When hematite is crushed, a red dust is exposed that's known as red ochre. The red ochre has made it a prime choice for pigmentation throughout the ages. But hematite also has a rich history in the field of jewellery making. In fact, the use of hematite can be traced to the ancient Egyptians of 2500BC, who referred to hematite as the "bloodstone" and believed it to possess powerful healing properties. Today, hematite is often used in bead making and upholds its status as a healing mineral.
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What is Hematite?
The Georgia State University Department of Physics describes hematite as a mineral that is often referred to as the "black diamond." In its raw form, the external surface of hematite is low lustre with varying depths of black colouring. Hematite is completely opaque and maintains a ratio of 70 per cent iron and 30 per cent oxygen.
Holistic healers believe that simply holding or wearing hematite beads can release the powers of the hematite. In the book "The Crystal Bible," author Judy Hall explains that hematite can be helpful in relieving anxiety, aches and pains, and sleep disorders. Wearing hematite beads can also strengthen a weakened immune system and blood supply. Hematite beads are also known to have magnetic properties that balance and draw impurities from the body.
The Hematite Debate
Some would say that the hematite used in today's bead making is not really hematite. Beadingtimes.com reports that hematite beads that are known for their "magnetic" healing properties may actually be made of lodestone instead. Lodestone has many magnetic qualities and closely resembles the hematite mineral. In fact, the magnetism of lodestone is so intense, it was used in the creation of the first compass. For this reason, some jewellery designers choose to alternate the two types of minerals in a single piece of magnetic jewellery.
Hematite and the Chakra
Hematite is often associated with one of the seven chakras. In metaphysics, hematite is the root base chakra and known as the "mind stone." Hematite promotes a sense of calmness and enables logical thinking. It also decreases the interference of negative forces and heals the mind, body and spirit.
Ancient Wound Care
Ancient claims of the healing properties of hematite haven't gone undocumented. Hematite was often crushed and placed into wounds to control bleeding. Modern scientists now understand that the presence of the iron in hematite made it possible. According to Central Michigan University, the bloodstone became more of a talisman that was believed to have protective powers for the bearer during battle.
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