A red-brown to black insoluble solid, Fe2O3; trigonal; r.d. 5.24; m.p. 1565°C. There is also a hydrated form, Fe2O3.xH2O, which is a red-brown powder; r.d. 2.44–3.60. (See rusting.)
Iron(III) oxide occurs naturally as haematite and can be prepared by heating iron(III) hydroxide or iron(II) sulphate. It is readily reduced on heating in a stream of carbon monoxide or hydrogen.