Bloodstone is a polycrystalline variety of chalcedony (quartz) with a dark green hue with red or orangey patches. These iron oxide dots or patches are dispersed throughout the stone. As with most chalcedonies, bloodstone is very tough, making it suitable for seals, cameos, and intaglios.
Heliotrope, an alternative name for bloodstone, is derived from the Greek words for “sun” and “turning”. The ancient historian Damigeron stated: “Now, if it is put in a silver basin full of water and placed against the sun, it turns to it and makes it as if bloody and cloudy.” Christian legend held that the red spots represented the blood of Jesus Christ as it dripped from his wounds while he hung on the cross. As a result, many Christian cameos and intaglios and sculptures were carved from bloodstone and carried as Christian amulets. They believed that wearing bloodstone increased longevity and made one more courageous and wealthy.
Other attributes assigned to bloodstone include the power to avert disaster and stimulate blood clotting after injury, making it a talisman against hemorrhages. Metaphysical attributes given to bloodstone include altruism and bringing forth natural talents. Bloodstones are associated with the navel, base, sacral and heart chakras.