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Rhodonite Properties Facts and Photos

oval shaped polished rhodonite stone in a museum display cabinet

Rhodonite Crystals are Rare

Rhodonite is a naturally occurring manganese mineral that can range in colour from the lightest pink to crimson.

Stones often feature distinctive markings caused by manganese oxides.  These may occur as dendrites which are crystals with a branching form.  They often resemble organic matter.  The word 'dendrite' comes from the Greek 'dendron' meaning 'tree'.

They can also occur as veins, fracture fillings or even as part of the matrix.  Matrix is the host rock or material in which the mineral formed.

The  black markings form through oxidation which causes the pink colour of the mineral to darken.  The process begins when a crust of manganese oxides cover the surface of the stone.   

Although individual crystals of rhodonite occur they're extremely rare.  It's more commonly massive meaning crystals grow as a large tightly intergrown mass.

Rhodonite is considered to be a relatively rare mineral but can be found in many locations around the world.  It's mostly found in metamorphic rocks.

cherry red coloured gemmy rhodonite crystal

Rhodonite was discovered in 1790 in the Ural Mountains.  It was named in 1819 by German naturalist Christoph Friedrich Jasche.  The name comes from the Greek word 'rhodon' meaning 'rose' because of its colour.

Although often confused with rhodochrosite, it's usually quite easy to tell one from the other.  Although both minerals can have a similar colour, the confusion usually arises because of the similarity of the two names.  Most rhodochrosite cut and polished for decorative purposes exhibits white streaks of calcite.  Rhodonite tends to be associated with manganese oxides. 

On Mohs scale of mineral hardness rhodonite grades 5.5 to 6.5.  Mohs scale identifies hardness according to scratch resistance which is not the same as toughness.  Stones are rarely faceted because it's an extremely difficult mineral to cut.  

Rhodonite can be found in the United Kingdom, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Italy, India, Madagascar, South America, New Zealand and Tanzania.

Although first discovered in the 17th century it became popular in Russia about one hundred years later.  It was then used primarily for architectural and ornamental purposes.

Large rhodonite mineral on display in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History

Metaphysical Healing Properties

Rhodonite is a stone to carry if you want to make yourself heard.  It improves communication and facilitates mutual understanding.

Carry rhodonite when going through a significant change in life especially when the situation is not of your choosing.  It can be used to dispel negative states of mind, confusion and anxiety.

Associated with the heart chakra it activates love energies, dispels tension and stimulates and heals the heart.

Rhodonite balances the emotions, nurtures love and can help with emotional healing.  It's useful for those who regularly deal with upsetting or difficult situations.

It promotes calmness and confidence and improves the ability to communicate in a loving and compassionate manner.

Article Photos

The rhodonite photo at the top of our article is courtesy of Stan Celestian. The stone in the second photo is on display in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington D.C. Photo by Stone Mania. Both photos are clickable and redirect to the original non-compressed image.

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