Rough rhodochrosite

Rhodochrosite derives its pink color from manganese. Gem-quality crystals do occur, and are cut for collectors, but the fine-grained, banded rock is more commonly used for decoration.

Rhodochrosite occurs in veins associated with manganese, copper, silver, and lead deposits. Argentina has the oldest mines, and banded rhodochrosite from there is sometimes called Inca rose. Today, the prime commercial sources are in United States.

Rhodochrosite Pictures

Rhodochrosite gemstone

Cause of Color :


Chemical Composition :

Manganese Carbonate – MnCO3

Crystal System / Forms :

Trigonal System / Rhombohedral crystals, massive aggregates.

Cuts & Uses :

Facetted cuts, cabochon, beads, etc.

Hardness : 4
Lustre : Sub-vitreous
Magnification :

Banding in aggregates

Optic Character :

Anisotropic, D.R.; Uniaxial negative

Pleochroism : None.
Refractive Index / Birefringence :

1.600 – 1.820 / 0.220. A diffused spot R.I. reading in aggregates.

Simulants (with separation tests) :

Rhodonite (structure, birefringence), Chalcedony (R.I., S.G., birefringence), Hydrogrossular Garnet (birefringence, structure

Sources :

Argentina, U.S.A., Romania, Hungary, South Africa.

Specific Tests :

Effervesces with acid.

Spectrum :

Band centered at 551nm

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