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Care and Handling of Hematite

Hematite FAQ for Necklace Buyers


Am I getting “real” hematite?

99% of all "hematite" beads are really synthetic.  I have finally come to this conclusion after 2 1/2 years in the business ordering beads and talking to wholesalers.  The Chinese, the main vendors of this bead, so as to make the wonderful shapes in the beads that go into our necklaces, use a molding process rather than cutting the beads.  Cutting is costly and they lose too many to breakage.  They take hematite and grind it up and add binders so that it can be easily molded.  The hematite in the molded beads is real and then added to it are those binders.  Because it comes out of Asia and there is no "certification" process, bead buyers have to expect that most of what we get is going to be what is called hemalyte or hematine.

What if my necklace has imperfections?

Hematite, even in the form of hematine or hemalyte is softer than most other gemstones.  It isn’t anywhere as hard as sapphire or a diamond, but not as soft as calcite.  Also, because it is a form of iron ore, occasionally a “blood stain” that looks like rust may be present or other markings.  Just the nature of the beast, so to speak.

Hematite can have characteristics such as scratches, “dings” and flaking due it's softer characteristics.  You can imagine with the hundreds of thousands of beads being produced and mingled together, there is more chance of these characteristics being present than with other harder semiprecious stones.

Be do our best to “cull” these characteristics so that you may build your own character with your necklace but we occasionally miss one.  Just consider it the beginning of the character building process.


How do I take care of my hematite necklace?

Hematite is susceptible to certain harsh conditions.  These conditions may be common place to us.

·        Store your jewelry properly separating each piece from the other so the softer gems, like hematite, won’t be scratched.  I hang my necklaces on my wall with a push pin.

·        So that your jewelry keeps its shine, keep it clean.  Sometimes with very soft gems or hematite, body oils can cause damage.  Never use cleaners such as chorine and ammonia (i.e. Windex and other cleaners) on your hematite.  Use mild soap and warm water and dry with a cotton cloth or use just a jeweler's silver polishing cloth.  If your necklace has glued parts. Do not wear around steam or get it wet or wash in water as it may dissolve the glue.

·        To keep from building up chemical residues that may also cause damage, don’t put on perfume, hairspray, makeup or other lotions after you have put on your jewelry as this can put chemical residues onto the stones.

·        Since hematite is in the middle of the hardness scale, it can be scratched, “dinged” and broken by mishandling.  DO NOT DROP YOUR JEWELRY OR CASUALLY TOSS IT AROUND.