Rhodochrosite Value, Price, and Jewelry Information


RHODOCHROSITE: Peru, (71.5), South Africa (9.42), Argentina (3.95). Photo © Joel E. Arem, PhD, FGA. Used with permission.

Rhodochrosite is very rare in faceted form. The specimens are in such demand among mineral collectors that it would be an outrage to most to cut up a good crystal. Hotazel gems of large size have been available, but larger clean stones are very scarce and expensive. Colorado pink rhodochrosite in clean gems is also expensive and anything over 2-4 carats is considered very large. Argentinian material is translucent at best and much less costly, but few gems have appeared on the market. Mexican gem material resembles Colorado material but is generally quite small. Peruvian stones resemble those from Colorado also.

Rhodochrosite Value

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Rhodochrosite Value via Gem Price Guide
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Colorado to /ct
African to /ct
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Rhodochrosite Information

DataValue
NameRhodochrosite
Crystallography Hexagonal (R). Crystals rhombs and elongated scalenohedra; massive, compact, stalactic.
Colors Pale pink, rose red, deep pink, orangish red, yellowish, gray. tan, brown.
Luster Vitreous to pearly.
Fracture Brittle.
Hardness 3.5-4.
Specific Gravity 3.4-3.6 (pure = 3.7).
Birefringence 0.201-0.220.
Cleavage Perfect rhombohedral.
Stone SizesMassive material from Argentina occurs in large pieces and has been carved, cut into beads, boxes, cabochons, and useful objects. Faceted, translucent pink material cuts stones up to about 20 carats. South African rhodochrosite is rich rose red in color and rare in facetable crystals. The largest cut gems are in the 60-carat range. Smithsonian Institution (Washington, D.C) has South African gems of 20.8, 15.2, and 9.5 carats. Colorado pink gems are perhaps the loveliest of all and have been cut up to about 15 carats flawless. Most stones are under 5 carats. Devonian Group (Calgary, Alberta, Canada): 5.95 (red, South Africa). Private Collection: 59.65 (red oval, South Africa). National Museums of Canada (Ottawa, Ontario): 18.05 (red oval, South Africa).
Luminescence Fluoresces medium pink in LW (Michigan), also dull red to violet in SW (Argentina and Colorado).
Spectral Band at 5510 and 4100, plus vague lines at 5350 and 5650.
FormulaMnCO1 + Fe. Ca.
Pleochroism Faint in deep red varieties.

Series to Siderite (with Fe substitution); series to Calcite (with Ca substitution).

Optics: o= 1.786-1.840; e= 1.578—1.695.

Uniaxial (—).

Ca in formula reduces indices and density; Fe and Zn increase them. This also applies to the birefringence. Single crystals may be zoned and the refractive index varies up to 0.01 within a space of one inch in some material.

Other Tests: Effervesces in warm acids.

RHODOCHROSITE: Argentina, cross section of stalactite, with cabochons (15 x 20mm)
RHODOCHROSITE: Argentina, cross section of stalactite, with cabochons (15 x 20mm). Photo © Joel E. Arem, PhD, FGA. Used with permission.

Occurrence: A gangue mineral in hydrothermal veins and a secondary mineral in ore deposits.

Colorado: spectacular crystals, pink to deep red, small to 3 inches on an edge. The world’s finest rhodochrosite comes from Alma, Colorado; some is facetable (red) and pink faceting rough also exits from other localities.

Butte, Montana: crystal groups (non-gem).

Magdalena, Mexico: sometimes in cuttable pieces.

Hotuzel, South Africa: facetable, deep reddish crystals.

San Luis, Catamarca Province, Argentina: massive and banded material, also stalactites up to 4 feet long! These have concentric structures that display interesting bullseyes when cross-sectioned. Some Argentinian  material is translucent and has been faceted.

Peru: facetable. pink crystals.

Comments: Rhodochrosite is very rare in faceted form. The specimens are in such demand among mineral collectors that it would be an outrage to most to cut up a good crystal. Hotazel gems of large size have been available, but larger clean stones are very scarce and expensive. Colorado pink rhodochrosite in clean gems is also expensive and anything over 2-4 carats is considered very large. Argentinian material is translucent at best and much less costly, but few gems have appeared on the market. Mexican gem material resembles Colorado material but is generally quite small. Peruvian stones resemble those from Colorado also.

Name: From the Greek for rose-colored, in allusion to the color.