The largest deposit of Hematite is found in the United States (Minnesota). Other important deposits are found in Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Czech Republic, England, India, Italy, Liberia, New Zealand, Ukraine, and Venezuela.
What is Hematite?
Hematite is an Oxide mineral. The Oxide family has closely-packed Oxygen atoms with tiny bits of metal or semi-mental atoms occupying the space between. There are two forms of Oxide minerals, “simple Oxides” which only have a single type of metal or semi-metal, and “complex Oxides” which have multiple metals and/or semi-metals. Most Oxide minerals are found in igneous rocks. Hematite is probably the second most famous Oxide mineral. It is second only to Corundum or, as it is more commonly called, Ruby and Sapphire.
How is Hematite formed?
Hematite occurs in several different forms, the most common of which is Specular Hematite, which is the shiny silver variety. Hematite can also grow in flower-like forms, known as “Iron Roses,” and as short black crystals. It is most often found in sedimentary beds or metamorphosed sediments, however it may also be found as an accessory mineral in many igneous rocks.
Hematite is the most important of all Iron ores, because it contains up to 70% pure Iron. It is also fairly abundant and relatively easy to mine. The largest Hematite deposit is a sedimentary one located in the Lake Superior district in North America. Most Hematite is dug out in large pit mine operations, the Hematite itself is a secondary mineral, the purpose of the mine is to extract the Iron content.
Is Hematite magnetic?
Hematite has a very weak magnetic response that can only be observed with special equipment. But “magnetic hematite” is often sold in natural history museum gift shops, metaphysical stores, toy shops, etc. The labeling is misleading since what is being sold is actually a synthetic ferret magnet. Ferret magnets are made by mixing and heating iron with another metallic ferrimagnetic minerals such as manganese, nickel or zinc. The ability for a mineral to be magnetic is actually determined on the atomic level. Most substances have an equal number of electrons whirling in each direction, but a few substances have electrons running in the same direction. If two magnetic objects are placed next to each other, the electrons will either begin to run together and they will be attracted, or they will run opposite each other and be repelled.
Julie Abouzelof is the owner of Moonrise Crystals and an advocate for responsibly sourced gems and minerals. Her first career was in education teaching history, geology and anthropology, as well as working with special-needs students. She is now a heart-centered entrepreneur who encourages mindfulness and positive action to heal ourselves and the world. Julie lives in Hawaii with her lover and a little parrot named Darwin.