One of the important ores of iron, the red ferric oxide hematite takes its name from the Greek word for blood, because when the surface of the stone is scratched it appears to be bleeding. The gem takes on several forms and colors, the most common of which are red and metalic-grey. Since earliest antiquity, hematite has been prized for its potent protective qualities. The Egyptians and the Persians in particular used the stone in a talismanic capacity. Because of its assoications with the blood, hematite is believed to alleviate hemorrhage, and to stimulate the iron in the human circulation system, thus relieving fatigue. In ancient Egypt, amulets made from hematite were used to protect the head from injury, and were frequently formed in the shape of a miniature headrest or pillow. It was also felt that hematite gave courage to the wearer, and warriors frequently rubbed the stone over their bodies before battle to make themselves invincible. According to a treatise on gems written in the first century BC by Azchalias of Babylon, hematite procures for the wearer a favorable issue of lawsuits and judgements. The gem's mysterious physical properties--it seems part stone, part metal--make it as appealing to the modern eye as it has always been throughout history.