Hematite is a one-of-a-kind option for jewelry because of its unique metallic luster. For centuries, humans have worn hematite for various reasons, ranging from strength and power on the battlefield to calming, grounding energy during periods of high stress.
Though it usually represents strength, hematite is somewhat fragile, adding to the mystique. For many, hematite remains a versatile stone for any jewelry piece, from an engagement ring to a classic statement necklace.
All About Hematite
Before you buy hematite jewelry, it helps to understand more about them and their history.
What is Hematite?
Hematite is a common mineral found worldwide. The name stems from the Greek word for blood (haema, hema, or aima) and the suffix “-te,” indicating a stone. That means hematite translates to bloodstone, a nod to the stone’s natural reddish coloring from its iron content.
Digging deeper into hematite’s composition reveals that it is an iron oxide with the chemical composition Fe2O3. With a specific gravity of 5.3, hematite is more than twice as dense as quartz. Additionally, hematite’s refractive index ranging from 2.690 to 3.220 puts all other gems to shame. A high refractive index indicates a high level of brilliance and shine.
You can find hematite veins in various colors and shades of red, brown, gray, and black. Regardless of color, hematite has a semi-metallic to a metallic luster that enhances each stone.
Though you can find hematite on every continent, it is more prominent in certain countries. Most hematite comes from mines in China, Australia, and Brazil.
What Does Hematite Look Like?
Though named for the dark red color, most hematite looks silvery grey to black when polished and set. The metallic luster makes it easy to mistake hematite for metal, especially when it’s polished. Hematite doesn’t let light through and retains an opaque appearance.
Since hematite stones come in a range of colors, narrow your search by specifying a sub-category. Each color group exhibits slightly different properties and price points.
Black hematite may be the most well-known version. It is a shiny black stone that shimmers to silver in certain lights. It’s also the cheapest type of hematite, and you can get one for a dollar apiece.
Rainbow hematite takes on a more iridescent quality that seems to shift color at different angles. These stones are pricier than black hematite but still affordable.
Red hematite retains the deep red color associated with iron but with a smooth sheen to the surface. Expect to pay around ten dollars per red hematite stone.
Specular hematite stones are the most expensive, but they are also the most unique. Specular hematite has a silver luster that shines brilliantly against the darkness of the stone.
How to Choose Your Hematite Cut
Since hematite is so compact and dense, you can find it cut in various shapes. Typically, jewelers employ the cabochon cut for hematite to enhance the natural features. That said, the faceting method could enhance texture and brilliance.
Despite hematite’s historical roots, it didn’t emerge as a popular stone for jewelry until the latter part of the 19th century. At that time, hematite served as a go-to stone for mourning jewelry.
Today, the revival of vintage jewelry as fashion pieces led to a resurgence. Given hematite’s versatility, you can find modern pieces in nearly every style and taste. Achieve an elegant and sophisticated look by setting it in yellow gold. Or create a casual look by planting some smaller stones on a bohemian-style bracelet.
Unfortunately, hematite scratches easily and requires a protective setting. Additionally, a high level of craftsmanship is necessary to refine and set hematite stones. As a result, hematite jewelry can be pricey.
Hematite Ring History
With a name rooted in Ancient Greek, it’s no surprise that hematite held some symbolism in Greek society. The Ancient Greeks associated hematite stones with Ares, the God of War. They rubbed them on their bodies before entering combat to increase their chances of survival.
In Ancient Egypt, the Egyptians focused more on the calming properties of hematite. As a symbol of power and life, you could often find hematite in royal jewelry. They also placed it in tombs.
Germans used hematite stones to help manage bleeding in the wounded and during surgeries in the 1600s.
During Victorian times, hematite served as a symbol of mourning. It was common in rings, hairpieces, and even cameo pendants.
How Do You Identify Genuine Hematite?
Real hematite stones are a mineral that is harder than pure iron but more susceptible to cracking and breaking. The colors may vary, but they usually have notable rust-colored streaks.
Hematine (also known as hemalyke) is synthetic. It’s an artificial stone that mimics some of the colors and metallic appearances of hematite. Hematine tends to be shinier and some shade of gray or silver, but it’s most known for having magnetic properties.
To tell the difference between hematine and hematite, check for strong magnetism. Only the hematine is magnetic and often touted as a healing piece in novelty stores.
To find authentic hematite stones, seek out a reputable shop. Don’t forget to inquire about the source of the stone.
Hematite Rings: Meaning, Benefits, and Properties
Hematite rings have long represented balance and protection from negative energies. They serve many purposes for the wearer, including support for meeting career and health goals.
Brighten Your Aura
Your root chakra oversees the ring’s energies and connects you to the earth. Many believe that if a hematite ring breaks, it has either completed its work or absorbed too much negativity.
Wearing hematite jewelry could serve as a grounding force. It can help you focus and maintain strong connections to the world around you.
Given the healing powers and stabilizing energies, hematite can help you work through difficult times. The calming weight can also protect your spirit from external forces and encourage true growth.
Hematite can bring balance between the mind and body. Additionally, hematite has long been tied to the circulatory system and blood disorders. It’s thought to alleviate symptoms related to chronic conditions, like high blood pressure and heavy menstrual cycles.
Keeping hematite close can have a calming effect that can ease stress and anxiety. It may help you block unwanted relationship drama and open your mind to more creativity.
Disclaimer: This buyer’s guide does not guarantee or validate any of the healing powers associated with hematite or any other gemstone. This information should not serve as a substitute for medical advice.
Hematite Rings: Caring and Cleaning
Hematite rings require special care for cleaning to prevent scratching or cracking. Using a mixture of warm water and mild liquid soap, gently clean the hematite ring with a soft, clean cloth. Avoid using any abrasive cleaning brushes.
Remove hematite rings when swimming, cleaning, gardening, or washing dishes to preserve the stones. Store the pieces in individual cloth pouches or lined jewelry boxes.
Hematite Rings: FAQs
Here are the answers to some of the most common questions about hematite rings.
How Much Does the Average Hematite Ring Cost?
It depends on the type of stone and style. You can expect to pay anywhere from a few dollars for a simple piece up to over $2000 for a high-end hematite piece.
Is Hematite Magnetic?
Real hematite exhibits little to no magnetism. The magnetic “hematite” pieces in novelty stores are hematine, an artificial stone.
Which Metal and Setting is Best for a Hematite Ring?
White metals can set off the black and silver colors, but yellow gold creates an elegant feel. Bezel settings work well for protection, but you can also set the stone and metal flush. Avoid prongs and similar sharp edges.
Are There Any Hematite Stone Alternatives?
Nothing looks quite like hematite, but onyx would also be an excellent choice if you love the look of a black stone. Black spinel is also a more durable option for a black stone.
Shopping for Hematite Jewelry
Even though hematite is a minor, inexpensive gemstone, it’s not necessarily easy to find. Most small jewelers won’t carry hematite because they are fragile and require some special care.
Hematite is an affordable option for wedding bands for budget-conscious couples. That said, hematite isn’t the best choice for active lifestyles since it’s brittle and easily scratched.
If you’re interested in a hematite piece, your best bet is heading online. Amazon and Etsy have several hematite pieces, from subtle rings to elegant statement necklaces. Check reviews and the sales policies before buying to avoid getting stuck with a fake.
Hematite jewelry can make a statement. It reflects your style and positively impacts your physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. With their long history, it's no wonder hematite rings remain important in fashion and spiritual healing.