Iron
Fe
atomic number
26
melting point
1538°C

1. Roast a small amount of powdered mineral using the oxidizing portion of the flame (this step is necessary for sulfides and arsenides), then immerse the roasted mineral powder in the reducing portion of the flame; iron-bearing minerals will almost invariably yield a magnetic sublimate.

2. Mix a tiny amount of powdered mineral with borax flux, then expose the mixture to the blowpipe flame; if the oxidizing portion of the flame is used to fuse the mixture, the bead will be a yellow color when hot but will fade to nearly colorless as it cools; if the reducing portion of the flame is used, the bead will be a pale green when hot which fades to a nearly colorless hue when it cools; (this test is sensitive and depends on the amount of mineral powder used; if more than a pinch of mineral sample is used, the color of the bead differs from the description above).

3. Dissolve a small amount of powdered mineral in either a dilute nitric acid solution (or if necessary a very hot HCl solution in which a few drops of nitric acid have been added), then add excess ammonia to the acid solution; a brownish-red precipitate of Fe(OH)3 will form at the bottom of the test tube or beaker.