Rhodochrosite

Text from Bernardine Fine Art Jewelry

The pink color of rhodochrosite is caused by the element manganese and it is formed when manganese is dissolved by ground water and combines with a carbonate material and then drips off the ceiling of caves and crevices deep underground.  It is found in Argentina, Peru, Colorado and Montana, U.S, and Quebec, Canada.

It is commonly found in the form of stalactites and stalagmites in the caves of Argentina.   Rhodochrosite (whose name means rose-colored) often  forms pink and white bands. It is often carved into figurines or boxes while the tubular stalactite formations are often sliced for use in jewelry. Fine gem quality crystals are sometimes cut into gemstones for use in high end jewelry, but the more common grade is used extensively in silver and gold jewelry.

Rhodonite, another pinkish stone, is often confused with rhodochrosite because the base color is similar, but most rhodonite used for jewelry purposes contains black manganese oxides while rhodochrosite is banded with white.

Rhodochrosite became the official state mineral for Colorado in 2002 after the Platte Canyon High School in Bailey,Colorado made the proposal based on the fact that the Sweet Home Mine near Alma, Colorado produces the highly prized and rare red crystals which are found only in a few places on earth.

Rhodochrosite is a relatively soft stone and ranges between 3.5 and 4.0 on the Mohs scale of hardness.

Color: pink, rose, red, white, yellowish grey, brown.
Class: carbonates
Cleavage: perfect
Specific gravity:3.5-3.7
Luster: sub-vitreous, pearly
Breakage: brittle
Habit: botryoidal
Transparency: transparent, translucent
Fracture: irregular/uneven,conchoidal
Crystal System: trigonal

Folklore, Legend, and Healing Properties

Its powers include drawing love to the wearer, helps release past psychological issues and improves eyesight. Rhodochrosite is thought to relieve stress and is used by healers to cleanse the aura.

Rhodochrosite is also believed to help in the development of inner freedom by helping to resolve inner conflicts and as a stone of love and balance. It is a powerful healer for the 4th chakra and used to cleanse the heart chakra.

Many believe that it can release the suffering based on past lives and energize the pancreas, spleen and kidney. It increases the ability to handle life problems and increase personal self-confidence.

The Incas, who called it Inca Rose, believed that rhodochrosite is the blood of their former kings and queens that was turned to stone.

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