Ancient Egyptians believed that heliotrope possesses a magical power to help its owner to get desired, to overcome all that stands in his way to success, to make people to believe in his words. The Greeks and Romans wore this stone for greater endurance during sports game, to secure the favor of those in power, to gain fame. In the Middle Ages many sculptors used it to sculpt the head of Christ and red spots on his forehead matched the wounds of the crown of thorns. It is known as the "stone of Jesus."

heliotrope crystal

One of the stories about the name of this stone says that it comes from Greek words Helios (meaning ”sun”) and trope (meaning “turn) – or what turned toward the sun. It is dark green variety of chalcedony with red spots which are inclusions of the mineral hematite (iron oxide). The spots color is very similar to the blood color so the stone is called also bloodstone. Sometimes these spots are and yellow and this variety is called plasma.

This stone does not shine with a special outer beauty. But its popularity comes from the fact that it unites many legends. That’s why it is known as “a legendary stone”. Many different objects of Christian worship were mad of it, which used the legends of Ancient Egypt and Ancient East. In ancient times it was mostly used for the production of stamps and male rings as well as for decorative objects. During the Victorian era it became popular for making jewelry in Britain. There is an intaglio of bloodstone with the seal of emperor of the Holy Roman Empire Rudolf II (1552-1612) stored in the Louvre Museum. Rudolph was a patron of the arts and especially occult sciences and had a vast collection of gems and minerals searching the "Philosopher's Stone".

heliotrope many stones
heliotrope different colours

Really priceless objects of heliotrope have been created by “Faberge” jewelry house. Such for example is a parasol handle known in the collectors circles. It is made ​​of heliotrope and beautifully encrusted with diamonds. Even more famous is a jewelry box of bloodstone with gold leaf created in style neo-Rococo. It was designed for the Russian princess Maria Alexandrovna who was wife of the second son of Queen Victoria – Alfred. Today it belongs to Queen Elizabeth II. One of the most beautiful “Faberge” creation is an Easter egg known as “Memory of Azov”, also made of heliotrope and one of the few Imperial Faberge Easter eggs that left in Russia.

Care and keeping

Bloodstone is relatively resistant against scratches and loss of polish. It can be cleaned both the standard way with warm water, a little soap and a soft cloth, as well as ultrasonic and steam.



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