Hematite is one of the most abundant minerals on Earth’s surface. It is iron oxide and a common rock-forming mineral that can be found throughout the world.
The name hematite is derived from the Greek word for blood, or haima, due to the red coloration found in some varieties of hematite. Iron oxidation causes the reddish color, which is why red hematite tends to be a rusty red instead of a vivid, bright red. The hematite itself is opaque and tends to have a dull to slightly shiny appearance; however, when it is in quartz, it will appear translucent because the mineral is diffused throughout the quartz.
Hematite is highly variable when it comes to appearances. Its luster can range from earthy to submetallic to metallic, and it can come in a variety of forms from crystalline, fibrous to botryoidal (which resembles a cluster of grapes). Color ranges from red to brown, to gray to silver. An important clue for identifying hematite is that all hematite produces a reddish streak.
Hematite is the most important ore of iron in addition to being one of the most important pigment minerals. Hematite was one of the first pigment minerals used by people. Cave paintings, known as “pictographs” dating back to 40,000 years ago, were created with hematite pigments when it’s crushed into a powder.
Hematite has a hexagonal crystalline lattice. Crystals with this lattice structure manifest, energize, and amplify energies. Hematite is linked to the root chakra, which is associated with the feelings of safety, security, grounding, standing up for oneself, and establishing healthy boundaries.