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Archive for March, 2006

Quick Update

Posted March 8, 2006 By AussieSapphire

Just a quick note to update our customers. We have been busy preparing for Minerama – our local Gem Show here this weekend. See our recent post on the subject. Very busy preparing gems for display and our other range of products so not much time to photograph and catalogue new rough.

Consequently, we did not list any new items last weekend and will not have time to do so this weekend. We do have good stock of our own sapphire and other gems of interest so there is still plenty to consider. We plan to restock the Ebay Store after Minerama is over and we get a chance to draw breath. We may even find a few bargains at Minerama which might be of interest to our customers – we will keep you posted.

In the meantime, there are 2 auctions running which are due to finish after the weekend. At the time of writing this, these are still at the starting price of 99 cents so you never know – these might go for a bargain price. Remember, this rough is of our usual high quality. These auctions allow our buyers to set the price and every 99 cent auction has the chance of finishing well below our normal selling price – on the other hand, we have had some keen buyers compete strongly for our very best pieces. We have a nice 9 carat Reddestone Blue and a Lovely Lighter Coloured Parti Sapphire up for grabs this time so we recommend you check it out.

More news coming soon with hopefully a Minerama report by the end of the weekend – we will have 2 guided fossicking tours running on our property along the Reddestone Creek. We wish all those participants the best of luck – hope you find plenty of treasure in amongst the mud and gravel of the creek.

cheers for now from Aussie Sapphire

Gem of the Month: Bloodstone

Posted March 1, 2006 By AussieSapphire

The modern birthstone for March is aquamarine – see our March 2005 article on aqua for more information on this gem. However, the traditional birthstone for March is Bloodstone which has only recently been replaced by the more valuable aquamarine gems. However, bloodstone is a really interesting gem which is definitely worth a closer look.

Gemmological Matters: Bloodstone is a variety of chalcedony – a cryptocrystalline variety of quartz which can be in many different forms. Bloodstone is the name given to a dark green/greenish-blue chalcedony with small red blood-like spots. The red colour of the spots deriving from iron oxide. Like all quartz, the chemical composition is SiO2. The main source of Bloodstone is India – it is also found in Russia, Germany, Austria, Australia, China, Brazil and the USA.

Hardness is 7 on the Moh’s Scale of hardness so it is acceptable for use in jewellery with appropriate care. Bloodstone is a popular gemstone that is usually cut as cabochons. It is also used for beads, as a seal-stone (with an engraved device), for men’s signet rings, cameos and decorative carvings.

Mythology and Lore: Bloodstone is a very ancient stone with the red flecking giving rise to many interesting legends. The ancient Greeks and Roman believed athletes would gain endurance by wearing Bloodstone. Bloodstone is also regarded by some as a Hero’s Gemstone, capable of instilling courage in dangerous situations and providing protection from ones own dangerous desires.

Medieval Christians often used Bloodstone to carve scenes of the crucifixion and martyrs resulting in an alternative name as the ‘Martyr’s Stone. Some sources suggest that it was worn by early Christians as a symbol of their faith. The Christian legend of the origin of Bloodstone says that it was first formed when drops of Christ’s blood fell and stained Jasper at the foot of the cross during his crucifixion.

Bloodstone is the traditional birthstone for March and is associated with the Zodiac sign of Aires. Bloodstone is often used as a healing stone and it represents courage and martydom.

Alternatives: The unique red spotting on the green background is unique to Bloodstone and we do no know of any similar alternative. May be confused with green jasper which does not have the characteristic red fleck through the stone.

Image at left courtesy Gemstone Magic

Links of Interest:
ICGA Gem by Gem article on Bloodstone – The Martyr’s Gem
Branwynn Annwn – Bloodstone for March
PGR Gens – datasheet on Bloodstone
Gem Society – Chalcedony Information
Mineral Miners – Mineral Factsheet on Jasper

Bloodstone may be available from any good rock shop – we do not stock this fascinating stone. However, we have good stock of the modern March birthstone of aquamarine so contact us if you need quality aqua in rough or cut form.

Cheers for now from Aussie Sapphire