Hematite (aka Hematine, hemalike and hemalyke)
Hematite is a silvery, shiny opaque gemstone that almost looks like metal. Like nearly all commercially available hematite beads, our hematite is a simulated material virtually identical to real hematite. It even has the same chemical composition — both genuine and simulated hematite are iron oxide. True hematite leaves a red streak when scratched across a piece of unglazed porcelain, while the simulated products usually leave a gray streak. The simulated material is much easier to form into detailed shapes, and still looks and feels like the real material. "Hematine," "hemalike" and "hemalyke" are common names used for this product. If you look closely at the hole in a molded bead of simulated hematite, you will often see a smoothly curved hole rather than the slightly chipped and sharply defined edge of a true drill hole. The holes are usually molded into the bead. Simon & Schuster's Guide to Gems and Precious Stones says, "... it has been imitated by a ferromagnetic, sintered product, molded to look like engraved stones." The bottom line: even though a few vendors still say their hematite-style beads are a natural material, we believe most mass-produced hematite beads are the simulated product. The simulated material and the genuine are so similar in look and feel that vendors might not question their suppliers and might inadvertently mislead the customer.
The story behind natural hematite is still relevant to this gemstone, especially considering that real hematite is used to make it. Hematite gets its name from the Greek haimo ("blood") because of the color of its powder (hence the red streak it leaves). Hematite was used in seals as early as 2500 B.C. The ancient Egyptians used hematite to treat hysteria and reduce inflammation, and placed it in tombs. It also was used as an inscription stone for passages from the Book of the Dead. Warriors in Roman times used hematite as protection during battle, and Native Americans used hematite to make red face paint. Known as the gift of Russian royalty, hematite rings and pendants were presented by Lord Baranof to the royal family of Czar Alexander I as gifts from his Alaskan subjects. Until recently, blush (cosmetic powder) often contained ground hematite.
Metaphysically, hematite is said to inspire inner life and help to keep inward peace. Called the "stone of mental mastery," many believe it to aid clarity, balance, calm and reason, thus making it a grounding stone. It is also said to transform negativity into love. For this reason, it assists in the creation of peaceful, loving relationships. Hematite also is believed to enhance memory and intellect, strengthen the circulatory system and help in the treatment of blood and kidney disorders.
Hematite is the most valuable stone to work with in setting boundaries. These silvery-gray stones can be polished to such a high sheen that long ago they were used as mirrors. Their content is iron oxide, and because iron was traditionally associated with Mars warriors used to rub their bodies with it in the belief that it would protect them. Hematite is a protective stone, though perhaps not in the way the ancient Romans imagined it to be. As a power stone whose purpose is to deepen the connection between spirit and body, it helps us to keep our sense of self and sense of purpose firm. Its reflective quality symbolizes its ability to help deflect the emotions of others.
Slightly grounding, reduces stress, enhances personal magnetism, optimism, will, courage. Stone for the mind it helps one to realize that the only limitations which exist are self-limiting concepts within the mind. Stimulates attainment of peace, self-control, and inner happiness. Balances yin-yang energies. Assists in the focusing of energy and emotions for balance between the body, mind, and spirit. Helps transform negativity to the purity of the universal light of love.
Powers: Grounding, Balance, Healing, Divination, Mental Powers.
Enhances personal magnetism. Said to ward off "the evil eye". Improves circulation and relieves impurities in the blood.
Magickal Uses: Wear for grounding, stabilizing and good health. Place over afflicted area on body to draw out the illness.
Hemimorphite is a zinc silicate named for the hemimorphic ("half-formed") way its crystals develop: faces that grow on one end are different in angle and position from the faces on the other end. Hemimorphite is found in both a glassy, crystalline form and as a botryoidal ("shaped like a bunch of grapes") crust. In the latter form, this mineral looks very similar to its close relative smithsonite. It is strongly pyroelectric (temperature changes give it an electrical charge) and piezoelectric (mechanical stress on its crystals creates electricity, much like quartz). Bright sky-blue hemimorphite is the most sought after, but the mineral is also available in pastel shades of white, green, blue, brown and yellow. Metaphysically, hemimorphite is associated with personal growth, optimism, creativity and good fortune. It is associated with the heart chakra and with healing ulcers, blood diseases and cellular disorders.
Hickorite (aka Hickyorite, Hecorite, Hicorite)
Hickorite is a variety of rhyolite that is very similar in appearance to mookalite.
Howlite (aka Albino Turquoise, White Jasper, White Turquois)
This calcium silicoborate is naturally white, often with a dark gray or black spider-web matrix. Howlite is inexpensive, and because it is so soft and porous it is easily dyed into rich hues to imitate pricier gemstones such as turquoise and lapis lazuli. It should be kept away from acids, solvents, rough handling and prolonged exposure to strong light.
Howlite is named after mineralogist Henry How, who first discovered the gemstone in Nova Scotia during the 19th century. It is known as the stone of memory, knowledge and progress, and is said to encourage reasoning, observation, discernment, patience and tact. It also is believed to eliminate pain, stress and anger, as well as balance calcium levels in the body, by aiding the absorption and distribution of the mineral.
This mineral can be used to calm communication, to facilitate awareness, and to encourage emotional expression. It builds an innate decency within ones character, encouraging those attributes which are the building blocks to spirituality.
Hypersthene (aka Ferroan Enstatite, Hypersten, Labrador Hornblende)
The name hypersthene (HIGH-purse-theen) is of Greek origin: hyper (meaning "extreme" or "above") and sthenos ("strength"). Hypersthene has greater hardness than hornblende, an amphibole mineral with which hypersthene is often confused. This beautifully contrasting, splintery stone occurs in black, brown, gray and/or green. Hypersthene has a silky, pearly luster and wonderful pleochroism (play of color). It ranges from translucent to opaque, with medium hardness. But its appearance is a bit easier to explain than its classification. In fact, many reference guides have formally abandoned the term hypersthene, or have categorized it simply as a variety of enstatite, rather than a separate mineral. Hypersthene is indeed a rare form of enstatite, but some of the magnesium found in enstatite has been replaced by iron. Hypersthene does not, however, contain as much iron as another relative, ferrosilite. This makes it an intermediate between enstatite and ferrosilite, and thus some simply classify hypersthene specimens as one of the these. All three stones are pyroxenes, a group of crystalline silicate minerals that contain two metallic oxides and are common in igneous and metamorphic rocks. The stones are also found in meteorites. Within these environments, hypersthene sometimes becomes chemically "weathered," altering the stone into a new variety, bronzite.
Hypersthene is found on the Isle of Skye, England (Saxony), Canada (Labrador), Greenland, Norway, Sweden, the Czech Republic and the U.S.A. The most important deposit is located in the Adirondack Mountains of New York (Gore Mountain). It also has been discovered in ancient domes and lava flows from Mount St. Helens in Washington State. Hypersthene is believed to help dispel irritation. Some also say it enhances self esteem, emotional expression and helps overcome shyness. It's believed to help put people at ease in social situations.