Lodestone is generally found in sandy deposits close to the earth’s surface. Lodestone is a form of magnetite that is naturally magnetic and attracts pieces of iron ore. As a magnetite, Lodestone often originates from igneous and sedimentary rocks. Large deposits are in California, New Zealand and Norway.
Lodestone is the stronger of the two naturally occurring magnetic minerals and has a brownish-black color. The ancient Greeks credited the philosopher Thales of Miletus with discovering the ability of lodestone to attract iron in approximately 600 B.C. Civilizations in China suspended pieces of lodestone to form primitive compasses. Lodestone tends to align itself with the magnetic field of the earth when suspended from a piece of string.