Rhodonite is a relatively rare mineral whose colour can vary from the lightest shade of pink to a very deep shade of red veering towards purple.
The distinctive black markings are common especially in material used for cutting and polishing. The pink colour slowly darkens due to oxidation. This natural process takes place after the stone is covered with a crust of manganese oxides.
Fine grade transparent crystals of rhodonite are extremely rare. Some of the finest material comes from Broken Hill, Yancowinna County in New South Wales. This is one of the richest sources of gem-grade rhodonite in the world.
This dramatic rhodonite sphere is positioned on a polished hematite ring. These make elegant supports for spheres of most sizes. Although relatively hard hematite is brittle so must be handled carefully.