A heliotrope, also known as a bloodstone.
A heliotrope, also known as a bloodstone. Photo: Chille Maulidhaa

Bloodstone is an opaque, dark-green Chalcedony with red spots. An old name still used in Europe is heliotrope (Greek - sun turner). Used often as seals for men's rings and for other ornamental objects. The mineral aggregate heliotrope is a variety of jasper or chalcedony (which is a cryptocrystalline mixture of quartz).

The red inclusions are supposed to resemble spots of blood; hence the name "bloodstone". The name "heliotrope" derives from various ancient notions about the manner in which the mineral reflects light.



Bloodstone is a cryptocrystalline quartz. It inherits from that a conchoidal fracture and a hardness of approximately 6.7-7 on the Mohs hardness scale.

Bloodstone (Heliotrope) may be classified as a Jasper or Chalcedony variety of Quartz, and is usually a combination of the two. It is typically defined as a dark green Chalcedony with blood-like spots of Red Jasper or iron oxide inclusions.

It occurs as massive formations, ranging from dark green to greenish-blue or greenish-black, and may be translucent to opaque with a waxy, resinous luster. In addition to the spots and streaks of Red Jasper, some formations contain inclusions that are yellow or white, while others lacking inclusions may be entirely green. Bloodstone has been referred to as Blood Jasper and specimens with only yellow inclusions have been called Plasma.

 In the ancient world it was considered to be a semi-precious stone or gem, and was used extensively as signet seals and in jewellery, as well as being carved into decorative cups, small vases and statuettes.

Bloodstone
Photo: Chille Maulidhaa
See also: 
How Do Asterism Minerals Form?
Types of Agate With Photos
The Major Varieties of Quartz (Photos)
 
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