Bloodstone Gemstone: History, Meanings, Uses & More

Bloodstone GemstoneWhat do you call a forest green gemstone cloaked in blood-like splashes of crimson? Bloodstone! Flowing from groundwater veins in the earth’s silica cavities, the gem is bloody beautiful — and steeped in an unusual history. It’s no coincidence that the gemstone’s crimson-soaked appearance symbolizes human blood, but what exactly is a bloodstone?

Before we get too deep into the blood metaphors, let’s identify this captivating gem.

A Stone of Many Legends

If you’ve ever seen a jasper, you might’ve mistaken it for a bloodstone if it weren’t for those vivid splashes of blood-red spots. So, what does it mean, and how do we use it today?

In Biblical mythology, bloodstone was born when Jesus’ blood drops fell onto a jasper gemstone at the foot of the cross.

Also called a heliotrope, the stone itself is carved from the legends of ancient folklore and mystical tales. Fact is, this magical gem is old as civilization, and it has kept a foothold in society throughout the evolution of humankind.

Most famously beloved as the March birthstone, there’s more to learn about this gemstone than its birth month association.

With its unusual history and religious associations, bloodstone remains popular and in demand.

Today, we’re rounding up all the crucial bloodstone information, including its symbolism, history, properties, and uses. Whether you favor wearing the jewel, using it in chakra meditation, incorporating it into purification practices, or using it as an aphrodisiac, this gem has many meanings and uses.

Keep reading to learn everything there is to know about bloodstone crystal meaning and uses.

bloodstone gemstone

What Is Bloodstone?

Bloodstone is a chalcedony gemstone variety from the quartz family. It shares a microcrystalline structure akin to agate, jasper, and onyx. Often referred to as a heliotrope, bloodstone is a plasma variety in opaque, deep green shades.

You may also encounter the stone advertised under the following nicknames:

  • Heliotrope: While some argue that a heliotrope differs from a bloodstone, the terms are used synonymously in the gemstone and jewelry industries.

  • Blood Jasper: A spotted red-black variety with white veins

  • Oriental Jasper: Jasper advertised as oriental to make it seem more exotic.

  • Fancy Jasper: A variety with multiple colors outside of green and red, or varying color combinations.

Classic bloodstone is dark green with red inclusions. One glance at this green gem, and you can’t help but associate its red dots with blood. Despite its blood-like pattern, the distinctive red notes are visible from iron oxide’s influence on the gem’s chemical composition.

A relatively soft stone, bloodstone ranks around seven on the Mohs hardness scale. Compared to hard gemstones like diamonds or sapphires, which rank at 10 and 9 for hardness, the trace quantities of mineral matter make it a softer gem. Amphibole, chlorite, and pyroxene inclusions also contribute to the gem’s unique color.

Speaking of which...

dragon bloodstone gemstone parcel

Bloodstone Color

The most prestigious varieties have two distinct colors: dark green and crimson red. Like all gemstones, the patterns and coloration vary from stone to stone. But the universal factor is the presence of blood-red inclusions.

Still, some feature streaks and bands of many colors, including white, brown, yellow, and orange.

When one has dominant colors other than red, it’s called a “fancy jasper.” That’s because, in its basic form, opaque chalcedony gems are simply jasper. It’s the blood-red spots that give bloodstone its distinction and unique name.

The most popular and treasured colors are a solid, opaque forest green base accentuated by bright, vivid blood-red spots. Together, the contrast evokes a splatter, paint-stroke pattern that looks like fallen blood droplets on a jasper stone.

In fact, it’s the stone’s color combination that ties into its rich folklore and meaning, which, as mentioned, traces back to antiquity.

It’s the blood-like pattern connecting the stone to the “Blood of Christ,” and, of course, there’s a great story to go with it! But more on that later. For now, let’s look at the stone’s sources.

Bloodstone Origins

India is the primary source of mined, faceted, and gem-quality bloodstone. Other origins include Madagascar, China, Australia, and Brazil.

Did you know there are also deposits in the U.S.? The western states of California, Oregon, Washington, and Nevada also have small deposits.

So, how does bloodstone form? When the temperature drops in the earth’s shallow groundwaters, water evaporates into the air, and bloodstone forms from silica in the earth’s cavities and cracks.

The formation process isn’t unlike other quartz varieties, but it’s the interaction with various minerals that adds red to the gem’s forest green color.

Echoing its striking colors, let’s explore the stone’s colorful symbolism and mythology.
dragon bloodstone carving of skull

Symbolism and Meaning of Bloodstone

As you’ve already noticed, this stone represents many things — from the blood of Christ to purification to justice. Since ancient times, bloodstone has weaved a web of mysticism, folklore, and legend. But what does this fascinating gem represent?

Like many things, the meaning isn’t linear, and different cultures and societies value it for unique reasons.

Called the “purification stone” for its cleansing properties, ancient peoples used it to ward off evil spirits. If we traveled back in time to ancient Mesopotamia, we’d see prophetic intuits using bloodstone to foretell the future.

Throughout history, bloodstone crystal meaning has primarily symbolized courage and justice. People wore the stone to protect themselves from evil energies, and warriors used it as an amulet to prevent bleeding out on the battlefield.

It’s no secret that bloodstone is a time-honored, sacred stone of protection, but how has it gained such a vigorous reputation?

In Ancient Greece and Rome, athletes wore this protective stone to boost endurance during sports. The month of March gets its name from the Roman god of war, Mars, so it’s no surprise that Bloodstone is the traditional March birthstone.

red bloodstone cabochon drop shape

Earlier, we alluded to the relationship between bloodstone and the blood of Christ.

