Posted on by Nevil Agrawal

Did you know rhodochrosite has been crowned the national gemstone of Argentina? Yes, you read that right! The US state of Colorado has also named it their state mineral.

With its rosy hues, rhodochrosite is truly a gem adored by many. The gem can be a faint blush-pink, a vibrant crimson, or a warm orange-red, depending on the percentage of calcium, magnesium, or zinc in its composition.

Rhodochrosite’s pink and red hues have given it the nicknames ‘Raspberry Spar,’ ‘Rosa del Inca,’ and ‘Inca Rose.’ The name itself refers to its pink shade. In Greek – ‘rhodon’ means rose, and ‘chros’ means color. The prettiest version of rhodochrosite is the light pink, banded one. This variety of the gem glows in silver settings.

But this gemstone is much more than just a gorgeous stone. It has practical uses, too. You’ll also find spiritual benefits to wear rhodochrosite. There are metaphysical and psychological elements involved in using or wearing this gem. These make it highly sought-after around the world.

What is rhodochrosite?

This pink gem is actually a manganese carbonate mineral. It can range from red to pink. The pink color comes from manganese found in the stone. The raw form of rhodochrosite is found in sedimentary and metamorphic rocks. Rhodochrosite is often produced in silver mines as a by-product.

The gem was only introduced to the market around 1940. But it was first described in 1813, when one of the first rhodochrosite gems was extracted from the silver mines of Romania. It occurs as a hydrothermal vein mineral along with other manganese minerals in low-temperature ore deposits.

Rhodochrosite is often confused with rhodonite. The latter is manganese silicate. Although the names are similar – you can tell the difference by their looks. While rhodochrosite is pink with white patterns, rhodonite is pink with black flecks and bands.

Rhodochrosite crystallizes in the trigonal system and has perfect rhombohedral cleavage, exhibiting strong double refraction. Jewelers cut it in cabochons or carve it. The stones used for jewelry are rarely faceted, as they’re too soft. You’ll often find the pink and white variety in jewelry.


Where is rhodochrosite found?

Rhodochrosite is a rare gem. It’s mostly found in silver mines. You’d be surprised to know that in the past, innocent miners would discard these gems. They didn’t realize their value at the time.

Rhodochrosite is found in Argentina, Peru, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Mexico, and Japan. The raw red rhodochrosite is mined in Capillitas, Argentina. The Sweet Home mine in Alma, Colorado, is also famous for its large red rhodochrosite crystals decorating its silver mines. Rhodochrosite stalagmites can be found in the abandoned silver mines of the Incas.

Types of Rhodochrosite

Pink rhodochrosite: The rhodochrosite, usually used in jewelry, is similar to agate and malachite in certain ways. Like agate, it tends to be opaque, or a combination of opaque and translucent. It has a similar white banded look of malachite.

If you cut a gem in the same direction as its bands, you’ll see distinct concentric circles. You’ll observe stripes if you cut it across these bands. The gems tend to be light and dark pink. Some include white, brown, gray, and vermillion.

Red rhodochrosite: The red rhodochrosite is rarer. This tends to be see-through, like glass. They’re found in crystal form – mostly large and square. It can occur as terminated crystals, too.

These crimson gems have been found in the Kalahari Manganese fields of South Africa, the N’Chwaning mines of Kuruman, and in the Moanda mine of Gabon. In the US, Colorado is home to some of the largest red rhodochrosite crystals. The largest ever discovered is called the ‘Alma King,’ and it’s currently on display at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

Trapiche-like rhodochrosite: These occur in the Capillitas mine in Argentina. These come in beautiful star-like floral patterns.

South African rhodochrosite: These are rich and red. They rarely occur in the facet-able crystal formation.

The 4 Cs of Rhodochrosite

Color: True to their name, rhodochrosite crystals are famously pink and red. They can be found in variegated shades of red, pink, vermillion, brown, white, and gray. 

The calcium present in this gem reduces its refractive index and specific gravity. Iron and zinc increase this. This affects its birefringence, which causes a pronounced doubling effect in the gem.

Cut: Rhodochrosite is a soft gemstone. It rates a 3.5-4 on the Mohs scale. This stone breaks when dropped. It’s easily scratched or chipped. This is why the red, faceted rhodochrosite is rarely used in jewelry. The pink version, as it’s mixed with calcium, tends to be stronger. It’s much more suitable for jewelry.

With banded pieces, the cut is not relevant. They are mostly tumbled and polished. There are faceted pieces of transparent red rhodochrosite. These tend to show flaws in the gem. You’ll have to carefully choose a cut for this variety.

Clarity: Rhodochrosite can be clear and luminous. It can also be opaque or semi-opaque. It usually has a glossy shine on its surface. The clarity of rhodochrosite won’t matter if you’re looking at banded pieces.

Carat: How heavy your gem is will determine its price. The largest faceted gem is kept in a private collection in South Africa. It weighs 59.65 carats.

