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Question
metal piece
metal piece  
This piece is non-magnetic, heavy at 3.5oz and is very hard. My husband made two small cuts with a knife and applied a lot of pressure. It is shiny and has a slight yellow tinge but too hard to be that precious metal.
Any thoughts? Found it in a sandy area.

Thanks for your time,

Jaimie

Answer
Looks like hematite to me.

Color   Metallic gray to metallic redish, dull to bright red
Crystal habit   Tabular to thick crystals; micaceous or platy, commonly in rosettes; radiating fibrous, reniform, botryoidal or stalactitic masses, columnar; earthy, granular, oolitic
Crystal system   Trigonal
Twinning   Penetration and lamellar
Cleavage   None, may show partings on {0001} and {1011}
Fracture   Uneven to sub-conchoidal
Tenacity   Brittle
Mohs scale hardness   5.56.5
Luster   Metallic to splendent
Streak   Bright red to dark red
Diaphaneity   Opaque
Specific gravity   5.26

This particular piece appears to be botryoidal which is often referred to as kidney ore because of it shape.  Hematite is the leading ore for iron (70%) because of its high iron content. Hematite's hardness is 5-6 whereas a knife blade is 5.5 so, with effort, a knife blade will scratch this rock.

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Joe Norris

Expertise

I am an economic geologist. An economic geologist does mineral evaluations and appraisals of mineral or mining properties. I can tell you if your deposit has value - remember that a mineral deposit, no matter how good, only has value when mined. Any value assigned to a mineral deposit, in the ground, is only the speculative value that deposit.

Experience

I have been a economic geologist for most of my 35 year career. Although I have done work in perhaps 45 states and numerious countries much of my work has been in Appalachian coal, intermountain west gold and silver, and Arizona uranium.

Organizations
Past President of the Virginia Section of the American Institute of Professional Geologists and a certified geologist in twelve states.

Education/Credentials
BS Degree from Eastern Kentucky University. Work on MS Degree @ Eastern Kentucky University, Colorad School of Mines & Marshall University Numerious short courses on the value of mineral deposits and how to value same. Also several short courses dealing with the different types of geologic processes; sedimentary, igneous, metamorphic along with the mineral associated with each.

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