Miniature hematite crystals from the N'Chwaning mine Northern Cape South Africa. This mineral seems to be made up of one larger hematite crystal with a smaller crystal fused to each side. Some secondary minerals are also present but I can't say for certain what they are.
Hematite which is an iron oxide was first named by Theophrastus (Ancient Greek philosopher and successor to Aristotle) around 300 BC. He named it 'haimatitēs lithos' meaning 'blood-red stone' which is believed to have come about because of its red streak. In mineralogy streak is a mineral in powdered form and is not always the same colour as the mineral.
The N'Chwaning mine is part of the Kalahari manganese field which sits amongst well preserved 2.2 billion year old sedimentary rocks in the Northern Cape of South Africa. This deposit has produced some of the world's finest examples of hematite.
This hematite miniature was carefully chosen during one of our many trips to South Africa.