Bloodstone: March’s Other Birthstone

Slab of Bloodstone from Asia

Bloodstone, also known as heliotrope, is a variety of chalcedony (cryptocrystalline quartz).  It is traditionally semi-translucent to opaque dark green jasper with red inclusions of iron oxides, especially hematite. Bloodstone’s alternate name heliotrope comes from the ancient Greek word that means “to turn the sun.”

In ancient times, these March birthstones were believed to turn the sun red if they were placed in water. The name bloodstone derives from the belief that the color pattern has religious significance, representing the blood of Christ.

Several metaphysical properties have been attributed to this March birthstone. They include increasing strength, giving invisibility, and preserving health and youth. In modern times, many believe the bloodstone birthstone to be a lucky charm, as it is prized by athletes and others who want to grow their strength. Even today in India, fine bloodstones may be crushed into a powder and used as an aphrodisiac.

Although bloodstone does not share the same classic beauty as March’s traditional aquamarine birthstone, many prize bloodstone for its special properties. Bloodstones used as gems are typically cut as cabochons, though some striking examples are faceted.


Most bloodstone in the marketplace today is from India. However, the bloodstone birthstone also comes from parts of Brazil, Australia, China and the United States, among other countries. Bloodstone can be found filling filling fractures or cavities in other rocks or as pebbles in riverbeds.

Rare Mexican Silver and Bloodstone Bracelet


To keep the stone from getting scratched (it’s 6.5–7 on the Mohs scale), it is important to store your bloodstone birthstone in a soft fabric.

The March birthstones aquamarine and bloodstone have it all: They are beautiful, rich in lore and exceptionally wearable. Now you know how to pick one that will become a cherished addition to your jewelry wardrobe.

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