Every time you visit a rock hound shop, watch out for hematite. It’s dark luster is very special, and you may just stop shopping for anything else once you see it.
It is a beauty. Hematite is an opaque, iron oxide and metallic mineral. During ancient times it was used as a pigment, currently it is utilized in various industries as the main ore of iron, as well as in many different kinds of jewelry.
The popularity in choosing to use hematite in jewelry is not only attributed to its beauty but its also favored by holistic healers for its apparent beneficial healing properties. One of the purported health benefits is found in its ability to relieve arthritic inflammation and pain and combating mental stress.
Hematite Basic Facts
It is on occasion referred to as ‘bloodstone’. The word itself is based on the Greek word ‘hema’ which means blood. The name was given stemming from the various color appearances characteristic of hematite which range from a brownish-red to black or black-gray.
There are a number of different types of hematite found so far. The known types in existence to date are red glass head, iron luster, red ironstone and red iron ore.
Hematite is actually an iron oxide meaning that it is found in countries and mining areas with rich veins of iron. There are a few countries that have significant hematite deposits including the United States, New Zealand, China, Canada, Brazil and England.
Pure iron is less brittle than hematite, but it is also much softer as well.
The earliest known hematite use was utilized as a brown and red pigment. This was typically done as ochre, a type of clay and could contain anywhere from twenty to seventy percent hematite. There is evidence that early man used it in pottery as well as body paint. One of the earliest known examples of ‘mining’ is the extraction of red clay. Currently, there are much cheaper alternatives to use as a pigment.
The majority of hematite use is found in industries. Ninety percent of all the iron mined in the United States is derived from hematite. This leads to enormous amounts extracted annually. After it is mined, the mineral is then melted down with extremely high temperatures and utilized as iron. It can also be used in a powdered form in magnets as well as a catalyst for chemicals. It can also be used in medicines in a radioactive form. Lastly, it is often used in the production of steel when combined with other materials.
Hematite use in jewelry saw its peak in England during the Victorian era. Recently, it is enjoying a great resurgence on the jewelry market. It was used in or on bracelets, rings, earrings, necklaces and pendants. It was also cut and polished into shiny beads and cabochons.
There is a tradition that believes in the holistic healing properties of this substance. Heematite, some people feel, possesses beneficial powers for the mind by increasing alertness through its ability to gather and soothe scattered and frantic energies.
Additionally, hematite believers champion its use as a natural and safe pain reliever. This is commonly found in a process called magnet therapy. It is often used to address the maladies and the pain common with conditions such as arthritis, migraine headaches, insomnia, back and neck pain, stress and other nervous conditions.
Once you purchase some you can decide for yourself if it is one of the great things for health and wellness, this hematite.