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Rhodochrosite Properties Facts and Photos

rhodochrosite in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History
Contents

1. Rhodochrosite Soft Fragile Mineral
2. Sources of Rhodochrosite
3. Healing Properties
4. Article Photos
5. Our Collection of Rhodochrosite

Rhodochrosite Soft and Fragile Mineral

The name rhodochrosite comes from the Greek words 'rhodon' and 'chroma' meaning 'rose' and 'colour'.

A distinctive mineral that's usually quite easy to identify.  Commercial grade stones are often characterised with white streaks of calcite or concentric bands.  Well formed translucent crystals are extremely rare and highly sought after.  Their colour can vary from raspberry red to varying shades of pink.

Although the colour of rhodochrosite is caused by impurities of manganese, calcium and iron are also frequently present.

Rhodochrosite became popular as an ornamental stone during the 1930's.  It followed the discovery of some fine grade material in Argentina.  It was another ten years before it took off and started being used as a gemstone.

Despite being widely used for decorative purposes it's relatively soft and fragile.  On Mohs scale of mineral hardness rhodochrosite grades just 3.5 to 4.

rhodochrosite mineral on display in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History

Sources of Rhodochrosite 

Rhodochrosite has been mined in the Capillitas mine in north eastern Argentina since the times of the Incas.  This location is the only place in the world where gigantic stalactites have been found. Measuring up to half a metre in diameter and three metres in length, the inner colour is only revealed once the stalactite has been cut.

Being situated at a height of 10,000 to 11,500 feet makes access extremely challenging.  Exceptionally beautiful deep crimson red coloured crystals have been found in the Capillitas mine.  Some of these rival material from other world renowned deposits.

The Sweet Home Mine in Colorado produced some of the finest rhodochrosite ever to have been discovered.

Opened in 1873 it was originally a silver mine although not a very successful one.  By the 1800's much of the rhodochrosite which had been mined there was on display in museums.

The Sweet Home mine closed as a silver mine in 1893.  It reopened in the 1920's solely for the purpose of mining rhodochrosite.  Some of the most beautiful crystals ever to have been found were subsequently excavated but the mine is now closed again.

For about ten years during the 1990's it produced countless extraordinary specimens.  Rhodochrosite from the Sweet Home mine is revered by mineral collectors around the world.

The Denver Natural History museum is home to the Alma King.  Believed to be thirty million years old it's the largest rhodochrosite crystal ever to have been found.  It was discovered in the Sweet Home Mine in August 1992.

Rhodochrosite was named as the state mineral of Colorado in 2002.

Rhodochrosite can be found in a number of countries including Peru, Poland, Canada, Argentina, Mexico, U.S.A and Namibia.

Metaphysical Healing Properties

Rhodochrosite enhances confidence, dissipates anger and releases tension caused by anxiety.  It has the ability to relieve all areas of the body that stores tension and stress.  It provides love and balance and encourages the truth about yourself and others.

An excellent stone for love and relationships, it promotes a happy and positive attitude towards life.  It's particularly beneficial for those who struggle with feeling loved.

Rhodochrosite can attract a companion who's open and honest.  It teaches us to deal with difficult situations especially relating to the heart.  Associated with the solar plexus and base chakras, it brings repressed feelings to the surface so they can be released through positive energy.

A stone of truth rhodochrosite encourages honest feelings to be spoken about yourself and others but in a gentle manner.  It helps confront irrational fears, paranoia and soothes emotional stress.

large pink coloured rhodochrosite mineral

Article Photos

All three photos in our article were taken by Stone Mania.  The rhodochrosite is housed in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington D.C.  Photos are clickable and redirect to the original non-compressed image.

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