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About twenty centuries before it was discovered that certain lead coloured stone possesses the peculiar property of attracting fillings of small pieces of steel. Since this mineral was found in Magnesia (a province in Asia) in plenty, so it was given a name of Magnetite. Magnetite (Fe3O4) is a magnetic oxide of iron and is found in large quantity in Sweeden and North America.

Later on it was discovered that if an elongated piece of this mineral is freely suspended, it would point “north” and “south”. It is also called as lode stone meaning leading stone.

Any body which possesses the power of attracting pieces of iron is known as a magnet and the property of a body by virtue of which this attraction takes place is known as magnetism.

Since lode stone possesses magnetism when it is taken out from the earth, so it is known as a natural magnet.

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