Rough rhodonite

Rhodonite has a distinct pink or rose red color, although material containing black veins is more popular than a uniform pink. Massive rhodonite is usually opaque to translucent, and it is carved, or cut as cabochons or beads. Transparent crystals are rare and fragile, but some have been cut for collectors.

Both crystals and massive material have been found in the Ural (Russia), Sweden, and Australia. Other localities for fine-grained rhodonite include Brazil, Mexico, United States, Canada, Italy, India, Madagascar, South Africa, Japan, New Zealand and England.

The name comes from rhodos, the Greek for “rose”, referring to the distinct color.

Rhodonite Pictures

Rhodonite mineral

Cause of Color :


Chemical Composition :

Manganese Silicate with traces of Ca, Zn and Fe may be present. MnSiO3

Crystal System / Forms :

Triclinic System / Massive large crystals, in tabular and granular habits.

Cuts & Uses :

Facetted, cabochon, beads, carving, etc.

Hardness : 6
Lustre : Vitreous to pearly
Magnification :

Black manganese oxide spots or veins at the surface.

Optic Character :

Anisotropic, D.R.; Biaxial positive

Pleochroism : Distinct trichroism in transparent variety.
Refractive Index / Birefringence :

1.711 – 1.751 (Spot R.I.: 1.73) / 0.013

Simulants (with separation tests) :

Rhodochrosite (structure, birefringence), Hydrogrossular Garnet (structure, spectrum), Jade (R.I., S.G., structure), Unakite (R.I., structure)

Sources :

Russia (Ural Mountains), Sweden, South Africa, Australia, England, U.S.A. (New Jersey), etc.

Spectrum :

Strong line at 503nm, band centered at 548nm, cut off at 490nm

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