The Gemstone Rhodochrosite
Rhodochrosite has a lovely natural pink to red color. Rhodochrosite gemstones are primarily translucent to opaque banded beads and cabochons. These bands are often in concentric or zigzag patterns of alternating white and pink (or red) colors. The transparent red forms large enough to be cut into gemstones are extremely valuable and cherished by rare gemstone connoisseurs.
Red, Pink, Banded
3.5 - 4
1.60 - 1.82
Transparent to nearly opaque
3.0 - 3.3
1,3 - rhombohedral
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 stalagmite
s and stalactite
s in ancient Inca Silver
mines and cave
Rhodochrosite is used as beads for bracelets and necklaces, and may also be cut and polished
s. The rare and transparent deep-red form is very difficult to obtain, and is occasionally cut into a rare and exotic collectors gemstone
Treatments & Enhancements
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 sources include South Africa, Peru, and Japan.
is much harder and usually contains black banding, and
Rhodochrosite in the Rough Photos