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Rhodochrosite Gemstone Information

Rhodochrosite is Greek for 'rose coloured' referring to the transparent crystal form, although it rarely occurs in nature. The crystal form of rhodochrosite has good clarity and although it is a soft material, it may be faceted. Because of it's rarety the crystal form is usually the reserve of collectors.

The most common form of rhodochrosite is a compact aggregate with bands of light and dark material, in mostly zigzag patterns of raspberry-red and yellow. Brownish layers also occur throughout some material. It may be confused with Rhodonite, which has a similar colour, but often has areas of dark uneven patterns.

Rhodochrosite aggregate is made into cabochons and beads, large pieces are used to make attractive carvings.

Source locations for rhodochrosite include: Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Peru, South Africa and the USA.

Physical Properties

Stone type:
Rhodochrosite.
Crystal System:
Trigonal, crystals are rare, also occurs in a massive form.
Chemical Composition:
Manganese carbonate, MnCO3.
Colour:
Rose-red to yellow, the compact form is striped.
Lustre:
Vitreous.
Pleochroism:
Absent.
Dispersion:
Low.
Hardness:
4 on the Mohs' scale of hardness.
Toughness:
Poor.
Cleavage:
Perfect.
Density in gm/cc:
3.45 to 3.70
Double refraction:
Yes.
Refractive index:
1.60 to 1.82

Common Treatments

Rhodochrosite is not normally treated.


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