Rhodochrosite is derived from the two Greek words “rose” and “color.” It is pink due to the color of the main component, manganese.

The most crucial feature of Rhodochrosite is that there are white substances in the pink, which are distributed in strips. There are few transparent gemstones, most of which are massive.

Rhodochrosite can be used as beautiful decorations. Its diversified characteristics of alternating red and light pink to white enhance its aesthetic feeling. Its bulk materials can be used as ornamental stones. Rhodochrosite is a low hardness and low refractive index stone, which can be processed into peach-shaped or arc-shaped gemstones to make earrings, broaches, ground balls, and beads that can be used as bracelets and necklaces.

Basic properties of Rhodochrosite

  • Chemical composition: MnCO3, Mn Fe Ca Zn can form a complete isomorphic series, so the Rhodochrosite produced in nature often contains Fe, Ca, and Zn, forming Ferrorhodochrosite, Ropperite, and zinc rhodochrosite.
  • Crystallographic characteristics: Trigonal crystal system, perfect crystal is rhombohedral but rare. Most of them are dense, massive bodies, and the hydrothermal origin is mostly phanerocrystalline, which are granular or columnar aggregates;
  • Color: the blocky material is pink, and often has stripes, and the transparent material is orange-red.
  • Mohs hardness: 4.
  • Relative density: 3.5.
  • Cleavage: rhombohedral cleavage (three groups) is complete.
  • Fracture: uneven.
  • Gloss: glass luster.
  • Transparency: transparent, translucent, and opaque.
  •  Refractive index: 1.58~1.84, and the block is usually about 1.60.
  • Birefringence: 0.220.
  • Optical characteristics: negative optical property of the uniaxial crystal.
rhodochrosite beads

What is Rhodochrosite?

Rhodochrosite is an extremely rare manganese-bearing carbonate mineral, usually with a lighter rose color than Rhodonite, and has similarities with malachite in stripes.

Its name comes from two Greek words, meaning “rose” and “color,” referring to its rose-like color. Most of them are produced in Argentina, Peru, the United States of America, and South Africa in Africa.

Physical properties of Rhodochrosite

The chemical composition of Rhodochrosite is Mn [CO3], but the manganese in it is often replaced by iron and usually contains calcium, zinc, magnesium, and a small amount of cadmium, diamond, etc.

  • It belongs to the trigonal crystal system and space group R3c. Rhombohedral cell: arh=5.84A, α= 47046′,Z=2。 Hexagonal cell: ah=4.73, Ch=15.49A, Z=6.
  • Spectral lines of main powder crystals: 2.850 (100), 1.762 (80), 3.65 (70). Monocrystals are rhombohedral but rare, usually in granular, kidney-shaped, massive, columnar aggregates.
  • The color is rose red, light pink, dark pink, orange-red, light yellow, brown, brown, gray, etc., showing glass luster, some pearl luster, and translucent to transparent. 
  • Cleavage {1011} is complete. 
  • It is brittle. 
  • The hardness is 3.5~4, and the density is 3.5~3.7 g/cm3. 
  • Colorless or light rose red under transmitted light.
  • Uniaxial crystal, negative light. 
  • Refractive index No=1.816, Ne=1.597. 
  • The birefringence is 0.237. Strong dispersion. 
  • It is dark gray under reflected light, with reflectivity R (%) of 5.5~1.8. 
  • The internal reflection is obvious, showing light pink, red, brown, yellow, and other colors. 
  • Strong heterogeneity.

In terms of arts and crafts, its crystals are required to be rose-red and red, transparent, with large particle size, or red, dense, and tough blocks.

The faceted and cambered gemstones have appeared, both from South Africa, weighing 9.5 carats and 59.65 carats respectively.

rhodochrosite beads

Optical properties of Rhodochrosite

Color: It is pink-orange, orange-red, and dark-red; Massive Rhodochrosite is bright in color, often pink, and it is a serrated or corrugated strip with different depths. The pink base can have white, gray, brown, or yellow stripes.

Gloss and transparency: glass luster – wax luster; Transparent – opaque.

Optical characteristics and pleochroism: Rhodochrosite is a uniaxial crystal with a negative optical property, Common heterogeneous aggregates. The pleochroism of transparent crystal is medium to strong orange/red. The pleochroism of the aggregate is not measurable.

Refractive index and birefringence: the refractive index is 1.597 ~ 1.817 (± 0.003), the birefringence is 0.220, the refractive index measured at the aggregate point is 1.60, and the birefringence is not measurable.

Absorption spectrum: with 410, 450, and 540 nm weak absorption bands.

Fluorescence: it shows pink fluorescence without to medium under the long wave ultraviolet fluorescent lamp; It shows no to weak red fluorescence under short wave.

Mechanical properties

Three groups of complete cleavage can be seen in single crystal, and aggregates are usually not seen; The density is 3.60 (+0.10, -0.15) g/cm; The Mohs hardness is 3-5.

Magnification inspection

Cleavage, solid crystal inclusions, gas-liquid inclusions, etc., can be seen in the single crystal. Banded, laminated, and lacy structures can be seen in the aggregate, and white and red Rhodochrosite are distributed in zigzag or wavy-shape.

Other properties

It is brittle and foams when encountering hydrochloric acid. Do not put it in an electroplating bath, ultrasonic cleaner, and jewelry cleaning solution.

Where does the Rhodochrosite come from?

