The Gemstone Rhodochrosite

Banded Reddish-Pink 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

Chemical Formula

? MnCO3

Mineral Class

? Rhodochrosite

Additional Properties

Crystal System
? Hexagonal
Refractive Index
? 1.60 - 1.82
Double Refraction
? -0.22
? Transparent to nearly opaque
? 3.0 - 3.3
? Vitreous
Cleavage ? 1,3 - rhombohedral

All About

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

Other Names




Treatments & Enhancements

? Rhodochrosite gemstones are not treated or enhanced.

Rhodochrosite Sources

? 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.

Similar Gemstones

? Rhodonite is much harder and usually contains black banding, and Thulite is harder.

Rhodochrosite Photos


Rhodochrosite in the Rough Photos



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