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Formula:   Fe2O3   mineral photo

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Crystal:   Hexagonal  
Hardness:   5.5-6.5  
Spec. Gr.:   4.9-5.3  
Streak:   Dark red to reddish brown  
Cleavage:   none  
Location:   Cavaradi Gorge, Tavestsch, Switzerland

Hematite is a common mineral known from ancient times. Egyptians and Babylonians used it for ornamental purposes. Today it is a major ore of iron with deposits occurring all over the world. Crystallized hematite is also found in many places such as the Brumado mine, Bahia, Brazil; the Wessels mine, Cape Province, South Africa; Rio Marina, and Elba, Italy. These include exceptional clusters of jet-black, bladed crystals, some associating with water-clear quartz crystals, and inclusions of rutile. As late as the 17th century, physicians were still calling the mineral "bloodstone" and prescribing it for nasal hemorrhages. When worn, hematite was believed to assist in the winning of lawsuits and military victories.

Bibliography: Svenek, Jaroslav, Minerals, 1987, pg. 100-101.

University of California, Santa Barbara—Department of Earth Science
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