Hematite


This specimen consists of a nice size hematite matrix containing a pocket filled with specularite crystals. Collected in the Florence Mine, Egremont, Cumbria.

Scientific:
Hematite is an important ore of iron and its blood red color (in the powdered form) lends itself well in use as a pigment. Hematite gets its name from the Greek hema for blood, as in hemoglobin, because of the color of its powder. (In some countries it is called 'bloodstone'.) Ancient superstition held that large deposits of hematite formed from battles that were fought and the subsequent blood that flowed into the ground. Crystals of Hematite are considered rare and are sought after by collectors, as are fine Kidney Ore specimens. Hematite was so named because of the fact that when cut, the saw coolant becomes blood red. 

In mineralogy, well-crystallized hematite varieties are called iron luster, finely crystallized ones red iron ore or red ironstone, and radial aggregates are called red glass head. When cut into very thin plates, hematite is red and transparent; when polished, it is metallic and shiny. Hematite, with its high iron content is a very useful mineral. Its chemical composition contains a high percentage of Iron (70%) and it is the primary ore used to create Iron.


"Kidney ore", a variety of Hematite that takes on a botryoidal habit. Location: Cumbria, England.

Hematite has several varieties, each with their own unique names. 

Hematite Rose is a circular arrangement of bladed crystals giving the appearance of the flower of a rose. 

Tiger Iron is a sedimentary deposit of approximately 2.2 billion years old that consists of alternating layers of silver gray hematite and red jasper, chert or even tiger eye quartz. 

Kidney Ore is the massive botryoidal form and gives the appearance of lumpy kidney-like masses. 

Oolitic Hematite is a sedimentary formation that has a reddish brown color and an earthy luster and is composed of small rounded grains. 

Specularite, or Specular Hematite, is a micaceous or flaky stone that is sparkling silver gray, sometimes used as an ornamental stone, and is used for jewelry as "Alaska Black Diamond". Specular hematite's beautiful rainbow colors (mostly blues, greens, and purples) catch you off guard - you just don't expect it from such a "dark" and opaque material. It is difficult to find specular material that is strong enough to withstand the wear and tear of being worn, but it does exist.


botryoidal hematite Location: Sahara Desert, Morroco

Hematite is something of a European stone in that it comes from England, Germany, Norway, Sweden, and Spain. It also comes from Brazil, New Zealand, and a number of locations here in the U.S.

There are a number of imitators, probably the best known being hematine. This is a mixture of stainless steel and sulfides of chromium and nickel. It has a similar red streak, but is quite magnetic (hematite is not).


Specular Hematite Location: Brazil

First used as mourning jewelry, it is now used for creating engravings, cameos, cabochons, beads and imitation diamonds. Opaque hematite has been faceted in small stones and used as a diamond imitator in older pieces (similar to the use of marcasite). Faceted transparent gems are virtually unknown because in order to be transparent, the material must be so thin as to be unworkable.

Being an iron oxide, hematite (particularly specular) is somewhat subject to rusting.

Chemical Composition: Fe2O3, Iron Oxide
Hardness: 5.5 - 6.5


Red Quartz  Location: Spain 
This is quartz with hematite.
Chemical Composition: SiO2 and Fe2O3

History:
Native Americans used hematite to make the red face paint called red ochre.

Hematite (along with carnelian and jasper; red stones) was once used to prevent bleeding.

Hematite was used in seals as early as 2500 B.C.

The ancient Egyptians used Hematite in the creation of their magical amulets such as the carpenter square and headrest amulets and several heart amulets. 4 of the 47 heart amulets in the Cairo Museum were hematite. It was used as an inscription stone for passages from the Book of the Dead. The ancient Egyptians used it to treat hysteria, to reduce inflammation, and to place in tombs.

 
Harlequin quartz sphere This is quartz with hematite.
Chemical Composition: SiO2 and Fe2O3

Engraved hematite seals have been found in the ruins of ancient Babylon.

Known as the gift of Russian royalty, Lord Baranof once presented hematite rings and pendants to the Royal Family of Czar Alexander I as gifts from his Alaskan subjects.

Until recently blusher contained ground hematite, the same mineral that was used to impart a reddish tint to skin tones in past millennia.


botryoidal hematite from Mexico

Lore:
Hematite relates to Mars, the Roman God of War. The Romans glorified Mars more than the Greeks did, who loathed him and knew him as Ares. Warriors in Roman times used Hematite as protection during battle. So strong was their belief in the power of Hematite to protect them that they thought it could even make them invincible. 

Hematite was used by Galen for inflamed eyelids and headaches, and by Pliny for blood disorders. Azchalias asserted that Hematite, when used as a talisman, procured for the wearer a favorable hearing of petitions addressed to kings and a fortunate issue of lawsuits and judgments.


carved hematite skulls

Metaphysical:
Hematite is the "Stone of mental mastery." It aids clarity, balance, and calm reason, thus making it a very grounding stone. It helps dissolve negativity, and transforms it into Love. It assists one in creating peaceful, loving, kind relationships. 

Because of its powers to calm and reduce stress, Hematite is often recommended by Crystal Healers as an aid in bringing about sound sleep by creating a calm, meditative state within in the mind. Further, they credit it with healing the effects of Jet lag and eliminating worry, which can cause insomnia, resulting in a happier person more in touch with his or her inner self. 

Hematite is said to enhance one's physical energy and vitality, and to calm emotions and boost self-esteem. It is also said to enhance memory and intellect. 


hematite sphere Location: Minas Gerais, Brazil

 Hematite is said to help strengthen the circulatory system and to help in the treatment of blood and kidney disorders.

Hematite has long been associated with psychic awareness. In addition, some people believe that it assists in astral travel. "For scrying: In a darkened room, light a red candle. Settle before it and hold a large piece of hematite so that the candle's flame is reflected on it. Gaze at the reflection and visualize a question. The answer will come to you." (Cunningham)

Hematite is said to be a principal blood purifier among stone healers. It can be placed anywhere on the body for this purpose, or worn as a ring, pendant or necklace for continuous healing. Shamans historically have believed that hematite, placed over the location of an illness, will draw the "spirit" of the illness out of the patient and into itself.


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