Hematite beads are made of iron oxide, which is a natural mineral. However, most of the hematite on the market today is man-made. Additional names for man-made hematite are hemalyke and hematine, a copyrighted name. The name hematite comes from the Greek "haima" which means blood, referring to the dark red streaks found in natural hematite and the fact that it will turn water red. While hematite may be somewhat attracted to a magnet, it only becomes strongly magnetized with the addition of other metals. There is magnetic hematite on the market, however we do not carry it in our inventory.
Hematite is a gunmetal gray metallic color and available in a wide variety of fancy shapes. It is quite heavy, so in jewelry making larger hematite gemstone beads should be used in ways where the weight is not an issue, such as necklaces rather than earrings. It is quite affordable and contrasts beautifully with brightly colored or white gemstone beads or pearls. All said, it should become a staple in your jewelry supplies.