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jewelry glossary

Antique jewelry glossary

Welcome to our extensive antique jewelry glossary with around 1,500 jewelry related entries.If you feel you are missing an explanation, feel free to let us know and we will add it.

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Hematite

hematite

See our: hematite jewelry.

An iron ore that is found in many forms:

  • in massive form, and when showing a metallic luster called 'specularite'
  • in botryoidal or nodular form, sometimes called 'kidney stone'
  • in druses of crystals, especially in Cumberland (now Cumbria), England
  • as thin, transparent flakes which form a many-petalled rosette, called an 'Alpine rose' or 'iron rose'

Hematite is blue-black, but when in fragments or powder it is blood-red (hence the name, from the Greek haema, blood), and when the stone is rubbed on an unpolished surface it leaves a red streak.

Hematite has been used in jewelry since Egyptian times, as a seal carved in intaglio, as a cameo on a signet ring (often depicting a warrior's head), as a cabochon set in a pendant or finger ring, and as beads strung in a bracelet or necklace (sometimes to imitate a black pearl).

Hematite is found as an inclusion in some aventurine quartz and sunstone. Sometimes called 'iron glance', owing to its metallic luster.

From: An Illustrated Dictionary of Jewelry, autor: Harold Newman, publishers: Thames and Hudson

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