Cumberland, Cumbria, England, UK

Dimensions (H x W x D)

9.5 x 5.5 x 5 cm


486 g

Description & Provenance

Hematite is an iron oxide mineral (Fe2O3) and an important ore of iron. It is relatively hard and has a metallic luster. It typically exhibits a steely-black or silver-grey color and metallic luster, giving it a gunmetal appearance. Some examples display a reddish-brown color as well. Mankind has loved hematite for its sleek beauty and red undertones since its first discovery. It has been utilized as a reddening pigment by the ancient Egyptians, mined by the Etruscans, and made into seals in Babylonia. Hematite continued to be used to make intaglios well into the 20th century. From the Victorian era through to today, hematite is commonly seen in jewelry, loved for its sleek, dark beauty. It is, of course, also a favorite among mineral collectors in its crystallized forms and is considered a staple of any world-class collection.

This sculpturesque example is an old classic from the Cumberland mine of the UK. It has a botryoidal (grapelike) crystal habit, which gives its crystals a spherical shape. Crystals are smooth, lustrous, and have a dark, gunmetal tone that is highlighted by hints of red. Collectively, they have formed in a curving, stacked formation that gives the piece excellent dimension and a sense of movement. This specimen’s modern aesthetic and historic locality make it a striking collector’s piece for any collection.

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