Rhodochrosite Meaning and Properties

Rhodochrosite History

No gemstone is more luscious-looking and elegant than raspberry-colored rhodochrosite. Since a large amount of rhodochrosite formed as stalagmites in Inca silver mines abandoned in the 13th century, this gemstone is sometimes called Inca rose. Today, the world's main deposits are still found in Argentina. Rhodochrosite is also the official state mineral of Colorado, no doubt partially due to the famous Sweet Home Mine located near Alma, Colorado, where rare, well-formed crystals have been found.

Rhodochrosite Metaphysical Properties

Change comes. Sometimes we go out and find it. Sometimes, it finds us instead. Rhodochrosite welcomes all change. It urges us to pay attention to our hearts and those things we hunger for. It brings out the adventuresome qualities in us. It gives us new chances. When change calls to you or falls into your life, rhodochrosite can help you open your arms and embrace it. Rhodochrosite is also known as a stone of compassion, promoting selfless love.

Rhodochrosite Geological Properties

This light pink to red gemstone is a manganese carbonate identified by its distinctive color. As a variable chemical composition, sometimes the manganese can be replaced by iron, magnesium or calcium, resulting in changes to color and hardness. Rhodochrosite typically forms in cavities of metamorphic or sedimentary rocks. This gemstone does not grow in well-formed crystals often, making certain specimens incredibly rare and valuable. Rhodochrosite has three-directional perfect cleavage, which can make cutting this gemstone a difficult task at times.

Mineral Information Manganese carbonate
Chemical Composition MnCO3
Color Deep pink to raspberry red
Hardness 4 (Mohs)
Specific Gravity 3.30 - 3.70
Refractive Index 1.600 - 1.820

Proper Care of Rhodochrosite

To clean rhodochrosite, use cool water and a soap, untreated cloth. Thoroughly dry rhodochrosite and any settings before storing or wearing. Protect rhodochrosite jewelry when it is not worn by storing in a soft pouch to avoid contact with other harder gemstones or materials that could potentially scratch or cleave the gem.

To learn more about rhodochrosite and other gemstones, order your copy of Walter Schumann's revised and expanded edition of Gemstones of the World.

Designing with Rhodochrosite

Since rhodochrosite has a low hardness and distinct cleavage, it's best to use this gemstone in jewelry designs that will not receive accidental blows or impact. Necklaces and earrings are safer bets than rings and bracelets. While some may think the pink hue of rhodochrosite pegs this gemstone as a stone for women's jewelry only, the warm color variations and red undertones are perfect for unisex and men's jewelry as well. Temper the pinkish hues with darker materials such as black onyx or Hemalyke™. Or, play up the pink by creating an analogous color scheme with other pink and light-colored gemstones such as morganite, rose quartz and rhodonite.

View design inspirations featuring rhodochrosite in the Gallery of Designs.

Shop for Rhodochrosite Items

**Please note that all metaphysical or healing properties listed are collected from various sources. This information is offered as a service and not meant to treat medical conditions. Fire Mountain Gems and Beads® does not guarantee the validity of any of these statements.

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