This would explain why my entire stock of 'Hematite' beads,
purchased from a local wholesaler, responded to magnetism when
tested just now and is probably, therefore, faux...
Maybe. But then...
I took the info about hematite not being magnetic from a mineralogy
book. It may be, though, that the intended meaning of that is that
hematite is not magnetic, in that it doesn't attract iron. It's
possible, I'd guess, that there might be an intermediate level,
whereby a material might not be able to be magnetized, yet could be,
perhaps weakly, attracted by a magnet. The reason I say this is that
I took a very strong magnet, one of the rare earth types similar to
what are used in the magnetic tumblers, and checked some of my
material. I've some "hematite" cabs I bought very cheaply as part
of a bulk mixed lot when Ray Gabriel got out of the business of
selling stones. It wouldn't surprise me if these are imitations, but
I'd always sorta assumed they were the real thing. yet the magnet
will actually pick them up. So then I went to a shelf where I've got
some various mineral samples, and found a piece of material which has
layers of tigereye, banded with hematite, and a little limonite.
This, I KNOW is fully natural. The magnet doesn't pick it up, but
there IS a very weak attraction that I can detect. Less than those
cabs, but more than, say, some 303 stainless steel I've at hand which
is not attracted at all by the magnet. Now, remember that this is a
rather intensely strong magnet, and the attraction is only slightly
noticeable. But that does indicate that hematite can at least
slightly be attracted by a magnet.
so I guess I have to backtrack a bit on my earlier statement that
hematite isn't attracted by a magnet. it seems to be, though weakly.
If your magnet actually picks up a significantly sized piece, then
I'd guess is the imitation.
There's another easy test that may be useful, though i've not tried
it on an imitation piece. One common test to indicate hematite as a
mineral is the streak test. Rubbed on a streak plate (usually just a
piece of unglazed white ceramic tile, but any light colored abrasive
surface can work), it leaves a distinctly reddish brown mark. The
color of rouge compound. Obviously, this is a test that will leave a
small mark on the stone being tested, so choose your test sample