Bloodstone, Green Jasper
Helioptrope, Green Jasper With Red Spots
When you talk about a bloodstone, there are two opinions that you will come acrss. Many people actually do not know what a bloodstone gem is. Another significant number of people feel that the name bloodstone refers to a bright red gemstone with a lot of lustre and glitter. Before we move ahead let us first understand what a bloodstone is and why this gem came to be given this name. Bloodstone is a variety of green jasper, while all green jasper stones are not bloodstones, an important differentiation should be made. Green jaspers that have red spots are called bloodstone. You will therefore come across the name bloodstone jasper, which means the same thing. This gem has another name and that is heliotrope. So when you come across the terms, green jasper with red dots, bloodstone jasper or heliotrope remember that they refer to the same stone.
There is a very interesting story and belief regarding the origin of the name bloodstone. It is believed that there was a piece of green jasper at the feet of Lord Christ when he was crucified. As blood dripped from his wounds, it stained the green jasper stone. This belief gave the stone the name bloodstone. Many people mistakingly believe that bloodstone is infact bright red and transparent. The fact is that the stone is very dark green with a sprinkling of red spots, it is opaque and never transparent or transluscent. In the early days, bloodstone was mainly carved into statues with religious significance.
Regarding the suitability of bloodstone for jewelry, the hardness factor of 7 puts it on par with many other gems that have far greater popularity. The fact is that the gemstone is not much of a stunning beauty, the opacity and dark color of bloodstone is not something that will impress you at first sight. And yet, you will come across gem and jewelry lovers looking for bloodstone. Jewelry is generally made in silver and set with this variety of green jasper. One of the main reasons why bloodstone gems are purchased is for the religious significance attached to them. There is another belief that, wearing a bloodstone relieves blood disorders and also helps blood circulation. Such beliefs abound in the world of gems but, should never be practised as a substitute for professional medical advice. The Indians and Chinese believe in the medicinal properties of bloodstones, this stone is ground into a fine powder and used as an ingredient in traditional medicines.
A discussion on the jewelry applications of heliotrope (same as bloodstone) can be too lengthy but, we will quickly summarize the essentials here. For people who believe in the special powers of this stone, it is felt that the gem should actually touch the skin when the jewel is worn. This means that for bloodstone rings, the base of the gem will need to bulge or protrude despite the stone being opaque. Most opaque gems are cut with a smooth cabachon cut on the top and the base is left flat. With the right ring design and gem cut, it will be possible to get a bloodstone silver or gold ring where the gem just touches the skin from below. Too much of gem protrusion on the inside can hurt or press the skin below. When it comes to bloodstone pendants, a better option is available. You can mount two bloodstones back to back, this will mean that there is a gem at the back and front of the pendant. This design is ideally suited for pendants where the stone needs to touch the skin.
A hardness of 7 for a gem is sufficient to create a sturdy jewel however, each gem has specific properties that need to be considered. This becomes relevant when you wear, store or even clean your bloodstone jewel. Caring for bloodstones is not too troublesome once you understand the gem. Make sure that the stone in your ring is not cut too high as a high gem is more likely to be struck by physical impact. Many gem providers cut opaque stones far too thin, this is done to get more stones from the same piece of rough. This might sound like a good idea but, a gemstone needs sufficient body (depth) to be sturdy. Another important piece of information is that cut bloodstones are polished with a special lotion. This leaves a thin film on top of the gem and gives it a glossy look. Soaking your bloodstone jasper in water for many hours or, allowing detergent or strong solvents to settle on the stone can damage this thin layer on the top. When you store a jewel with bloodstone, keep it in a small pouch or bag. This will ensure that it is not scratched by other hard objects that might be bundled together.
When it comes to birth stones, most modern charts list aquamarine as the birthstone for the month of March. However, traditionally bloodstone is also considered to be one of the birthstones for March. Quite a few people where a bloodstone ring or pendant as a birth stone jewel.
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