Hematite is the main mineral component of iron. It takes its name from the Greek word for “blood” because of its color. It usually has a reddish-brown-to-black color and dull in earthy varieties.
Red earthy variety is known as red ochre while the metallic one is called specularite. The presence of iron in a rock is indicated by red, yellow and brown colors.
A primary use of hematite is in jewelry. It can be found in pendants, earrings, bracelets, etc. Hematite is also used as paint pigment, as in the ancient rock art in a cave in Lamanoc, Anda town, Bohol province.
A pictorial narration by ancient Boholanos, the artwork is abstract and gives attention to details and shadings that seemed to confer a kind of power and dignity to the images.
Some localities in the Philippines where hematite is found are Mindoro, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Cagayan, Rizal, Negros Oriental, Negros Occidental and Surigao del Norte.
Maileen P. Rondal
National Museum of Natural History