Bloodstone Value, Price, and Jewelry Information


Polski heliotrop, polerowane zgłady, Góry Suche gmina Mieroszów” (Polish Heliotrope, polished, Gmina Mieroszów) by Adam Ognisty is licensed under CC By 3.0

Also known as heliotrope, bloodstone is the traditional March birthstone. This dark green, opaque chalcedony with red to orange spots is a variety of plasma gemstone.

Value

The International Gem Society (IGS) has a list of businesses offering gemstone appraisal services.

Information

DataValue
Is a Variety ofChalcedony
Refractive Index 1.530-1.543
Colors Dark green body with red to orange spots
Luster Waxy
Polish Luster Dull to vitreous
Hardness 6.5-7
Toughness Good
Specific Gravity 2.55-2.70
Birefringence 0.003 to 0.009
Transparency Opaque
Birthstone March (traditional)
EtymologyThe red spots may look like drops of blood. The name “heliotrope” is from the Ancient Greek helios and tropein for "sun" and "turning." According to the ancient natural historian Pliny the Elder, this stone gives a red reflection when turned to face the sun while immersed in water.
Inclusions Actinolite, hornblende needles, iron oxides.
“Sterling silver ring with bloodstone inlay” by Jessa and Mark Anderson is licensed under CC By 2.0
“Sterling silver ring with bloodstone inlay” by Jessa and Mark Anderson is licensed under CC By 2.0

Comments

Although bloodstones can be faceted, they are more often cabbed or carved. Like other members of the quartz family, the stone’s hardness makes it an excellent choice for a jewelry stone. The combination of deep green and blood red makes this a visually striking material.

Identifying Characteristics

Bloodstone’s body color is darker than fellow green chalcedonies such as chrysoprase and prase. Bloodstone’s opacity is caused by inclusions of actinolite or hornblende needles.

The red to orange spots distinguish bloodstones from plasma gemstones. These spots are caused by the presence of iron oxides such as hematite.  However, some bloodstones may have few or no such spots.

This cup was carved from bloodstone in 1557 by the Milanese artist Gasparo Miseroni. “Cup in the Form of a Shell by Gasparo Miseroni (Kremlin exhibition, Moscow 2011)” by shakko is licensed under CC By-SA 3.0
This cup was carved from bloodstone in 1557 by the Milanese artist Gasparo Miseroni. “Cup in the Form of a Shell by Gasparo Miseroni (Kremlin exhibition, Moscow 2011)” by shakko is licensed under CC By-SA 3.0

Sources

Australia; Canada; Czech Republic; Germany; India; Italy; Romania; Slovakia; South Africa; United States.

Due to the blood-like appearance of its spots, bloodstone was popularly associated with the crucification of Jesus Christ and martyrdom by Christians in the Middle Ages. “Italy, Florence, Holy Virgin and Jesus Christ, Heliotrope, ca 1560” by sailko is licensed under CC By-SA 3.0
Due to the blood-like appearance of bloodstone’s spots, Christians in the Middle Ages popularly associated the gem with martyrdom and the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. “Italy, Florence, Holy Virgin and Jesus Christ, Heliotrope, ca 1560” by sailko is licensed under CC By-SA 3.0

Trade Names

Blood jasper: Although opaque, single color, oxide-stained chalcedonies are usually considered jaspers, bloodstone is not typically included in that category. It lacks the grainy structure also characteristic of jaspers.

Care

Bloodstone requires no special care. Mild detergent, warm water, and a soft brush are a good choice for cleaning.

“Bloodstone Carnelian – detail” by Wayne Noffsinger is licensed under CC By 2.0
“Bloodstone Carnelian – detail” by Wayne Noffsinger is licensed under CC By 2.0