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Geology Chronicles is running a Christmas Mineral Advent Calendar!

The name hematite (Greek for blood) is derived from the fact that, when cut or streaked, a cherry red coloured powder can be seen.  This is a primary diagnostic feature for Hematite.

Hematite can be in reddish brown, ocherous masses, dark silvery-grey scaled masses, silvery-grey crystals, and dark-grey masses.  Varieties include kidney ore, martite (pseudomorphs after magnetite), iron rose and specularite (specular hematite)

The Hematite you may find sold as magnetic items and jewellery is an artificially created form of this mineral.

Hematite can be found in large masses within BIF (Banded Iron Formation). It can also occur as a secondary mineral formed by weathering processes in soil, and along with other iron oxides or oxyhydroxides such as goethite (this can be seen in the Hamersley Ranges in Western Australia), and is responsible for the red color of many tropical, ancient, or otherwise highly weathered soils.