Soothing and calming, Haematite is believed to help balance your emotions and mental state of mind. It can also dissolve negativity and encourage the wearer to strive for their hopes, dreams and desires.
Haematite (also spelt Hematite) is a beautiful, iron-based gemstone that varies in colour from shiny black to a silvery grey. It is also found in a brown to deep, reddish brown and it is from this variety that it receives its name from the Greek word “haima” for ‘blood’.
In history, cultures including the Aztecs, Egyptians and prehistoric man all used the stone in crushed form for decorating the body, burial tombs, and painting on walls to produce decorative art.
As Haematite is a relatively heavy gem, it is often used in figurines and cameos. In Victorian times Haematite became very popular in jewellery and was often used as a sign of mourning.
During the last 50 years it has gained popularity in North America, whereas its use in European jewellery has subsided.
The gem is opaque and when polished has a metallic lustre. It is normally cabochon cut, although it is occasionally round or square cut. It can look truly mesmerising when faceted, as its natural metallic lustre comes to life.
In terms of hardness, Haematite is more durable than pure iron, however it is more brittle. The gem’s formation is normally as a result of volcanic activity or where ancient waters stagnated for long periods of time at hot temperatures.
Haematite was discovered on Mars in 2001 by the NASA spacecraft Mars Odyssey. This discovery led scientists to arrive at the conclusion that there must have been water present on Mars in the past.
Some of the best gem-quality deposits stem from Switzerland and Italy. Large finds of quality Haematite have also been found in Minas Gerais in Brazil.
In the UK it has been found in Barrow- in- Furness in Cumbria, and the Forest of Dean.