Rhodochrosite (whose name means rose-colored) is a very attractive mineral with an absolutely one-of-a-kind, beautiful color.
Rhodochrosite is a manganese carbonate mineral with chemical composition MnCO3. In its (rare) pure form, it is typically a rose-red color, but impure specimens can be shades of pink to pale brown.
|Fabulous rosette Rhodochrosite From Huachocolpa Mine, Peru. |
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It was first described in 1813 in reference to a sample from Cavnic, Maramureş, present-day Romania. According to Dimitrescu and Radulescu, 1966 and to Papp, 1997, this mineral was described for the first time in Sacaramb, Romania, not in Cavnic, Romania. The name is derived from the Greek word ῥοδόχρως meaning rose-colored.
|Amazing plate of Stalactites Rhodochrosite from MineSanta Rita,|
Argentina. credit: Ignacio Adrian Tepman.
It streaks white, and its Mohs hardness varies between 3.5 and 4. Its specific gravity is between 3.5 and 3.7. It crystallizes in the trigonal system, and cleaves with rhombohedral carbonate cleavage in three directions.
|Rhodochrosite's stalactite from Capillitas Mine, Catamarca,|
Argentina. Photo: Ignacio Adrian Tepman.
Rhodochrosite occurs as a hydrothermal vein mineral along with other manganese minerals in low temperature ore deposits as in the silver mines of Romania where it was first found. Banded rhodochrosite is mined in Capillitas, Argentina.
|Unusual Shape and color of Rhodochrosite from Moanda|
Mine, Gabon. credit: Yasu Okazaki
Rhodochrosite forms a complete solid solution series with iron carbonate (siderite). Calcium, (as well as magnesium and zinc, to a limited extent) frequently substitutes for manganese in the structure, leading to lighter shades of red and pink, depending on the degree of substitution. It is for this reason that the most common color encountered is pink.
Stunning Rhodochrosite Stalactite slice- from Capillitas
Mine, Catamarca, Argentina. credit: LGF Foundation, Inc.
Its main use is as an ore of manganese which is a key component of low-cost stainless steel formulations and certain aluminium alloys.
|Exceptionally gemmy red rhodochrosite zoned botryoidal crystals. |
From N'Chwaning Mine, Northern Cape Province, South Africa
credit: Le Comptoir Géologique
Due to Rhodochrosites being relatively soft, and having perfect cleavage, it is very difficult to cut, and therefore rarely found faceted in jewelry.
|Stunning Rhodochrosite with chalcedony covering the surface |
to form a grape-like shape（botryoidal), is very attractive.
From (Conselheiro Lafaiete, Minas Gerais, Brazil)
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Rhodochrosite is Argentina's "national gemstone". Colorado officially named rhodochrosite as its state mineral in 2002.
|This is one of the most beautiful Rhodochrosite|
I've ever seen from China. credit: John Veevaert
|Rhodochrosite on manganese oxides.|
Uchucchacua Mine, Peru. Photo: Martin Hingst
|The trapiche-like rhodochrosite “flower” from Argentina’s Capillitas mine.|
Credit: Russell E. Behnke
|Rhodochrosite avec Quartz, Fluorite et sulfures "Centennial pocket" |
of the Sweet Home mine in Alma, Colorado, USA.
Collection & photo: Simone Citon