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magnetite (măgˈnətĪt) [key], 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. It is found in Norway, Sweden, the Urals, and various parts of the United States. A variety of magnetite, lodestone (or loadstone) exhibits polarity and is especially interesting for its natural magnetism; Magnet Cove, Ark., became famous as a source.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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