Hematite

While bloodstone, both Plasma and Heliotrope is mainly a silicon mineral, Hematite, “bloodstone”, as it’s referred to in Germany, perhaps incorrectly, is primarily an oxide mineral. More specifically, and iron oxide. It’s one of many several forms of iron oxide, but Hematite is iron(III) oxide, and is also the main iron ore that is mined for in the United States and in various areas of Europe, Australia, and a few other regions. The Germans consider it to be bloodstone because there is always a red streak of iron oxide through the mineral; it’s actually just rust. It can be entirely red, however, or with just partial areas of red, steel gray, or black steel in colour. Hematite occurs in areas where there have been hot springs, large amounts of standing water, such as lakes, or even because of volcanic activity. Hematite is harder than pure iron ore, however, it is extremely brittle.

Examples of the brittle composition of Hematite are some of the carvings and figurine artwork whether by jewelers, or Midwestern Native Americans. The mineral can be shaped and polished to make figurines and artwork, however, it is very easily broken, and can sustain significant damages just from being dropped on the floor. Proof lies in the fact that during the Victorian era in England, Hematite was extremely popular as jewelry. However, few pieces of antique Hematite jewelry can be found from Europe today. The majority of Hematite jewelry from the era has been accidentally destroyed over the years. Another interesting fact about Hematite, is its prominence on Mars. The images taken of the surface of the planet have shown large amounts of iron oxide deposits in not only one, but two large sites. The hematite had formed into small spheres on the surface of the planet, grey in colour, and nicknamed “blueberries” by the scientists analyzing them.

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