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Red Iron Oxide?
Hematite is an important ore of iron and
it's blood red color (in the powdered
form) lends itself well in use as a
pigment. Hematite gets its name from a
Greek word meaning blood-like because of
the color of its powder. 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 is the most important source of
iron ore in the world. The production of
iron has been important to nations of
the world for over 2500 years. Today the
addition of other minerals to iron has
lead to the production of steel which is
vital to the economy of the major
countries on Earth. Hematite has a red
or black color but the streak is always
red. The iron in the hematite turns red
when it comes in contact with water and
oxygen. In other words this rock is
General Information About Red Iron Oxide
The name Hematite comes from the Greek
word haima meaning blood, in allusion to
its color when in powdered form.
Hematite has been used for thousands of
years as amulets and talismans. It was
used by the ancient Egyptians in
religious ceremonies, and was used as an
inscription stone for passages from the
Book of the Dead. Hematite was also said
to give success in petitions and
lawsuits, and to give protection and
strength and luck to soldiers.
Hematite is the major ore mineral of
iron. It is also used as a pigment in
paint, and in polishing compounds.
The ancient Egyptians used Hematite in
the creation of their magical amulets
such as the carpenter stone and head
rest amulets and several heart amulets.
Some of these amulets were treatments
for madness and inflammation. The Greek
word haima, which means blood, is the
root of Hematiteís name and originates
from the stoneís dark red streak.
Hematite relates to the 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. Some cultures even
believed Hematite formed from blood that
had fallen on the ground of a
battlefield. Red Ochre is a paint that
originated in Native American cultures,
who used it as a face paint.
Hematite ranges in color from a
reddish-brown to gray and even black.
The most widely available forms are the
result of weathering iron bearing
minerals. Hematite often occurs with
intermixed layers of quartz.
Named from the Greek word for blood,
hematite often coats igneous and
sedimentary rocks with a reddish color
similar to rust, a form of hydrated iron
oxide. The hardness value of Hematite is
5.5 to 6.5.
This mineral is abundant in iron mines
astrological signs of Aries and Aquarius
are represented by Hematite.
Hematite was used for thousands of years
as amulets and talismans and was used by
Egyptians in religious ceremonies. Some
believe hematite enhances physical
energy and vitality. Itís believed to
calm emotions and boost self-esteem. It
is also said to enhance memory and
intellect. Some say it helps with mental
clarity and concentration and itís
sometimes used for help when studying.
Some believe if you hold a piece of
hematite and ask a question, the answer
will come to you. Itís been thought that
hematite could help a person win a
petition or lawsuit and that it would
provide protection and strength to
soldiers in battle. It works best when
work on a belt.
Medicinally hematite has been used to
calm hysteria, cure blood diseases,
soothe skin ulcerations and burns, treat
bilious disorders and help inflammation
of the eyelids.
Hematite is commonly found throughout
the world. The primary source for
hematite is a sedimentary deposit in
Iran. Hematite physically occurs in many
forms: specular ore (steel gray color,
shiny crystals); micaceous hematite
(gray, scaly flakes), red ocher (soft,
fine-grain, red powder); kidney ore
(massive, gray botryoidal form), and
pencil ore (gray, fibrous crystals).
Because hematite has a high iron content
(70%), it is primarily used for smelting
iron. Hematite has been used since
ancient times as a red pigment in paints
and glazes. It was also used for seals,
beads, and small carvings since the
early 3rd millineum. Hematite is still
used as a paint pigment. It is also used
in jewelers' rouge for polishing glass.
Hematite can be used to produce the
sparkle in aventurine ceramic glazes.
Hematite is one of the most common
minerals. The color of most red rock,
such as sandstone, is caused by small
amounts of Hematite. It may also be
responsible for the red color of Garnet,
Spinel, and to some extent, Ruby.
All non-crystalline forms of Hematite
are supposedly transformations of the
mineral Limonite that lost water,
possibly due to heat.
Hematite is rather variable in its
appearance - it can be in reddish brown,
ocherous, masses, dark silvery-grey
scaled masses, silvery-grey crystals,
and dark-grey masses, to name a few.
What they all have in common is a
Hematite has a metallic or earthy
luster. The hardness of hematite is
about 5 on Mohs hardness scale. It has
no cleavage and breaks with an uneven
fracture. The reddish landscape of Mars
is due to the oxidized iron on its
surface. This tells us that water and
oxygen must have been present on Mars at