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Article: Hematite


General Information and Properties

  • Hematite is a mineral found in rocks and soils.
  • Chemical formula: Fe2O3.
  • Belongs to the oxide minerals category.
  • Trigonal crystal system, hexagonal scalenohedral crystal class.
  • Metallic to splendent luster, bright red to dark red streak.
  • Opaque, specific gravity of 5.26, density of 5.3.

Hematite Varieties and Etymology

  • Varieties include kidney ore, martite, iron rose, and specularite.
  • Rust-red streak.
  • Harder than pure iron but more brittle.
  • Maghemite is a polymorph of hematite.
  • Large deposits found in banded iron formations.
  • Name derived from the Greek word for blood.
  • Used as a pigment since ancient times.
  • Hematite residues found in graves dating back 80,000 years.


  • Feeble response to a magnetic field, not attracted to an ordinary magnet.
  • Antiferromagnetic below the Morin transition at 250K.
  • Canted antiferromagnet or weakly ferromagnetic above the Morin transition and below Néel temperature at 948K.
  • Magnetic structure is essentially antiferromagnetic with spin canting.
  • Magnetic properties differ between bulk hematite and nanoscale counterparts.

Mine Tailings

  • Hematite present in waste tailings of iron mines.
  • Magnetation process used to extract waste hematite from old mine tailings.
  • Falu red, a pigment, originally made from tailings of the Falu mine.
  • Hematite in mine tailings can be recycled through various processes.
  • Proper management of mine tailings is important to prevent environmental contamination.


  • Hematite used in jewelry components, mourning jewelry, gilding, and engraved gems.
  • Hematine, a synthetic material sold as magnetic hematite.
  • Used as a pigment in human pictorial depictions throughout history.
  • Component of red, purple, and brown iron-oxide pigments.
  • Important in ochre, sienna, and umber pigments.
  • Used in industrial applications such as iron ore, medical equipment, shipping, coal production, radiation shielding, and ship ballasts.
  • Hematite can be used to separate coal powder from impurities.
  • Various examples and images in the gallery section.

Hematite Data Sources

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