Hematite

Category  :  Oxide mineral
Hardness  :  5.5 - 6.5
Gravity  :  4.9 - 5.3
Reflection  :  3.22 / 2.94
Color  :  Metallic gray to earthy red tones
Chemical formula  :  Fe2O3, a-Fe2O3
Crystal system  :  Hexagonal
Major varieties  :  Hematite

Hematite

Varieties include kidney ore, martite (pseudomorphs after magnetite), iron rose and specularite (specular hematite). While the forms of hematite vary, they all have a rust-red streak. Hematite is harder than pure iron, but much more brittle. Maghemite is a hematite- and magnetite-related oxide mineral.

Huge deposits of hematite are found in banded iron formations. Grey hematite is typically found in places where there has been standing water or mineral hot springs, such as those in Yellowstone National Park in the United States. The mineral can precipitate out of water and collect in layers at the bottom of a lake, spring, or other standing water. Hematite can also occur without water, however, usually as the result of volcanic activity.

Clay-sized hematite crystals can also occur as a secondary mineral formed by weathering processes in soil, and along with other iron oxides or oxyhydroxides such as goethite, is responsible for the red color of many tropical, ancient, or otherwise highly weathered soils.

Good specimens of hematite come from England, Mexico, Brazil, Australia, United States and Canada.


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