Hematite is a very common mineral, it fact, it is the major mineral that is needed to create iron. Hematite is written as Fe2O3 and is commonly referred to as iron oxide. Hematite is a mineral that does grow crystals and is similar to structure with Limonite as well as Corundum.
Hematite comes in various colors including black, gray, silver, brown, rust, reddish brown and red. Red is the color usually associated with hematite for jewelry purposes, however black Hematite is sometimes referred to as a black Diamond.
Hematite is used for many functions, some of them being ornamental jewelry, face paint and it is the major mineral used to form iron. While Hematite alone is harder than pure iron, it is very brittle only having a harness rating of 5 to 6.
While Hematite is mined in England, the Lake Superior region of the USA, Canada, Mexico and Brazil for iron ore; it is also used as a paint ore. Many paints use this mineral to create red colors. In fact the ancient Romans, believed that it would make them invincible and coincided with their belief with Mars, the god of war.
Today, Hematite is a popular mineral used in jewelry. Its earthy tones are very attractive to many consumers and you can also find hematite used with fabrics as well as Native American art and jewelry. While hematite is not as popular as other well known gemstones and minerals, hematite is extremely attractive and a great gift for the right person.