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If you’re looking for a unique engagement ring with a rich history dating back centuries, hematite may be your answer. The shimmery metallic black-silver stone is multifaceted and suits a variety of styles, whether you’re looking for something sophisticated and elegant, edgy and unexpected, or romantic and mystical.
What Is Hematite?
Hematite is a mineral that is a deep brownish-red in color. When it’s carved and polished, it takes on a glossy black or deep silver-grey hue, making it a popular choice for jewelry.
“One of the things that makes it special and draws people to it is its metallic luster,” says jeweler Sharon Schatner. While hematite may be fragile, it’s been thought to convey strength and power to its wearer, making it a perfect option for any bride who’s ready for this exciting new stage of life.
Meet the Expert
Sharon Schatner is a GIA diamond graduate at Filigree Jewelers in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She’s a “rock nerd” at heart who fell into her dream job by following her bliss: gems and jewelry.
Discover the history and spiritual meaning of hematite, what makes it unique, and why it may be the perfect stone for your engagement ring or wedding band.
History of Hematite Rings
Hematite means “blood stone” because of its reddish-brown pigment, and that pigment dates as far back as the Stone Ages when cavemen used it to write and make cave paintings.
Hematite has long been thought to have spiritual properties, too. It’s popular in feng shui for providing grounding and calming energy and the stone has also been used to promote balance and to protect its wearer, as well as to offer healing energy and strength. The ancient Egyptians used hematite to embellish the tombs of their rulers, while the Babylonians carried it into battle. The ancient Romans used it both as jewelry and to decorate their armor.
As a gemstone, hematite has been carved into beads, turned into cameos, and used in mourning jewelry, especially in the Victorian era. It’s a popular stone for men’s jewelry, especially in mid-century pieces. The stone has not traditionally been popular in engagement and wedding jewelry, but hematite gives a similar look to black diamonds at a more affordable price point.
Pros and Cons of Hematite Rings
Hematite is a great choice for anyone looking for an affordable, yet statement-making stone. The mineral is plentiful, making hematite stones relatively inexpensive and budget-friendly. Hematite can also be made into wedding bands if your partner is also a fan of the stone, or if you’d like to add unexpected edge and drama to your wedding set.
However, hematite is quite fragile and should be given the utmost care. If you live an active lifestyle or tend to be hard on your jewelry, it may not be the right stone for you. “It’s too soft for most people to wear every day without scratching or abrading the stone in a short period of time,” Schatner says. “I would suggest a hematite ring for someone who can be careful with their jewelry and doesn't intend to wear it while working if they have a physical, active job.”
What to Look for in a Hematite Ring
- What settings and metals look best with hematite? “Some love hematite with white metals since it matches the cool black and silver luster of the stone. I would suggest wearing it in a bezel setting or having the stone set flush with the metal to protect it,” advises Schatner. “I would advise against prongs. You usually see them as cabochons or with very little faceting.”
- Where should I look for a hematite ring? Hematite rings can be found everywhere from Etsy to antique jewelers. “There are definitely vintage hematite rings to be found, but historically the stone was used mostly in men’s rings like carved intaglios,” explains Schatner. Where you find your ring depends on your style; if you go for a modern vibe, you’ll find simple settings often in sterling silver to complement the metallic sheen of hematite. If you gravitate towards a more romantic look, you may want to try a stone surrounded by diamonds for a nod to tradition. It’s all up to you!
- How much should a hematite ring cost? “When looking for a hematite piece, don't invest too much because it shouldn't be expensive and you may have to replace the stone over time because it's so soft,” Schatner says. “It is a five to six-and-a-half on the hardness scale so it is softer than most of the gemstones you're used to seeing people wear for wedding rings. For example, diamonds are a 10, sapphires and rubies are nine, and emeralds and aquas are an eight.”
Prices for hematite rings can vary, but tend to fall between $100 to $1,500.
- Are there any stones that give a similar look? If you love the look of hematite but are looking for a more durable stone, Schatner recommends black spinel or black diamonds, which have a higher score on the hardness scale and may better fit your lifestyle.
How to Care for a Hematite Ring
Because of hematite’s fragility, Schatner advises being extremely careful with your jewelry. She recommends taking your ring off during any activity that could impact the ring, including cooking, cleaning, exercising, or moving heavy objects. Hematite should be washed with mild soap and kept away from ammonia and ultrasonic cleaning machines.
If you’re enchanted by the history and natural drama of hematite, check out these gorgeous styles that may steal your heart.
Armenta New World Hematite Rectangular Doublet Ring
Do you wear a size seven ring? You’re in luck! This rectangular hematite set in platinum washed sterling silver and surrounded by champagne diamonds is striking and sophisticated, the perfect choice for a bride who wants a touch of high-fashion cool.
Seafare Vintage Hematite Ring
This slim oval hematite ring set in 10K gold may have a few small scratches, but think of the life it’s lived before you! If you’re looking for a vintage piece with charm and a backstory, this budget-friendly option with a delicate gold setting may be the perfect choice for your own love story.
Tacori Bold Woven Crescent Ring
Go big or go home with this cocktail-style ring, available in sizes six, seven, and eight. The woven silver band is a cool choice for the bride who is looking for a totally unique ring that will stand the test of time while feeling glamorous and edgy. In short, it’s a rock star of a ring.
M. Barr Jewelry 10K Oval Hematite Victorian Cocktail Ring
For another hematite option with history, this Victorian piece from Ruby Lane offers drama and romance. It’s set in 10K gold and if you’ve been binge-watching Bridgerton, this antique piece may make you want to channel your inner Daphne or Lady Whistledown.
Elizabeth Henry Phoebe Hematite Marquis Cocktail Ring
If you’re a fan of a marquis cut, this gorgeous vintage piece is a fabulous choice. Marquis is once again becoming popular as a choice for engagement jewelry, and this shiny metallic hematite stone, set in a low, multi-prong white gold setting, is distinctive and dazzling.
Vintage Hematite Cocktail Ring
This vintage cocktail ring features the perfect balance of delicate and statement-making. The square-cut stone is elegant and classic, polished to a high shine to complement the 18K yellow gold scallop setting. This vintage piece feels like a family heirloom you’ll cherish forever.