Above (left):  A tiny crystal of hematite from the Buckwheat Dump, Franklin, NJ.  This crystal was on a rock that also had "radiating hematite", so named because the hematite forms sheaf-like crystals having a radial appearance.  I bought it from the Franklin Museum.

The specimen was originally about the size of a large potato, because there was a great deal of matrix rock. 

I broke one of my own rules.  I took a hammer to the rock and reduced it to tiny pieces...

Actually, I was trying to save the desirable region and get rid of the excess matrix.  Sometimes this is a good idea, sometimes not.  If the specimen breaks into 100 pieces, I'd lean towards "not".  Anyway, I had tried to trim the matrix off with a hammer and chisel, and [of course] the radiating hematite flew right off the rock.  I found it lying three feet away (in the corner, amid other rock fragments) and figured I might as well study it with a loupe.

On the back was the crystal you see above.  I suppose things turned out for the better, then.  This is actually one of the better hematite micro crystals I've seen from Franklin.


Above (right):   Another view of the same crystal with the lighting angle changed just a little.  It's difficult to take good photos of specimens having high three-dimensional relief.  To appreciate a crystal like this, one must really be able to rotate it in the light. 

Below is yet another view of the crystal.



By the way, the matrix is a mixture of franklinite and compact, dirty gray calcite, probably intermixed with dolomite. 


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