Hematite is iron(III) oxide in mineral form. It comes in red, reddish brown, brown, steel or silvery gray, and black in coloration. It is mined as iron’s main ore. Varieties include “specularite,” “iron rose,” “kidney ore,” and “martite.” It occurs in banded iron formations in huge deposits and water may or may not play a part in its creation, depending on the type of hematite in question. When water is not involved in the process, volcanic activity usually is. Hematite can also form secondarily in soil during weathering processes. It has been used in pigments, in the making of ochre clay, in art, for jewelry, and in the making of the synthetic material hematine, which is sold under the name of “magnetic hematite.” It was also used as far back as 164,000 years ago as one of the earliest writing minerals in human history, in the form of red chalk. Hematite exhibits a trigonal crystal system, a Moh’s scale hardness of 5.5-6.5, a specific gravity of 5.26, and a metallic to splendent luster. It also exhibits magnetic properites. It is among the most common minerals and can be found all over the world, but the finest specimens come from Brazil, England, Italy, Morocco, South Africa, and the United States. It has even been discovered on the planet Mars.

On a metaphysical level, hematite is believed to have a profound effect on the mind as well as a strong protective quality (particularly in the case of timid women). If worn or kept near its owner, it may promote deep thought and enhance memory. Someone in its vicinity may experience a hunger for higher learning—especially in the fields of technical studies and mathematics—and a development of the thought processes in the brain in order to achieve maximum capacity. Those affected might also discover an increase in their courage, will power, self-confidence and overall self-esteem. Hematite is also regarded as a powerful grounding stone. It seems to embody both the masculine and feminine energies, align the chakras and balance the aura. This would result in the joining of the energies of the body, mind and spirit and promote good health. Hematite is associated with the elements of fire and earth, the planet Mars, the zodiac signs of aries and aquarius, and the base chakra.

Hematite is used by crystal healers in physical healing of the body and is particularly considered to be beneficial to the circulatory system. It is said to purify and oxygenate the blood, as well as encourage iron absorption and facilitate healthy red blood cell production. In consequence, hematite is regarded as an excellent healing mineral for the kidneys, tissue regeneration, and for those who may suffer from anemia. If you or someone you know struggles with insomnia and/or anxiety, you might consider gifting him or her a hematite specimen, as it is also believed to be helpful in these cases.