Rhodochrosite is a beautiful banded pink and white crystal. It has only been on the market since 1940. Only a 3.5- 4 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, Rhodochrosite is relatively soft and fragile. It is found in hydrothermal veins associated with copper, lead and silver. Hydrothermal veins are created when hot water evaporates and leaves behind minerals and crystals.
At the Capillitas Mine in northeastern Argentina, a few million years ago, hydrothermal fluids deposited lead and zinc sulfides in the area, along with manganese carbonate. As water seeped through the deposits, it dissolved the accompanying carbonates. The resulting mineralized water eventually emerged into underlying caves. As each drop fell from the cave ceiling, it left behind a tiny deposit of Rhodochrosite. Another small quantity of Rhodochrosite landed on the cave floor below. Over time, these deposits accumulated to form stalactites and stalagmites, sometimes fusing to form columns. These columns are often sliced for jewelry and display stones and come in the banded, pink and white variety of Rhodochrosite that some say look like bacon!
The Sweet Home Mine in Colorado operated as a silver mine in 1870 to 1960s, and the Rhodochrosite deposits were seen as junk compared to the silver at the time. The mine was later reopened to serve the Rhodochrosite community with its distinctive red crystals that formed as a result of hydrothermal’s slow cooling. Slow cooling allows the impurities in the crystal to wash away and larger crystals to grow. The lighter colors or the “impure” variety of Rhodochrosite is formed when the manganese is replaced by calcium, manganese or zinc.
Besides Argentina and the USA, Rhodochrosite is also found in Romania, Germany (where it is known as “Raspberry Spar”), South Africa, Mexico, Japan and Russia.
The mineral Rhodochrosite is a source of manganese for the steel industry. The stainless steel utensils we use to eat with find part of their origin in Rhodochrosite.
Surface Color: Transparent White
Streak Color (can vary from surface color, this is the color of the crystals’ powdered minerals): White
Cleavage (where the crystal breaks off naturally to form a new face, parallel to its structure. This is a clean break and can cleave over and over again along the same face, retaining the crystals structure): None
Fracture: Conchoidal (clam-like, the way glass breaks)
Luster: Vitreous (glass-like) to Greasy
Tenacity: Very Brittle (little resistance to breakage)
Transparency: Transparent (light goes through without obstacles) to Translucent (allows light through the crystal but not fully transparent)
Crystal System: Trigonal (prism with 6 sides and 6 edges meeting at a sharp point).
Crystal Habit: Crystals or Massive (lump)
- Rhodochrosite is a crystal to increase self-worth; it helps you to commit to yourself and live life according to your own beliefs.
- Rhodochrosite attracts soul mates of all types (not just lovers) some may be soul mates who come into your life to teach you certain lessons you may not find that pleasant to learn
- Drink as a gem elixir for thyroid problems and infections.
- Rhodochrosite has the energy of passion and is excellent for musicians looking for inspiration.
- Place at the Heart to uplift emotions and engulf fears.
- Carry with you to alleviate fears and paranoia (especially during a hypnotherapy session in which you are working on such afflictions)
- Wear or place over the Sacral Chakra for issues of sexual abuse
Rhodochrosite is a much sought after crystal for jewelry because of its appealing colors. The better the color the more expensive the strand of Rhodochrosite beads will be. Rhodochrosite is a relatively pricey stone.