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The Gemstone Rhodonite
Fe, Mg, Ca)5(SiO3)5
Composition: Manganese Iron Magnesium Calcium Silicate
Crystal System: Triclinic, often massive
Hardness: 5.5 - 6.5
Specific Gravity: apx. 3.4 - 3.7
Luster: vitreous to dull to pearly
Color: pink to red or orange
Cleavage: perfect in two directions
Transparency: Massive is opaque crystals may be translucent
Associated Minerals: calcite, pyrite, microcline, spessartine,
pyroxmangite and other manganese minerals
Rhodonite is typically pink to red or orange and even black. It's beautiful
pink color often has black manganese oxide veins running through it, giving it a distinct
appearance. For this reason it is carved into beads, cabochons, and
ornamental objects. In 18th century Russia, it was used extensively
for decorating the Russian court.
A mineral of metamorphic rocks, related to manganese ganese occurrences, often with ore veins.
Rhodonite typically comes in massive, coarse and fine granular aggregates. Transparent crystals are rare and fragile. But some are still found
and distributed on the mineral markets. They come from a few notable
localities and are considered classics by collectors. Crystals are generally
translucent and rarely transparent.
Fuses to a brown glass. Gives manganese test in borax bead. Also lack of reaction to acid and hardness
Some of the more notable occurrences of Rhodonite. Are the Ural Mountains,
Russia; Broken Hill, Australia; Langban, Sweden; Menas Gerais, Brazil;
Massachusetts; Franklin, New Jersey and Canada. Some of the lesser known occurrences are right here
in our Northwestern USA. Rhodonite has been found in California, Colorado,
Montana, Oregon, Washington, and here in Idaho near New Meadows.
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Our Idaho material has been unavailable for many years.
some of this material from old collections and some of it is stunning.
It comes in verities from very deep pink with dark black lines to brown
and pink laced with yellow Spassartite Garnet.
Rare mineral specimens, semi-precious stone and as a minor ore of manganese
FACTS & HISTORY:
Rhodonite is named after the Greek word for rose, rhodon. Its rose-pink
color is distinctive and can only be confused with rhodochrosite and
the rare mineral, pyroxmangite, MnSiO3. Rhodochrosite however is streaked
with white minerals such as calcite and is reactive to acids. While
Rhodonite does not react to acids and is usually associated with black
manganese minerals and pyrite.