Hematite

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Hematite.jpg

Hematite derives its name from the Greek word haema for blood. Thinly sliced hematite is a reddish color and, when rubbed against a scratch plate, hematite leaves a red streak. While popular in antiquity as a protection against bleeding during the Egyptian era hematite was carved as seals for rings, as cameos for rings brooches and pendants, and for beads. It was used widely in the Victorian Era in mourning jewelry. Hematite continues to be popular today carved as intaglios for rings and strung as beads.

Gemological information

Gemological Information for Hematite
Color Dark silvery gray to black
Crystal Structure Hexagonal (trigonal)
Refractive Index 2.940 to 3.220
Durability Excellent
Hardness 5.5 to 6.5
Similar Stones Glass or Plastic Imitations
Treatments None
Country of Origin England, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, US
Hematite Care
Ultrasonic Cleaning Safe
Steam Cleaning Safe
Warm Soapy Water Safe
Chemical Attack Dissolves in hydrochloric acid
Light Sensitivity Stable
Heat Sensitivity Can become magnatized

Sources

Gem Reference Guide, Los Angeles: Gemological Institute of America, 1988. Pp. 134-135.

Newman, Harold. An Illustrated Dictionary of Jewelry, New York: Thames and Hudson, 1981. Pp. 154.

Schumann, Walter. Gemstones of the World, New York: Sterling Publishing, Co., 1977. Pp. 162.

Lang Antiques
Lang Antiques