ's blood fell and stained some green jasper at the foot of the cross. A beautiful example of carved bloodstone with the seal of the German Emperor Rudolf II can be seen today at the Louvre Museum in Paris.
Modern crystal healers and occultists use the Bloodstone for a multitude of purposes, including protection from stress and problems with blood circulation. It is also still used to inspire confidence and a sense of self-worth. Finely pulverized bloodstone is used as a medicine and aphrodisiac in India. Perhaps that explains why it is now rather difficult to find fine specimens of bloodstone on the market.
The Bloodstone is mined in India, South America, China, Australia, and the United States. The Aquamarine and Bloodstone are the birthstones of the month of March, and the Hematite is also called Bloodstone.
The Heliotrope or Bloodstone is featured in one of Boccaccio's stories in the Decameron.
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Sources: (1) Spence, Lewis, An Encyclopedia of Occultism, Carol Publishing Group; (2) Dictionary of the Occult, Caxton Publishing; (3) Bonner, Campbell, Studies in Magical Amulets, University of Michigan Press; (4) Budge, E. A. Wallis, Amulets and Talismans, Carol Publishing Corporation; (5) Walker, Barbara G., The Book of Sacred Stones: Fact and Fallacy in the Crystal World, Harper & Row; (6) Webster, Richard, The Encyclopedia of Superstitions, Llewellyn Publications.
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