Minerals With Magnetic Properties


Magnet: This is described as an object that is surrounded by a magnetic field, thereby causing iron or steel materials to be attracted to it.


Magnetic: Materials which give off magnetic fields, or materials that are attracted to magnetic fields.


Magnetic Field: This refers to an area encompassing a magnet or electric current which has the ability to attract or repel certain objects anywhere within the field.


Magnetic Field (Earth's): The Earth's magnetic field is aligned with the north and south poles, and has reversed many times during geologic history.


Magnetism: This is the ability of certain metals to attract other metals.


Some minerals react when they are placed within a magnetic field. Some minerals are strongly or weakly attracted to a magnet, while one individual mineral, Bismuth, is repelled. Also, some minerals are attracted to magnetic fields only when they have been heated. The closer an object is to the magnet or electrical current, the more powerful the magnetic effect will be. In virtually all of the cases, the presence of iron within a mineral is what is responsible for the magnetic properties. Magnetic properties can be a helpful diagnostic tool in identifying minerals.


Types Of Magnetism:


Ferromagnetism: Exhibiting a strong attraction to magnetic fields, such as is seen with Magnetite and Pyrrhotite.


Paramagnetism: Exhibiting a weak attraction to magnetic fields. It may be so weak that it is undetectable. Most of these minerals become strongly magnetic when they are heated. Iron impurities cause the paramagnetism. This is seen in minerals such as Hematite and Franklinite.


Diamagnetism: A magnetic property which causes a mineral to be repelled from magnetic fields.


Ferromagnetism (When Heated): Exhibiting attraction to magnetic fields when heated. Some minerals may even act as magnets when heated. This can be seen with some Iron Sulfides and Iron Oxides.


Minerals Which Demonstrate Magnetic Properties


Babingtonite (weak)

Barite (diamagnetic)

Borax (diamagnetic)

Braunite (weak)

Burckhardtite (paramagnetic)

Cadmium (diamagnetic)

Chromite (weak)

Chromferide (diamagnetic)

Columbite (weak)

Coyoteite (moderately)

Epidote From Pakistan (attracted to magnets)

Epsomite (diamagnetic)

Ferberite (weak)

Franklinite (weak)

Goslarite (diamagnetic)

Ice (diamagnetic)

Ilmenite (weak, and always when heated)

Iron-Nickel (attracted to magnets)

Jacobsite (diamagnetic)

Ludlamite (diamagnetic)

Maghemite (strong)

Magnetite (strong)


Manganbabingtonite (very weak)

Nitratine (diamagnetic)

Platinum (weak)

Pyrrhotite (sometimes strongly, but inconsistent)

Siderite (weak when heated)

Tantalite (weak)

Trevorite (diamagnetic)



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