Hematite Pigment

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Our Hematite is an iron oxide of a dark red hue. We make our hematite from iron ore deposits in the Kirov Rog area of Russia. It is a lustrous pigment of considerable tinting strength and opacity. 100 g (3.5 oz)
100 g jar (3.5 oz)

Hematite is a red iron oxide native earth and the principle coloring agent in red ocher, such as Indian red, Pozzuoli red, Venetian red, etc. These pigments are basically hematite associated with varying proportions of mineral impurities such as clay, chalk and silica. They differ from yellow ocher and brown ocher in that they are not hydrated iron oxide hydroxide. The hematite pigment we make is a deep red hue (See also our dark reddish purple hematite (Caput Mortum).

Hematite and its artificial varieties of iron oxide have been given many confusing names. Ralph Mayer writes that the best-grade bluish shades are called Indian red; the yellowish shades, light red, English red, and Venetian red [Artist's Handbook, p. 96]. A very bluish or purplish iron oxide has been called caput mortum and Mars violet.

Pigment Names
Common Names (mineral): Blood Stone, Hematite, Red Hematite, Red Iron Ore, Red Iron Stone
Common Names (pigment): Bole, Indian red, Pompeian red, Terra Pozzuoli, Tuscan red, Venetian red

The synthetic form of this pigment is called Mars Red.

Origin and History
The word hematite comes from the Greek word hema, meaning blood and was given the name "bloodstone" in ancient Greece (Theophrastus, c. 325 B.C.), implying that the mineral is blood red in color. Hematite is an important ore of iron and its blood red color in the powdered form lends itself well as a pigment. Hematite is among the oldest pigments known to humankind and has been used by every major civilization.

In nature hematite rarely occurs as crystals but usually as nodules or earthen masses. The color of the crystalline form varies from steel-gray to black, while crypto-crystalline hematite is dull red to bright red. This common mineral is found in deposits of the most diverse types. There are several varieties of hematite, two of which are suitable for use as pigments: oolitic hematite, which is a friable earth composed of small rounded grains of dark red color that are lustrous and greasy to the touch; and hematite rose, a fine-crystalline and crypto-crystalline form of hematite of red color, which are usually encountered in friable earthen masses or reniform aggregates of bladed crystals in a circular arrangement giving the appearance of a rose.

Hematite of excellent quality is found in the deposits of Krivoy Rog and Kerch, Russia, which is where we obtain our mineral for manufacture into the pigment Hematite. Ours is pure hematite consisting of nearly 95% iron oxide. Because of this it has good tinting strength and is quite opaque. Besides pure hematite as pigment, hematite is also found as part of other mineral species, namely a pigment called "mummy" in Russia. Depending on the substratum it occurs, as in the case with ocher, we have identified several varieties useful as pigments: mummy brown and mummy violet. Pigments from the natural mineral hematite are mostly, pure products of dark hue, and as such is as equally permanent and dependable as those artificially made.

Permanence and Compatibility
Pigments made from the mineral hematite are dependable in mixtures with all other permanent pigments, and are considered to be permanent with considerable tinting strength and opacity. They do not react with solvents, and are indifferent to alkalis, but are partially soluble in acids. Zinc white and hematite yield excellent flesh tints. Mixtures of Alizarin Madder and hematite were offered as Tuscan Red or Pompeian Red, according to F. W. Weber. The Alizarin Madder in this mixture does not decompose as is likely when mixed with hydrated iron oxide pigments such as ocher, sienna and umber.

Oil Absorption and Grinding
Hematite absorbs a small amount of oil when ground into this binder, and forms a good film in oil painting technique.

The pigment is considered non-toxic, but care should always be exercised when handling the dry powder pigment so as not to inhale the dust.

Pigment: Hematite
Pigment: Hematite

Pigment Information
Color: Red
Colour Index: Pigment Red 102 (77491)
Chemical Name: Iron Oxide
Chemical Formula: Fe2O3
ASTM Lightfastness Rating
Acrylic: Not Rated
Oil: I
Watercolor: I
Density: 5.27
Hardness: 5.0–6.0
Refractive Index: 2.78–3.01

More Information
BrandRublev Colours
VendorNatural Pigments
Processing TimeUsually ships the next business day.
Pigment TypeInorganic, Earth, Natural
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