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Bloodstone is the mystical birthstone for the month of February and the traditional and ayurvedic birthstone for the month of March.
A variety of dark green chalcedony or jasper, with small red blood-like spots (mostly red jasper). Used as a gem, bloodstone is also called heliotrope (Greek - (helio) sun (terpin) turner). It was named as such because it turned blood red in the setting sun.
It was used in Ancient Mesopotamia in fortune-telling rituals, and Babylonian warriors took bloodstone amulets to war as it was believed they could stop a bleeding wound, and Ancient Greek and Roman athletes wore Bloodstone to increase their endurance during sporting events.
The Leyden Papyrus is a collection of ancient manuscripts written in Greek discovered in the ruins of the Ancient Egyptian city of Thebes. The manuscripts are a collection of spells and recipes and include the words ‘the world has no greater thing than Bloodstone’ and goes on to describe how they can be used for all manner of wizardry.
It is sometimes called the ‘Martyr’s Stone’ and Medieval Christians would carve crucifixes and martyrs in Bloodstone. Legend has it that Bloodstone was created when drops of blood fell from the body of Jesus onto some Jasper lying at the foot of the cross.
The ancient source of Bloodstone was the Kathiawar Peninsula of India, with modern sources in India, Brazil, China, Australia, the United States, the Czech Republic, Germany, Russia, and Scotland. Its occurrence is, as with the other chalcedonies, through deposition from low-temperature, silica-rich waters percolating through cracks and fissures in other rocks. There are many fake bloodstones on the market nowadays but there is a foolproof way to tell if the stone is real- if one rubs the stone on porcelain and blood-red scars appear, it is genuine. Otherwise, it is not bloodstone, but some other gemstone.