Treatments of Rhodochrosite

Opaque rhodochrosite may be enhanced with wax or plastic. This improves its color and durability. To find out if your rhodochrosite has been mixed with plastic, ask an expert to conduct a hot point test.

You can purchase electrically heated hot points. Or make your own by inserting the blunt end of a needle into a cork. Heat the needle over a flame until the tip reddens. Take the stone near your face, touch the stone with the red needle tip. Smell the smoke.

This is a rather destructive test. It could disfigure your stone. It’s better if you just purchase your gem from a trusted source. You can also get your gem tested from a gemological lab.

How to take care of rhodochrosite?

Rhodochrosite is a soft stone. It has perfect cleavage, low hardness and heat sensitivity. It breaks easily and should be handled with care.

Even when wiping the surface, be gentle. If you’re rough, you’ll scratch the surface. Take the following precautions to avoid damaging your rhodochrosite.

  • Use a soft cloth when cleaning it.
  • You can use soapy water and gently rinse it off.
  • Avoid cleaning your stone with acids.
  • Don’t use an ultrasonic or steam cleaner.
  • Store it separately from other jewelry to avoid scratches.

Follow these steps, and you’ll be able to keep your rhodochrosite in good condition.


Uses of rhodochrosite

This gem is an important manganese ore. Scientists artificially synthesize it for research. Occasionally, the synthetic materials are made into jewelry, too.

Rhodochrosite meaning and uses

Aside from its stunning beauty, rhodochrosite is a multi-purpose crystal. This pink colored gem is used for scientific exploration as well as spiritual cleansing. With its powerful manganese composition, it is also said to enhance bone growth and healing.

Rhodochrosite metaphysical and crystal healing properties


Spiritual properties: In life, it’s common to experience negative emotions, especially when you disagree or fight with someone close to you. Fighting with the people you love leads to blockages in your aura. 

  • Rhodochrosite is said to resonate with the heart chakra. It helps heal emotional wounds and blocks.
  • Rhodochrosite unclogs these blockages.
  • It helps release your negative energies. Once your aura is clear, you feel more positive.
  • A healthy circulation of positive energy begins to flow through you. This, in turn, strengthens your confidence and feelings of self-worth.
  • This gem gives you the strength to avoid getting into these fights in the first place.
  • As it’s on the same frequency as the heart chakra – it teaches you to value love and empathy over the harsh competitiveness of the mind.

Physical Properties: As rhodochrosite is a cleansing stone, it helps you with the cleansing processes of your body.

  • Rhodochrosite stimulates the blood circulation in your heart.
  • It keeps your lungs healthy.
  • The crystal aids in maintaining blood pressure and pulse rate.
  • It helps in repairing tissue and mineral absorption.
  • Rhodochrosite helps with digestion, constipation, abdominal disorders, and ulcers.
  • It’s also beneficial for allergies, rashes, and skin disorders.
  • Rhodochrosite is a good stone for those battling addiction.
  • This is a good stone to help you stop consuming caffeine.

Metaphysical Properties: 

  • Rhodochrosite gives you willpower and determination. This will put you on the mental frequency needed to be successful.
  • You’ll gain the courage to pursue your dreams.
  • This is a good manifestation crystal. It’s useful for those who aren’t naturally good at meditation.
  • It’ll help you become calm and centered and give you the mental clarity required for hard, determined work.
  • Rhodochrosite brings you a prosperity mind-set.

How to use rhodochrosite for healing? 

  • You can wear or hold this crystal during meditation. There are many forms you can work this gem into for easy access.
  • You can make rhodochrosite beads or a prayer necklace for reciting mantras and prayers.
  • Turn it into a necklace, broach, or earrings for constant support throughout the day. Beware – it’s not a good idea to make rhodochrosite rings or bracelets. The stone is too fragile for that.
  • Place a rhodochrosite figurine or obelisk in your workplace. It’s especially powerful if you place it where you normally take a break.
  • Keep a tumble stone or a worry stone with you to hold during stressful times.


Rhodochrosite birthstone

Rhodochrosite is the birthstone for those born between October 22nd and November 20th. This means Scorpions will find this stone particularly energizing. It will reinvigorate them, make them more passionate, brave, and loving. Leos can also wear this stone to reap its many benefits.


Where should you buy rhodochrosite gemstones?

It’s essential to purchase gems from a trustworthy source. Do a thorough check on what kind of quality, cut, carat, or color the stone is. Before you buy a stone, ensure your source has good customer reviews and after-sales policies. It’s a good sign if a vendor is willing to accept the gem back after-sale in case of customer dissatisfaction.

In case you don’t know a trustworthy source, we have your back. GemsforJewels fulfills the abovementioned requisites. We offer natural rhodochrosite gems of the highest quality. Buy these stones as cabochons, connectors, strands, and rosary chains. You can pick up some loose stones, too.

We possess different shapes as well, including flat squares, cubes, hearts, beads, and other appealing shapes. Go through our online store and pick out one of our exquisite rhodochrosite stones.