Iron Oxide, Fe2O3
Crystal System: Hexagonal
Hardness: 5.5-6.5
Density: 5.2-5.3

Hematite is a common mineral with a great diversity of origin. It is found in igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks. It is formed as sedimentary material through diagenesis of limonite and retains its concretionary and oolitic forms. Hematite is also found in hydrothermal veins and in the gossans or leached cappings of base metal deposits. It is the most important ore of iron.

Hematite is rather variable in appearance and sometimes occurs as black rhombohedral crystals arranged in rosette form (iron roses). It is more frequently found as massive, granular masses with oolitic, concretionary or botryoidal appearance. Hematite sometimes exhibits iridescent coloration. The presence of hematite is often responsible for coloring or staining surrounding material red to reddish brown. Hematite exhibits magnetic properties if heated in a reducing flame.

Rocks from WSU Thomas Edison Mineral Collection

Index of Specimen Images

Table of Contents

bkeller@rockhounds.com 8/16/95