The pink color of rhodochrosite is caused by
the element manganese and it is formed when manganese is dissolved
by ground water and combines with a carbonate material and
then drips off the ceiling of caves and crevices deep underground.
It is found in Argentina, Peru, Colorado and Montana, U.S,
and Quebec, Canada.
It is commonly found in the form of stalactites
and stalagmites in the caves of Argentina. Rhodochrosite
(whose name means rose-colored) often forms pink and
white bands. It is often carved into figurines or boxes while
the tubular stalactite formations are often sliced for use
in jewelry. Fine gem quality crystals are sometimes cut into
gemstones for use in high end jewelry, but the more common
grade is used extensively in silver and gold jewelry.
Rhodonite, another pinkish stone, is often confused
with rhodochrosite because the base color is similar, but
most rhodonite used for jewelry purposes contains black manganese
oxides while rhodochrosite is banded with white.
Rhodochrosite became the official state mineral
for Colorado in 2002 after the Platte Canyon High School in
Bailey,Colorado made the proposal based on the fact that the
Sweet Home Mine near Alma, Colorado produces the highly prized
and rare red crystals which are found only in a few places
Rhodochrosite is a relatively soft stone and
ranges between 3.5 and 4.0 on the Mohs
scale of hardness.
Color: pink, rose, red, white, yellowish grey, brown.
Crystal System: trigonal
Folklore, Legend, and Healing Properties:
Its powers include drawing love to the wearer,
helps release past psychological issues and improves eyesight.
Rhodochrosite is thought to relieve stress and is used by
healers to cleanse the aura.
Rhodochrosite is also believed to help in the
development of inner freedom by helping to resolve inner conflicts
and as a stone of love and balance. It is a powerful healer
for the 4th chakra and used to cleanse the heart chakra.
Many believe that it can release the suffering
based on past lives and energize the pancreas, spleen and
kidney. It increases the ability to handle life problems and
increase personal self-confidence.
The Incas, who called it Inca Rose, believed
that rhodochrosite is the blood of their former kings and
queens that was turned to stone.