Hematite is an enigma to me. When you find the stone in its natural form, it’s a dark gray color and can have lots of sharp edges. When you polish it, it turns a lustrous silver color, but, if you rub it across dark sandpaper, it leaves a red streak behind. See what I mean about an enigma? Below the one of my hematite pieces in its raw form.
What exactly is hematite? Our friends over at Wikipedia say that it is an iron(III) oxide (Fe2O3). The colors vary from black to silver-gray to brown to reddish-brown, to red. Hematite is from the Greek word for blood and has been used as a pigment for centuries. Enough of the dry mineralogical stuff. Now to the cool stuff that was found in The Gemstone Chronicles books!
When I was researching gemstones to be used as stones in the books, I wanted to find unusual mystical or magical properties associated with the various rocks. I hit upon hematite as a stone used by Native Americans to make war paint. The warriors believed the war paint made from the stone made them invincible in battle. In Book Three: The Emerald, our heroes add hematite to their gemstone collection to help them in battle. They also stop the dwarves from mining the mineral for Naesse’s army so that the Drow wouldn’t have the same battle advantage.
Other magical and mystical properties include scrying in the reflective polished surface, curing blood disorders, and protecting the wearer from negativity or others.
As I mentioned above, the polished stone becomes a very lustrous silvery color and has an almost mirror-like quality. See how the lights reflects off the polished surface?
The Red Streak:
Finally, I have a picture of the rough stone and some black sandpaper. I rubbed the stone across the sandpaper and left the red streaks behind. The Egyptians called it a bloodstone since the water used to clean the stone would turn red like blood. As you can see from the sandpaper, it wasn’t such a stretch!
If you want to be invincible in battle (maybe), or just want a cool looking silvery stone, find yourself some polished hematite! And, if you happen to see some dwarves digging for it, STOP THEM! We can’t have the Dark Elves becoming unstoppable!!
What are your thoughts on hematite? Do you think it is as cool as I do? Leave me a comment and let me know!