What is Magnetic Hematite?
What exactly is Magnetic Hematite?
To fully understand, let's start by looking at the natural or raw form of hematite. The natural form of hematite is Iron Oxide with small amounts of titanium. It is found in black, gray to silver gray, brown to reddish brown or red. Gemstone quality hematite is an opaque stone that looks similar to metal. While natural hematite does have some natural magnetism, it is usually not enough to measure. Natural hematite is rare and very expensive to mine.
So, how do we get from the raw form of hematite to magnetic hematite?
Magnetic hematite is a composite material made up of natural hematite, magnetite and small amounts of other minerals such as copper, titanium and aluminum. Unlike natural hematite, this resulting material can be permanently magnetized.
Magnetic hematite is produced by heating a powdered mixture of the above materials, blending them together, pressing into the desired shape (pendants, beads, etc), then heating the shapes in a way that bonds the material. Once they have cooled, the finished shape is re-heated inside an external electromagnetic field to give it a permanent magnetism.
I think it’s interesting to note that magnetic hematite and natural hematite looks and reacts to tests very similarly. It even has the same chemical composition. The result is that it is very hard to tell the two apart.
Are there advantages to using magnetic hematite in jewelry over the natural hematite?
Yes! The magnetic properties in magnetic hematite are very consistent. When wearing magnetic jewelry for health purposes and for pain relief, this is very important. For the magnetic jewelry to be effective, that magnetism need to be consistent and the beads should not lose their magnetism.