Hematite is a silvery, shiny opaque stone that almost looks like metal. Hematite is heavy and relatively hard oxide mineral, that constitutes the most important iron ore because of its high iron content (70 percent) and its abundance.
Hematite derives its name from the Greek word haem (blood ) in allusion to its red color. Many of the various forms of hematite have separate names.
The steel-gray crystals and coarse-grained varieties have a brilliant metallic lustre and are known as specular iron ore or looking glass ore. They are used as intaglios in men's signet rings.
Thin scaly types are called micaceous hematite. Much hematite occurs in a soft, fine-grained, earthy form called red ochre or ruddle. Intermediate between these types are compact varieties, often with a reniform surface (kidney ore) or a fibrous structure (pencil ore). Red ochre is used as a pigment in paints and crayons, a purified form, rouge, is used to polish plate glass.
Ancient Egyptians used hematites as ornamental objects placed inside their tombs. Red ochre was used by preistoric artists in their cave paintings. Nowdays hematite may also be used as a polishing powder and as a paint pigment.
As hematite hardness is 5.5 - 6.5 it will scratch glass, but is in turn scratched by quartz. It can be identified by this property and by its streak, which is the color of the dried blood.
Said to be a good healing and grounding stone, it strengthens the body and improve resistantance to life's stresses. Hematite inspire inner life and helps to keep inward peace.
The most important deposits of hematite come from a sedimentary deposit: the Lake Superior district in North America. Other important deposits include Minas Gerais (Brazil), Cerro Bolivar (Venezuela), Labrador, and Quebec.