Past blog hops and challenges

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

It's the letter "H" for the Blogging from A - Z Challenge

Today’s topic starts with the letter “H”. 

Hematite (blood ore) from Michigan

Hematite (Iron ore) is a very common mineral.  It is found in the US, Canada, Europe, and Brazil.  It is a silver-grey metallic color but can be found in other colors.  Gray hematite can be found in places that have had standing water or mineral hot springs such as those at Yellowstone National Park.  It can also be the result of volcanic activity.  Hematite has been found in the waste dumps of iron mines and is being extracted through a magnetation process. 
It can also be found as clay which occurs when soil is weathered and along with other iron oxides is responsible for the red color of many tropical weathered soils.  Hematite can also be used as a pigment as the natural color is red.  
It is heavier than most beads but can be brittle.  It is comes in many different bead sizes and shapes.  It was very popular in Victorian times.  There is also a magnetic variety because of it being an iron based ore. 

Cypro-Minoan cylinder seal approximately 14th century BC

It was once the most used stone in the ancient world.  It is a valuable commodity in the industrial world. 
Real hematite is becoming less common in bead form and being replaced by a synthetic substitute called hematine. 

Image from the Mars Exploration Rover Microscopic Imager

It is possibly the only mineral found on another planet.  Several spacecraft in orbit around Mars used infrared spectrometry to view the mineral at two sites.
Thanks for stopping by and hope to see you again tomorrow when the letter is "I".
Pictures are from Wikepedia.

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