I took over this e-zine when Gail, its originator was unable to continue it. With Gail's permission, I have added her original Rock's of the Week so that everyone can find the information readily. Please feel free to visit Gail's web site at http://www.davesrockshop.com

Alternate birthstone for March

Bloodstone is a dark green stone with red flecks. It is more properly known as green Chalcedony and it is a form of silica quartz. This form of quartz is masses of very tiny quartz crystals, which form in lumps. There are two types of bloodstone: plasma and heliotrope. Plasma is very deep green, opaque, with very little or no red in it, and may have yellowish spots. Heliotrope is lighter colored, somewhat translucent, and has red in it.

Bloodstone was treasured in ancient times and long served as the birthstone for March. This attractive chalcedony quartz is also known as Heliotrope because in ancient times polished stones were described as reflecting the sun: perhaps the appearance of the gem reminded the ancients of the red setting sun reflected in the ocean. In Germany, bloodstone is still known by the name of heliotrope.

Bloodstone can be found mixed in with other minerals, or as pebbles along riverbeds. It is most commonly found in India, Brazil, Uruguay, USA, and Australia.

Bloodstone is considered a semi-precious stone. It is used for carvings, cameos, seals, men's rings or other ornamental objects. Today, finely powdered bloodstone is used as a medicine and aphrodisiac in India. This is one of the reasons it is difficult to find fine specimens of bloodstone on the market. Also, India had terrible earthquakes during the last 2 years in the bloodstone mining regions of that country.

Variety of: Chalcedony
Chemical Composition: SiO2 Silicon Dioxide
Hardness: 6.5 - 7

History and Lore: 
Bloodstone has found it's way throughout history connected with the Christian religion. The bloodstone is said to represent the blood of Christ Jesus. The legend of the origin of bloodstone says that it was first formed when some drops of Christ's blood fell and stained some jasper at the foot of the cross. Bloodstone gems have been embellished with a thorn-crowned head of Jesus so placed that the red of the bloodstone simulate drops of blood trickling down his hair and face. Such gems are especially revered as Christian amulets.

Because of the legend, bloodstone became a favorite material for carving Christian art. One of the most famous pieces of art carved from bloodstone was done around 1525 by the Italian artist Matteo del Nassaro. Titled "The Descent from the Cross," the statue was so carefully carved that the spots of red on the bloodstone were in the perfect spots to represent the wounds of Christ.

Medieval Christians often used bloodstone to carve scenes of the crucifixion and martyrs, leading it to also be dubbed martyr's stone. A beautiful example of carved bloodstone with the seal of the German Emperor Rudolf II can be seen at the Louvre museum in Paris.

During the Middle Ages, bloodstone was believed to have healing powers. The stones were crushed into powder and mixed with honey and egg whites. In this form the bloodstone was believed to cure tumors and stop bleeding. Alchemists also used bloodstone to cure blood poisoning as well as draw out the poison from venomous snakebites.

The Leyden Papyrus declared that "The world has no greater thing than bloodstone", it opens all doors for its owner, breaks down the walls of prisons and averts many disasters. 

In the plague of 1576, a Franciscan Friar gave pieces of bloodstone to Mexican Indians to stop their hemorrhaging. 

In 1675, Robert Boyle wrote of an acquaintance that cured nose bleeds by giving patients bloodstone to hold.

Bloodstone is said to be able to heal all blood ailments. It has been used for everything from stopping hemorrhaging to curing anemia. 

Bloodstone is a good meditation stone. It suggests a connection between the red lifeblood of animals and the nurturing powers of the green plant world. It is particularly grounding, and can bring its wearer courage. 

Bloodstone is said to be a powerful tool for warding off the evil eye as well as driving away night demons, and guarding against deception. It is considered an enabling stone that brings the possessor the things he desires.

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