Lepidocrocite and hematite are similar in appearance, as they are both iron-rich minerals with a reddish brown color and a metallic sheen.
Yet they are different minerals with distinct makeups, crystal structure, and origins.
Here we will identify what these stones are, their properties, uses, and the similarities and differences between them.
Lepidocrocite vs Hematite (Explained)
What is Lepidocrocite?
Lepidocrocite is also known as hydrohematite and esmeraldite.
It is a crystal that is rich in iron and is made of iron oxide-hydroxide.
What Are the Properties of Lepidocrocite?
Lepidocrocite is a red or reddish brown color.
It gets its color from the high iron content. Due to its red color it is sometimes called Red Fire Quartz.
Lepidocrocite appears in a crystallized form.
It has a metallic sheen due to the iron content but looks shiny and crystallized.
Lepidocrocite is a 5 on the Mohs hardness scale, so it is a relatively soft stone.
The crystal structure of lepidocrocite is orthorhombic lattice.
How Do You Identify Lepidocrocite?
- As lepidocrocite is a relatively soft stone it should be able to be scratched with a knife.
- A genuine crystal will not be perfectly symmetrical and will not be one saturated color throughout.
- If it contains air bubbles or looks or feels glassy it is likely fake.
- To ensure it is genuine it can be tested by a professional gemologist.
Where is Lepidocrocite Found?
Lepidocrocite is so high in iron as it is found in iron minerals, iron ore deposits, iron-rich mines, amethyst-rich mines, inside rusted steel pipes and water tanks.
It is found in many areas around the world such as Madagascar, Namibia, Spain, Brazil, and India.
What Are the Uses of Lepidocrocite?
Lepidocrocite is a crystal that is worn in jewelry such as necklaces and earrings.
It can also be kept as a crystal for décor in the home and for meditation and healing.
It is believed that lepidocrocite has the metaphysical properties of stabilizing emotions, repelling negativity and encouraging positive vibrations, along with aiding with romantic relationships and balancing the heart chakra.
What is Hematite?
Hematite, also known as haematite, is an iron oxide and an iron ore.
It is one of the most commonly found minerals in the world, found all across the earth.
What Are the Properties of Hematite?
Hematite occurs in a variety of natural colors such as black, silver, gray, brown, and red.
Hematite appears earthy in appearance, like a rock, yet it has a shiny and metallic surface due to the high amounts of iron.
It has a 5 – 6.5 hardness on the Mohs hardness scale, so it can be a relatively soft or a semi-hard stone.
Hematite crystals are a trigonal structure, made up of rhombohedral lattices.
How Do You Identify Hematite?
- Hematite can be various colors, but it will always have a red streak and this is the best way to identify it compared to similar minerals such as magnetite.
- Hematite itself is not magnetic, though it can respond to a common magnet if it contains magnetite. The red streak allows identification of hematite and not just magnetite.
Where is Hematite Found?
Hematite is one of the Earth’s most abundant minerals.
It is found in many places across the world.
It is found in the Earth’s surface and crust, in sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rocks.
Hematite can be found as a result of volcanic activity, in still water or mineral hot springs, and in iron mines.
Hematite is found in China, India, Russia, Ukraine, Australia, Brazil, South Africa, Venezuela, Canada, and the United States.
Hematite has also been found on other planets, specifically Mars.
The mineral was found in abundance at two separate sites on Mars.
As hematite is often found in aqueous environments, this has been seen as an important finding that suggests whether Mars is an environment that could support life.
What Are the Uses of Hematite?
Hematite has had many uses throughout history.
- One of its main and profitable uses is as iron ore.
- The earliest red chalk cave paintings in history, during the Patheolithic era, were done with hematite.
- Jewelry – mourning jewelry, beads, necklaces, bracelets, earrings.
- Radiation shielding around medical and scientific equipment.
- Pigments, gilding, and polishing.
Throughout history and in the present day, hematite is seen to have metaphysical properties.
- The high iron content is claimed to give the stone healing properties. In ancient times it was used for healing and treating inflammation.
- The weight of the stone is claimed to anchor the user to the earth.
- Calming the mind, releasing anxiety, stress, and tensions from the body and mind.
- It is meant to have a ground and stabilizing effect.
What Are the Similarities Between Lepidocrocite and Hematite?
- They are both a similar red or reddish brown color.
- They both have a metallic sheen.
- They both contain high amounts of iron and therefore have similar properties.
- They have the same hardness on the Mohs scale.
- Both minerals are used in jewelry, as crystals.
- They are both used in meditation and are claimed to have healing properties.
What Are the Differences Between Lepidocrocite and Hematite?
- Hematite is a lot more commonly found than lepidocrocite.
- These minerals are mined and found in different parts of the world.
- They have different crystal structures.
- Hematite can look more like a rock, whereas lepidocrocite appears more crystallized.
Why Do People Confuse Lepidocrocite and Hematite?
Hematite and lepidocrocite can easily be confused at first as they are both iron-rich minerals.
This gives them both a reddish brown color, and a metallic sheen.
They are also a similar hardness and found in places such as iron mines.
Though they look the same and can be easily confused at first glance, lepidocrocite and hematite can be identified through their distinct properties.
If you found one of these minerals at first it may be difficult to distinguish between them, but there are ways to identify each distinct mineral and use them for their appropriate purposes.
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