During the Middle Ages, pious Christians wore bloodstone as a tribute to the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Because, as legend tells, as Jesus Christ was crucified on the cross, his blood spilled on a jasper, turning the once green stone into a new, blood-spattered variety. The mythology surrounding Christ’s death gives it the nickname of “martyr’s stone.”

Widely recognized as the stone of courage and justice, Bloodstone-carved trinkets and relics of crucifixions pay respect to Jesus Christ’s sacrifice.

Travel over to India, and bloodstone is crushed, ground, and sold as an aphrodisiac. This ancient talisman has evolved into the New Age to offer modern healing and purification as a healing crystal.

While aquamarine is the more famous March birthstone, bloodstone is the traditional choice still worn today.

So, we’ve examined bloodstone’s historic and modern meanings, but what about its uses?

bloodstone gemstone

Bloodstone Uses

Thanks to its enigmatic quality and striking color, bloodstone is most popularly used in jewelry and trinkets. You’ll find beautiful cabochon beads, pendants, and necklaces, among other jewelry items.

Lapidaries showcase the stone’s color best by cutting its cabochon, a tumbling and polishing technique that rounds the rock into a smooth bead. The cabochon shape produces smooth, artful pieces like sculptures, bowls, home décor items, faceted gemstones.

Thousands of years ago, noblemen wore bloodstone signet rings to seal their surname, or family crest, on essential letters and documents. Despite its ancient roots, the practice fell out of fashion with most primitive traditions by the end of the middle ages.

Today, men and women alike wear bloodstone jewelry — and not to stamp letters — but as a fashion item.

But the earthy stone isn’t exclusive to jewelry; let’s explore more uses in further detail.

There are myriad reasons to use this purification stone, but it ultimately varies with personal preference. Some people amplify their spirituality with crystal healing, while others wear it as a protective talisman.

From physical healing to emotional balance and purification, bloodstone uses are as diverse as the stone’s mythology. Let’s look at some of the most popular uses and how you can incorporate this dynamic stone into your life.

bloodstone gemstone

Health Benefits

Adding to bloodstone’s protective properties, the stone has various health benefits. Primarily, it helps to heal blood disorders like anemia, nosebleeds, and circulation issues.

Physically, the stone preserves bone marrow while supporting the healthy functioning of the spleen, kidneys, and liver.

In ancient times, warriors used it to stop blood flow, and many people use it today for the same reasons. It’s also believed to detoxify the blood and increase circulation and blood flow.

Bloodstone has helped women find relief from PMS, menopause, and pregnancy discomfort.

However, this ancient stone’s benefits aren’t exclusive to physical healing; its powers can offer holistic and spiritual healing, too.

Spiritual Healing

One of the best ways to benefit from bloodstone’s properties is to wear it in jewelry or while meditating.

In early civilization, people used this mystical trinket to ward off the evil eye. After thousands of years of practical use and experimentation, we’ve learned that this energetic amulet vibrates healing energies that elevate one’s frequency.

Crystal healing practitioners use it for mental clarity, self-esteem, and creative stimulation. Emotionally, bloodstone alleviates anxiety and negative thoughts.

In Chakra healing, it promotes life energy and force (Qi in Chinese healing) and Prana in Hindu philosophy and medicine) to the Root Chakra. Located at the base of the spine, this low Chakra is the source of grounding, balance, and vitality. Also, it helps to harmonize and realign the lower chakras!

Beyond the dynamic healing benefits, bloodstone is a lovely gemstone, making it an excellent choice for jewelry designs.

bloodstone jewelry pendant


We mentioned that most bloodstone is polished in the cabochon style to best display its striking colors. Unlike translucent gems cut to emit the most brilliance and sparkle, the light and opacity look best when smoothed and polished.

The most popular cuts are round, pear, and opal because these smooth, lineless shapes pair beautifully in jewelry.

Why? For two reasons:

  1. It's a stylish accessory that evokes an earthy aesthetic.

  2. You can carry the stone’s healing properties with you on the go!

Necklace pendants, earrings, and beaded bracelets are excellent choices for bloodstone. In menswear, bloodstone cufflinks make for a sophisticated, bohemian look.

We’ve gone into great detail about the qualities of this ancient jewel, but before you go, let’s wrap up what we’ve learned.

african bloodstone cabochon

Bloodstone Maintenance and Care

We mentioned two features of the gem that are vital to ongoing care and maintenance. First, the stone is relatively soft, but it’s hard enough for daily wear because it doesn’t have any cleavage. Thanks to its cabochon cut, there’s nowhere for the stone to actively shatter or break because of its smooth lines.

To care for bloodstone, gently wash it with warm water, mild soap, and a soft brush or cloth. Take care not to submerge the stone into water, but to dampen a soft cloth with warm water and a chemical-free cleaner. If the stone is fragile, it’s safest to bring it to a professional jeweler for a cleaning.

Routine maintenance and washing will enhance the longevity and quality of your stones so they’ll last a lifetime.

Of course, a hard blow or impact can cause the stone to chip or shatter, which is why it’s important to ensure the beads are encased in protective metal settings.

Looking to Buy Bloodstone?

Many gemstones are ancient, but few have such historical prestige, thanks to bloodstone’s ties to the blood of Christ. Beyond history and mythology, bloodstone prevails as a beloved gem that unifies borders, cultures, and traditions.

Wrapped inside its quartz structure is a realm of mysticism and intrigue offering modern healing and spirituality. Bloodstone’s meaning and uses are as varied as civilization itself, making it a universal trinket adored by people worldwide.

Through the eye of a bloodstone, we can see the evolution of humankind — from the signet rings of ancient noblemen to the intricate carvings of the dark ages to modern healing crystals and stylish jewelry.

Are you looking to buy bloodstone online? You’re in the right spot! Browse bloodstone pendants, beads, and jewelry today!

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