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 Heliotrope

 

Gemstone :
Heliotrope

Birthstone Month :
Heliotrope a birthstone associated with the month of March.

Zodiac :
Heliotrope is associated with the zodiac signs of Aries, Pisces, and Scorpio.

Chemical Symbol :
SiO2

Chemical Make-up :
Heliotrope is a Silicon Dioxide and a variety of Chalcedony, which is a form of cryptocrystalline Quartz. Its green coloration is due to the presence of chlorite, with the red spots being due to the presence of iron oxide.

History & Lore :
The name Heliotrope is Derived from Greek which means “sun turning”. It is not known for certain why this name was given, although it is said that in Ancient times polished stones were described as reflecting the sun. In the gem market today, Heliotrope is more commonly known as Bloodstone, being given this descriptive name from the flecks of red on the stone that resemble blood.

Legend states that Heliotrope was first formed when drops of Christ's blood fell and stained pieces of Jasper at the foot of the cross. Because of this, Medieval Christians used bloodstone to carve scenes of the crucifixion and martyrs, using the red specks to signify Christ's blood. This led to the stone being titled the Martyrs Stone.

 

The Louvre Museum in Paris contains an example of a “Martyrs Stone” that was carved with the seal of the German Emperor Rudolf II.

Heliotrope has been used to cure blood related disorders dating back thousand of years. It is said to aid poor blood circulation, cure blood poisonings, and to purify and detoxify the bloodstream. It is also believed to cure tumors, hemorrhages, and to stop the flow of blood from a wound. Ancient gladiators actually used Heliotrope to seal battle wounds.

Availability :
Fine specimens of Heliotrope can be difficult to find on the market today. Many believe the reason for this short supply is due to the fact that finely powdered Heliotrope is being used as both a medicine and an aphrodisiac in India.

Sources :
Today India is the major source for Heliotrope. There are also known deposits in Australia, Brazil, China, and the United States.

Evaluation :
Heliotrope is rated at 6.5 to 7 on Moh's Scale of Hardness and should be protected from scratches and sharp blows.
It is found in different shades of green, accompanied by red to reddish brown specks. Color saturation and quality of polish are both important factors that significantly affect value.

Common Cuts :
Heliotrope is most commonly found cut into cabochons and beads. It is also often used as a seal stone.

Routine Enhancements :
There are no known enhancements for Heliotrope.

Care & Cleaning :
Heliotrope is best cleaned using warm soapy water and a soft brush. As with most gemstones, Heliotrope should be kept away from prolonged exposure to extreme heat and household chemicals that can damage the stone. Always keep your Heliotrope jewelry in a fabric-lined box away from other jewelry items in order to avoid damage / scratching.

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