Rhodochrosite

A highly prized gemstone, Rhodochrosite has a gorgeous pink color. It is a manganese carbonate, however its manganese is commonly substituted with iron, magnesium, and calcium which changes its characteristic pink color and can give it brown, grey or yellow hues. Its name is derived from the Greek words rhodon, meaning rose, and chroma, meaning color. Crystals have a pearly luster with a transparent to translucent appearance. Argentina, Peru, South Africa, USA and Uruguay are the main sources of Rhodochrosite.

Formation

Rhodochrosite mainly forms in fractures and cavities of metamorphic and sedimentary rocks, like marine sedimentary deposits with various oxides of Mn. Some silver mines produce rhodochrosite as a byproduct, as it is commonly associated with silver deposits. A rhodochrosite crystal is formed when ground water dissolves manganese and drops of water mix with carbonate material deep underground. Rhodochrosite is banded with multiple layers of alternating white and pink colors due to these formation stages.

Symbolism

Compassion, self-care. Elements: Fire and Water

Legends

Rhodochrosite, according to the Incas, was the solidified blood of their ancestors. Argentina’s pre-Columbian history tells us that Rhodochrosite was discovered during the 13th century. Under the reign of the Inca Ripac, it stone was found in copper and silver mines in the north-west of this country that used to be part of the Inca Empire. Rhodochrosite jewelry was found in an Inca tomb in 1937 by Franz Mansfeld. After this civilization fell, the mines were abandoned, and the rhodochrosite was lost to history.


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