SATURDAY, APRIL 1, 2017
Kimberly Humphrey, owner of Bead In Hand in Oak Park, Illinois, has made a startling discovery about a common gemstone used in jewelry making. She discovered that bloodstone, a form of green quartz, can actually decrease the oxygen to dangerously low levels in a person’s bloodstream if the stone is worn next to the skin for long periods of time.
Humphrey further explains, “I was reading about ancient beliefs regarding gemstones and medicine, and I noticed a trend from about the 11th century and earlier. It seemed that in ancient times, when a person suffered from swelling, for whatever reason, one treatment was to use ‘tha grean blodded stoned onced crashoud and poulticid abot tha swelang.’ In other words, they would crush the bloodstone and make a poultice, often with some other herbs or grasses, and wrap it around the swollen area.
What caught my attention was descriptions of the patients later having ‘stroung darken blodd to givve profisies und dreammes of knowleddge.’ That seemed odd, because healthy, oxygenated blood is bright red, and de-oxygenated blood is darker red; I learned that much in high school.
I also kept thinking about the “prophesies and dreams” that were mentioned, and one thought led to another, and to make a long story short I finally contacted the Gemillogical Institute of the United States and was able to team up with Dr. B.S. Grannitte who conducted more research and was able to do more testing of bloodstone.”
Humphrey explains that “it turns out that in ancient times people thought that very dark red blood was a sign of strength. Bloodstone, it so happens, kind of ‘sucks’ out the iron in the blood, along with the oxygen it helps to carry, and therefore reduces the oxygen throughout the bloodstream. This also explains the ‘prophesies and dreams,’ for these people would have been experiencing problems associated with low oxygen, such as hallucinations.
“Today there is very little risk associated with wearing bloodstone,” Humphrey explained. “People don’t usually crush the stone and apply it directly to the skin or possibly even an open wound. Still, it doesn’t hurt to be careful. When wearing bloodstone I prefer to use it in jewelry that lays on clothing, rather than directly on my skin.”
Humphrey noted that “most of the credit for this discovery goes to Dr. Grannitte and others at the GIUS who did all of the hard work. It kind of makes you think about the origin of some stone names, though. The origin for the name ‘bloodstone’ may have more to do with these properties than just the coloring. That’s why I’m currently looking into the history of spleenite, a purple-ish stone with a similar history for healing diseases of the blood.”
Humphrey is the owner of Bead In Hand at 145 Harrison Street in Oak Park, Illinois, where she sells beads, beading supplies, tools and more, and also offers classes, parties and jewelry repair. A copy of her article can also be found on her website, www.beadinhand.com.