Chemical Formula MnCO3
Color Red, Pink, Banded
Hardness 3.5 – 4
Crystal System Hexagonal
Refractive Index 1.60 – 1.82
SG 3.0 – 3.3
Transparency Transparent to nearly opaque
Double Refraction -0.22
Luster Vitreous
Cleavage 1,3 – rhombohedral
Mineral Class Rhodochrosite

Though Rhodochrosite has a very pretty color, it is not a durable gemstone because of its low hardness. It is easily scratched, and care must be ensured to preserve it. Much of the banded form of Rhodochrosite comes from Argentina, where the Rhodochrosite forms as stalagmites and stalactites in ancient Inca Silver mines and caves.


Banded Rhodochrosite is used as beads for bracelets and necklaces, and may also be cut and polished into cabochons. The rare and transparent deep-red form is very difficult to obtain, and is occasionally cut into a rare and exotic collectors gemstone


Inca Rose
Rosinca – Banded, stalactitic variety of Rhodochrosite found in Catamarca, Argentina, with concentric pink and white banding.Rhodochrosite gemstones are not treated or enhanced.Most gemstone Rhodochrosite originates in Catamarca, Argentina. The Sweet Home Mine in Colorado and the Wudong Mine in China have produced gemmy clear Rhodochrosite. Other important sources include South Africa and Peru.Rhodonite is much harder and usually contains black banding, and Thulite is harder.
Rhodolite describes a rose-red form of Garnet that has a lighter tone and more purplish color than typical Garnet gemstones. It is usually an intermediary variety between the Pyrope and Almandine series, usually containing more magnesium than iron in its chemical structure, thus leaning closer towards Pyrope. It is often regarded as a variety of Pyrope.
Rhodochrosite SOURCES

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