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A darkish-grey and extremely dense, polished Hematite is heavy for its size and may exhibit markings or be totally smooth especially when tumbled. Raw Hematite leaves a red streak on a plate.

Although it is commonly assumed that Hematite is highly magnetic, in fact it is manufactured Hematine that responds to magnets or to itself. Natural Hematite does not. (see


Manufactured Silicon is brittle, bright bluish-silver, and very smooth. Natural Silicon tends to occur in tiny grains.


Silver tarnishes very quickly when exposed to the air so nuggets may take on a brownish-black appearance with silver highlights. If a magnet is attracted to a nugget or to the metal, it is not silver.


Silver-grey, slightly rounded crystals in a clump.


Long, slender striated silver crystals often in clusters on a matrix.


Resembling a rocky cliff in miniature, raw lead, bright silvery metallic Galena is exceedingly heavy and very toxic.


Flaky, tabular crystals with metallic lustre, often found on a matrix. May take a rosette form as shown or form a mass.


Tantalite c. Judy Hall

c. Judy Hall

Tantalite feels extremely heavy and has a submetallic lustre. Blackish-brown with silvery highlights, it typically has a randomly rough external appearance with stubby crystals whether raw or polished.

Golden Rutile with Hematite

Star-bursts of thin golden Rutile ‘blades’ with silvery Hematite crystals, arranged in a pleasing pattern radiating out from the centre.


Known as ‘Fool’s Gold’, Pyrite is bright gold and forms in chunky squarish crystals or bladed flecks in matrix. Its circular formation is known as a Pyrite Sun. It is comparatively heavy when held.


Mohawkite c. Michael Illas

c. Michael Illas

With its goldish lustre, Mohawkite has a pitted surface and feels heavy when held.


Gold shows up as a nugget or streak in Quartz but is easily confused with Pyrite inclusions.


Not exactly silver and gold, more like a futuristic rainbow city! Most Bismuth is lab grown.