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What on Earth Is Hematite?

Hematite is an iron oxide (Fe2O3), a rock-forming mineral abundantly found on Earth’s surface and in the shallow crust.

The Physical Properties of Hematite

Hematite is found in igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks all around the world. It’s the most important ore of iron.

The color of hematite varies from black to steel-gray to silver, and from red to reddish brown to black. It scores 5 to 6.5 on the Mohs hardness scale, with metallic, submetallic or earthy luster and opaque diaphaneity. Hematite is not magnetic per se, although specimens often contain magnetite which makes it hard to identify correctly. The defining characteristic of hematite that makes identification easier is its red streak. If it’s there, and the specimen still has magnetic properties, it’s likely a combination of magnetite and hematite.

Hematite is quite popular as a tumbled stone thanks to its weighty feel. It can also be cut en cabochons or used to make beads.

The History of Hematite

The word hematite comes from the Greek word haimatitis, meaning blood-red. Since the dawn of human civilization, hematite has been used as a pigment, crushed and mixed with liquid. Cave paintings were created over 40 thousand years ago from pigments made from hematite.

It’s a common mineral. Leading producers of iron ore in the world are China, Australia, Brazil, India, Russia, Ukraine, South Africa and the United States. NASA has confirmed the presence of hematite even on Mars — that’s what is giving Mars the red color that got it named the “red planet.”

The Lore of Hematite

The high iron content and pigmentation ensured the widespread use of hematite. Before they started mining ore, humans mostly used the pigment form of hematite. Believed that Native Americans used it for their war paint, while Egyptians decorated their tombs with it. Warriors in northern England are said to have used hematite crystals as talismans to preserve the life essence of wounded soldiers.

The Metaphysical Properties of Hematite

Hematite is called a Stone for the mind, thanks to its effect on concentration, focus, and memory. It’s said to enhance original thought and keep the balance between the mind, spirit and the body. Hematite is considered to be an excellent stone to use for treating overindulgence, as it helps overcome compulsions and addictions by strengthening willpower, confidence, and reliability.

Its connection with iron is said to lend hematite its healing properties related to blood conditions. It can help with a variety of blood-related problems, starting with regulating blood supply to suppressing anemia and stimulating the formation of red blood cells. As a result, hematite is considered to heal leg cramps, as well as insomnia and anxiety.

When it comes to chakras, hematite works well with the root chakra. Through it, hematite works its magic of grounding and balancing our lives, providing us with a feeling of stability. It can clear us of toxic emotions and rid us of any negative vibes.

With a beautiful yet straightforward stone such as hematite, you can enjoy the feeling of being centered and one with the earth.

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