Mar 4th, 2013
Ever wondered where the expression comes from? The expression was first recorded in Giovanni Torriano’s Second Alphabet, 1662:
“To go about to fetch blood out of stones, viz. to attempt what is impossible.”
Well, we think it was inspired by one of our birthstones.
March has 2 birth birthstones: aquamarine and blood stone. The latter is a dark-green jasper flecked with vivid red spots of iron oxide. This ancient stone was used by the Babylonians to make seals and amulets and was believed to have healing powers — especially for blood disorders. It is sometimes called the martyr’s stone as legend tells that it was created when drops of Christ’s blood stained some jasper at the foot of the cross. Generally found embedded in rocks or in riverbeds as pebbles, primary sources for this stone are India, Brazil, and Australia.
American Gem Society