Hematite is the mineral form of iron, and is mined as the main ore of iron. The name Hematite is derived from the Greek word for blood, because Hematite can be red (as in jewelers' polishing rouge, a powdered form of hematite). The color of Hematite lends itself well in use as a pigment. It is usually formed in places with standing water or hot springs, such as the western United States. Hematite can also occur without water, however, usually as the result of volcanic activity. Hematite is a harder substance than pure iron, but is much more brittle and can sometimes be magnetized. Hematite has also been found on the planet Mars by NASA spacecraft. Since Hematite is usually found in aqueous environments on Earth, it has led to speculation that there was once water on Mars. Folklore rumors that Hematite is associated with grounding, balance, and protection.
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