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Occurance and Diagnostic Features
History and Uses
Hematite occurs in many types of igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks.
The largest and most economically important hematite deposits are mainly of sedimentary origin, forming from the weathering of iron bearing minerals. In these sedimentary deposits, hematite is thought to have precipitated from lakes or seas by organic and/or chemical processes. The hematite often occurs with intermixed layers of quartz or chert (sometimes as the chert variety jasper).
Hematite often occurs in metamorphic rocks which formed from ferruginous sediments, and in contact metamorphic deposits.
In igneous rocks hematite occurs as accessory grains in granite. It also occurs as euhedral crystals associated with quartz deposited by volcanic gases and by high temperature hydrothermal solutions.
Hematite also occurs as inclusions in a variety of other minerals, sometimes forming highly valued gem and lapidary materials such as sunstone, which is a transparent gem variety of plagioclase feldspar which can contain minute hematite or goethite inclusions which reflect light creating a sparkling sheen.
Hematite is characteristically recognized by its red streak and habit.
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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.
Hematite today is still a popular lapidary material. It is made into a variety of hand-crafted objects such as carvings, spheres, beads and other jewelry items.
The astrological signs of hematite are Aries and Aquarius.
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 is said to help strengthen the circulatory system and to help in the treatment of blood and kidney disorders.
For more in-depth metaphysical information, see our Metaphysical Books section.
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