Hematite – Colors, Sizes, and Shapes
Hematite is one of the more common minerals found on earth, in fact, it is the primary ore that is used to make iron. It is extremely hard, even harder than iron, but very brittle and only scores a 5 to 6 on the Mohs hardness scale.
Hematite comes in many different colors which are used in ornamental jewelry, as well as other products. Hematite can come in silver or gray, black, brown and brownish red, and most notably red. Hematite gets its name from the Greek root word meaning blood. Its red color is the most striking and associated with war by not the Greeks but the ancient Romans that covered themselves in this mineral either as jewelry or as war paint, which they thought would make them invincible.
Varieties of hematite include Hematite Rose which is known for its circular blade arrangement, the Tiger Iron, which can include the colors silver, grey, red jasper, and tiger eye quartz, the Kidney ore which is in the shape and color of a kidney, and Specularite, which is very shiny silver and usually cut into stones.
How and Where Hematite is Formed and Found?
Hematite forms in mainly huge deposits of banded iron. While Hematite can form either in volcanic lava, hematite can also form near hot springs or near standing water. When Hematite forms near water it is usually grey in color. Hematite is also found in soil that is in tropical climates or has been weathered.
Hematite is very common and can be found all over the world; however, it is mainly mined in England, by the border of the United States and Canada near Lake Superior, Brazil, and Mexico.
There are many different varieties of Hematite, they include Bloodstone which is obviously red in color, Tiger Iron, which was created over 2 billion years old and contains silver-gray hues and red jasper, Kidney Ore which usually comes in minerals that are lumpy kidney looking masses. Another popular type of Hematite is the Hematite Rose, it is usually has a circular arrangement of bladed crystals, making it resemble a rose.
The Uses of Hematite
Hematite comes in various colors including black, gray, silver, brown, rust, reddish-brown, and red. Red is the color usually associated with hematite for jewelry purposes, however black Hematite is sometimes referred to as a Black Diamond.
Today, Hematite is a popular mineral used in jewelry. Its earthy tones are very attractive to many consumers and you can also find hematite used with fabrics as well as Native American art and jewelry. While hematite is not as popular as other well-known gemstones and minerals, hematite is extremely attractive and a great gift for the right person.
Hematite – The History and Origins
Hematite is popular for use as ornamental jewelry and can sometimes be called black diamond; it is also used with fabrics or as part of a necklace, ring, or bracelet. Hematite has been known to the ancient world and was revered for its red and brown tones. For instance, the word hematite comes from the root words in Greek meaning blood. It was associated with Ares the god of war and later on with the Romans, who called this god Mars. In fact, the Romans would adorn themselves with Hematite and even use it to paint their faces. It was said to make one invincible.
Today, many Native Americans use this earthy mineral in their artwork and as jewelry. Red Okra is made from Hematite and used to make war paints.