Magnets can be either permanent or temporary, and temporary one’s are much easier to magnetize. A temporary magnet is generally made from soft iron and will remain magnetized as long as the magnetizing agent is present. By bringing an object, such as a nail or paper clip, into the magnetic field of a strong magnet, it can cause the molecules of the iron material to line up and become a temporary magnet. As long as the soft iron is in the magnetic field of the strong magnet, the nail or paper clip acts like a magnet and can pick up other soft iron objects.
Magnetic minerals (mostly magnetite) in rocks also become naturally magnetized in the earth’s magnetic field by induction (the process described in the other answer, where magnetizable materials are brought within a magnetic field). Since the natural particles align with the orientation of the earth’s field as it was at the time the particles solidified (either in solidifying magma, or by settling in sedimentary rocks), we can determine things like the timing of reversals of the earth’s magnetic field.
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