Hematite Facts, Information and Description
Hematite is a very common mineral consisting of iron oxide. Its color ranges from steel gray to almost black (specular hematite), brown to reddish brown, or red. The variety known as rainbow hematite exhibits colors similar to oil patches on water. The drusy form of rainbow hematite is quite fragile and is usually backed with a quartz material to increase the stone’s durability.
While the forms vary, they all have a rust-red streak. Hematite is harder than pure iron, but it is much more brittle.
The name hematite is derived from the Greek word haimatites for blood.
It is mined in Australia, Brazil (rainbow variety), England, Mexico, the United States and Canada. It is the state mineral of Alabama, USA where approximately 375 million tons were mined between l840 and 1975.
Hematite (iron ore) is a very common mineral on Earth and it also occurs everywhere on the planet Mars where it is responsible for the planet’s distinctive red color. It was first identified on Mars by the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES), aboard Mars Global Surveyor.
Rainbow hematite is the trade name given foliated specular hematite which comes from a mine near Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil.
An important pigment known as “red ochre” it was used in cave paintings and paint pigment.
Hematite Folklore, Legend and Healing Properties
In ancient times it was believed that large deposits of hematite formed on battlegrounds where soldiers were injured and lost blood from their battles.
The ancient Egyptians placed hematite objects inside their tombs.
Hematite is believed to be a healing and grounding stone, strengthening the body and lessening life’s stresses.
It is thought to reduce stress and enhance one’s personal magnetism. It is also thought to increase optimism and courage and helpful in transforming negativity.