This very common mineral consisting of iron oxide has a great array of colors from steel gray to almost black, brown to reddish brown, or red. The variety known as rainbow hematite exhibits colors similar to oil patches on water. The name hematite is derived from the Greek word haimatites for blood. Hematite also occurs everywhere on the planet Mars where it is responsible for the planet’s distinctive red color.
It is mined in Australia, Brazil (rainbow variety), England, Mexico, the United States and Canada. It is the state mineral of Alabama, where approximately 375 million tons were mined between l840 and 1975.
When cut into thin plates, hematite is red and transparent; when polished it is very shiny. It is commonly used for ring stones and bead-necklaces.
In ancient times people believed that large deposits of hematite formed on battlegrounds where injured soldiers bled and died. It was also believed to have healing properties, and had the ability to give strength to the body while lessening life’s stresses. It was also thought to increase optimism and courage and reduce negativity. Sounds like everyone should be carrying a hematite stone in their pocket, don’t you think?