The Lodestone is composed of proto-oxide and peroxide of iron, and from its magnetic qualities is known as Magnetite. This quality induced Dinocrates, a celebrated architect in the employ of Ptolemy Philadelphus, to plan a temple the roof of which was to be of Lodestone, so that the statue of Arsinoe, to whom the temple was dedicated, might remain in suspension, a plan which never materialised owing to the death of the architect and his patron. Claudius, a Roman poet who lived some 600 years later, mentions a statue of Venus made of Lodestone and one of Mars in Iron, placed in the same temple that they might be attracted together at the marriage ceremonies, the Romans believing that this stone kept husband and wife faithful and their love secure.

Orpheus attributes to the Lodestone the power of attracting the love of gods and men, and it was frequently set in wedding-rings for this purpose. In India it is believed to give vitality and health to those who wear it, and it is very popular amongst Mohammedans as a Talisman against evil spirits. In Elizabethan days mariners had great faith in this stone as a preservative from shipwreck, and also as an Amulet against gout if worn next the skin.