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Fakes & FraudsFake(?) botryoidal hematite from Madagascar or Morocco

16th Feb 2020 11:30 GMTKathryn Bridge

Purchased this small specimen at the 22nd Street Mineral Fossil Gem and Jewelry Show in Tucson (Feb. 15) for under $10.  It looked like hematite to me though I am a amateur collector.  I asked the man, who had a foreign accent, if it was polished.  He said yes.  I then asked him what was used to polish it and he replied "I don't speak English" and walked away.  I saw a fair amount of this type of "hematite" at the show and am now wondering if it is real or fake.  I am visiting Tucson and unable to do a streak or density test at this time though it is heavy for its size.  Would anyone like to weigh in with their thoughts?  

16th Feb 2020 11:32 GMTKathryn Bridge

This is a photo of the underside.

16th Feb 2020 11:37 GMTKeith Compton Manager

Certainly not fake - just polished.
Could be polished with anything from shoe polish to cerium oxide and similar.

17th Feb 2020 15:07 GMTKathryn Bridge

Thank you!

16th Feb 2020 14:36 GMTPaul Brandes Manager

This would be referred to as botryoidal hematite or "grape ore" if from Michigan. Definitely not a fake, but likely polished up a bit to sell at Tucson. Unfortunately, many places around the world produce this material, so an exact location may be hard to pin down.

16th Feb 2020 15:47 GMTEd Clopton Expert

Scratch a corner of the specimen on unglazed porcelain (bottom edge of a coffee mug, etc.).  Hematite should leave a dark red streak; goethite or other iron hydroxides (collectively "limonite") will leave a brown streak.

17th Feb 2020 16:05 GMTKathryn Bridge

I was able to do a streak test today and it is red.  Thank you for the information!

16th Feb 2020 18:19 GMTKnut Edvard Larsen Manager

Here is a photo of unpolished hematite taken at a mine dump from Vein 12 Tadaout in Morocco

16th Feb 2020 21:10 GMTJohn Sobolewski Expert

Over the years, a lot of Moroccan vendors have been selling very similar polished hematite specimens from Morocco. If from Morocco, it is likely to be from the Irhoud Mine, Safi Province.
John Sobolewski. 

17th Feb 2020 15:08 GMTKathryn Bridge

Thank you all for your comments!
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