lodestone

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lodestone:

see magnetitemagnetite
, lustrous black, magnetic mineral, Fe3O4. It occurs in crystals of the cubic system, in masses, and as a loose sand. It is one of the important ores of iron (magnetic iron ore) and is a common constituent of igneous and metamorphic rocks.
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lodestone

[′lōd‚stōn]
(mineralogy)
The naturally occurring magnetic iron oxide, or magnetite, possessing polarity, and attracting iron objects to itself. Also known as Hercules stone; leading stone; loadstone.

lodestone

, loadstone
a. a rock that consists of pure or nearly pure magnetite and thus is naturally magnetic
b. a piece of such rock, which can be used as a magnet and which was formerly used as a primitive compass
References in periodicals archive ?
Compasses were later made from iron needles which had been magnetised using a lodestone.
Gilbert's main interest was in "magneticks," materials attracted in the manner of iron and lodestones. However, he also noted another type of attraction, in materials such as glass, amber, and crystal.
According to legend, a Greek shepherd near the city of Magnesia found that his iron-tipped staff stuck to a peculiar outcropping of rock, a natural magnet later named lodestone. The Chinese knew that steel rubbed against a lodestone became magnetic, that both attracted iron, and that a magnetic needle had two different poles.
In those days a craftsman would build a compass as follows: He would fashion a flat steel needle, balance it on a pivot, and then magnetize it by stroking it with a lodestone or a strong magnet, always in the same direction, until it, too, became magnetic.