Hematite is deep gray to black in color, but can also be a deep brown or rust color. In certain instances it takes on a deep reddish hue that emulates the appearance of dried blood. This might account for the Greeks' belief that it was actually the concentrated blood of the gods. It is that concept that won the stone its name.
Hematite is most often found in areas with a mineral spring, but it doesn't necessarily require water for it to form. There is equal evidence of its formation where significant volcanic activity has taken place.
Hematite is mined in several places throughout the world including Brazil, Canada, Labrador, the United States, and Venezuela. In the U.S., deposits of the stone are located around Lake Superior.
Oddly enough, however, earth doesn't seem to be the only place where hematite can form. Quantities of the stone have been brought back from the Mars exploration. This has led some scientists to believe that, at one time, Mars might have contained a great deal of water and possibly even sustained some form of life. Most assuredly, it explains the mysterious "red" hue of the planet.
Hematite was originally used as an ornamental stone, dating back as far as ancient Babylon. The Egyptians used it for ornamental objects and figurines. It was also used in the coloring and painting of objects such as pottery. There is also evidence that it may have been used to make some of the very first mirrors.
Native Americans used hematite to make war paint for their bodies and faces.Eventually someone - - generally credited as the Romans - - discovered that it worked beautifully for use in jewelry. In the beginning it was primarily used as a background for cameos or for in-taglios in men's rings. The Romans are credited with using it this way since they were most well known for using rings for their personal seals.
The Romans also used hematite as a protection talisman. They believed that the stone would protect its wearer in battle.
There are a number of metaphysical qualities attached to this stone. Ancient Egyptians used it in a number of different ways. They believed that it had calming properties and often used it to reduce maniac stress that was sometimes exhibited in the form of hysteria.
Today, many believe that the stone has the power to dissolve negativity, replacing it with the more positive things in life such as love and friendship. It is also said to help its wearer problem solve, retain knowledge, and enhance memory.
Some psychics believe that hematite helps to promote inner peace and achieve a natural balance. They call it a "grounding" stone that aids in clarity of vision. It reduces limitations and encourages self-advancement in confidence, while promoting dreams, hopes, aspirations and inner desires.
Hematite is also believed to have many healing properties. It is said to improve the circulatory system, in particular the way that blood moves throughout the body. It is supposed to help guard against kidney disorders as well as those of the blood and the nervous system. Some even claim that it helps to heal broken bones, reduces inflammation, soothes away leg cramps, and lessens insomnia.
Hematite is the stone for the astrological signs of Aquarius and Aries.