Mar 22, 2012

Discovery! Natural Rainbow Hematite Gemstone

Rainbow Hematite Earrings by York Avenue Studio
Never heard of this gemstone?  A client mentioned that she had seen some beautiful jewelry years back made with Rainbow Hematite, and she had always wanted to own some.  I had to look it up because I had never heard of or seen this gem before.  Instantly thrilled, I found a supplier and ordered some pieces that were rough, not finished.
The sparkly surface looks man-made, with gleaming rainbow colors.  The colors are vivid and there are several colors all grouped tightly together, it almost seems impossible that such a gem is natural.  Bright pink and electric blue, peacock purple and greens, amazing colors!  The gem reflects light when held one way, and seems to appear dark gray or black when turned slightly.  The top and bottom both have completely different colors and it was very hard to decided which side to call the top.

The material is very brittle, flakes of glitter come off easily and the gem seems very easy to chip and break.  I sanded the edges smooth to fit a bezel with 600 grit, very softly and slowly.
I decided to make earrings, which would be less stressful for the gems, less chance of being bumped on tables, less wear and tear like a ring would receive.

Inspired by a tutorial from Marilyn Mack, I decided to fabricate a multi gemstone collage.  Her tutorial, “Atlantisite Serpentine Pendant” is available on the Interweave site shop.

Recently, I am finding that my designs have a pear-shape.  Without doing this intentionally, I noticed that the pieces I like the most have this same shape, like a mini-pear.  Rounded near the bottom, sloping up and curving off center a bit.  Somewhat like paisley shape.  For these earrings, the same thing happened.  As I put the gems around the Rainbow Hematite, my eye picked up the familiar pear-shape again.  I decided to turn it upside down and for earrings, this looked very nice with the larger wider portion at the top tapering down.
My design is a little Southwest with some Art Deco mixed in.  I selected some gems to compliment the colors:  Ruby, Amethyst, Aquamarine, and Tsavorite Garnet.  I drew a sketch, laid out the gems, and made a few adjustments.
A couple of days work, and Voila!  The green Tsavorite Garnet really lights up and plays off the Ruby and Rainbow Hematite.  The subtle Amethyst and Aquamarine look perfect as complimenting colors.  The Rainbow Hematite is gorgeous all by itself, and I didn’t want to distract from it.
I made post earrings with puffy squares in a line, which have a patina with glints of blue and red hues.  Overall, the design has an organic rustic look.  Nature inspired, these earrings look like a leaf dangling from a branch, bursting with Spring color. 
I’d love to hear your comments about Rainbow Hematite.


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you! These are made with scrap metal, thinner than I plan for selling. Maybe a metal clay version, as well.

  2. A lovely design, the gemstone looks well supported.

  3. It nice design jewelry to use. Hematite has a power to balance our life