Rhodochrosite, also known as “Inca Rose,” is mainly produced in the Andes Mountains (today’s Argentina) in the ancient Inca Empire. This beautiful ore has rose-like color and is regarded as the best token of love.

The Rhodochrosite in the crust can be formed in hydrothermal, sedimentary, and metamorphic environments, and sedimentation is the main one.

The countries producing gem-grade Rhodochrosite in the world are the United States, Madagascar, Mexico, Argentina, Spain, Romania, Germany, Australia, South Africa, Namibia, Algeria, etc.

For example, Alma, Colorado, the United States, produces the most exquisite pink to dark red Rhodochrosite in the world, and others, such as New Jersey, Montana, and Nevada.

St. Louis, Cardamaca Province, Argentina, produces high-quality massive, banded Rhodochrosite. South Africa produces dark red rhodochrosite crystals.

Rhodochrosite has been found in many places in China, such as Liaoning, Hebei, Anhui, Jiangxi, Hunan, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Sichuan, etc. Rhodochrosite crystals with rhombohedral shapes have been found in the crystal cavities of some veins of the endogenetic tungsten plating deposits in southern Jiangxi, which are symbiotic with fluorite, calcite, etc.

It has been found in Yangchun, Guangdong Province, that the red rhombohedral rhodochrosite crystal is translucent to transparent in shape, with a grain size of 2-3 cm. It is lovely, but its cleavage is relatively developed. In addition, pink opaque rhodochrosite blocks have been found in the contact zone of some manganese-bearing skarns.

The beautiful legend of Rhodochrosite

It is said that the ancient Inca people respected Rhodochrosite as a “pearl with a pink rose pattern” and regarded it as a very important gem, symbolizing “love and purity.”

People believe that they can contain rich love and heal their inner wounds as long as they have it. Moreover, it is said that red gems can make people get wealth and reputation, and “Inca roses” have much more power than rubies. Therefore, using them as bodyguards is better than using them as accessories.

Rhodochrosite value

Pink Rhodochrosite is very popular. The surface has a circle of lines like agate, and a few will have white lines. In the past few years, pink Rhodochrosite has become a very important decorative stone. Because of their bright colors, they are often used to make necklaces and brooches. In addition, they are also used in sanitary equipment.

The price of Rhodochrosite with texture is not high. You can buy a ring face online or in the jade market for 20~30 USD. High-quality pink rose Rhodochrosite is about 50-100 USD per carat.

Identification of rhodochrosite

In identifying Rhodochrosite, We should identify the difference between Rhodochrosite, opal, and Rhodonite. The main identification feature of Rhodochrosite is pink. There are often white substances in the Rhodochrosite with a wavy distribution.

The refractive index of the block is about 1.60, and the crystal has a large birefringence. Only a movable shadow boundary is displayed on the refractometer.

Since the high value of 1.84 is a fixed value, it is beyond the measuring range of the refractometer, and no reading can be obtained.

Since Rhodochrosite reacts strongly with acid, it cannot be put into an electroplating tank, ultrasonic cleaner, or jewelry cleaner for cleaning. In addition, its hardness is low, and its surface is easy to scratch.

Rhodochrosite healing property

The name of Rhodochrosite comes from the Greek “rhodon” (rose) and “chrom” (color)-“rose color.” It can be known that gorgeous color is a significant feature of Rhodochrosite, which is juxtaposed with Rhodonite and rose quartz as the “Three Sacred Healing Stones of Roses.”

Rhodochrosite forms a beautiful pink color because it contains manganese. It occurs in deposits containing various metal elements, but manganese accounts for the largest part.

Generally, Rhodochrosite contains white stripes, but the Rhodochrosite produced in Colorado, the United States, has no texture and is rich in color, which is regarded as the top grade.

In South America, local young men and women will give Rhodochrosite as a token of love if they have a lover. If the other party accepts it, it means they agree to love; Therefore, Rhodochrosite has become the most important love stone in the local area, symbolizing the energy of the flame of love.

Energy form

Rhodochrosite belongs to the healing stone of the trigonal system, with low hardness and soft energy. It can gently and delicately heal the wounds in the heart and the sense of loss in the soul, clear up the negative emotions and energy caused by intimacy or love, and lead out the soft and loving energy in the heart.

This kind of healing energy is very suitable for people who have experienced major love trauma or betrayal.It is like reminding yourself that I am fine, but the other person is not the right person. Life should start from loving yourself, not just thinking about loving others.

Rhodochrosite contains a large amount of manganese element, which can bring happiness and love and make the vitality gradually vigorous. It can make people feel energetic again from sadness or tears and have the confidence to face all life’s challenges.

In the United States, therapists have suggested that Rhodochrosite is very helpful in healing gland energy, especially the thymus and mammary glands.

In the theory of physical and mental integration, it is also believed that breast cancer or lymphatic cancer may be caused by excessive anger and sadness accumulated in the glands, resulting in long-term chronic inflammation of the body.

The delicate energy of Rhodochrosite can enter the gland and clear up all negative energy so that we can express our emotions in the way of love.

In the minds of crystal fans, Rhodochrosite represents selfless love, sympathy, and compassion. People regard it as the best gem that is beneficial to the soul and interpersonal relationships, and it is especially effective for those who cannot feel love.

It can guide the natural expression of feelings (including strong sexual desire) and encourage people to actively pursue the love in their hearts.

At the same time, this crystal has outstanding effects in absorbing painful feelings and treating sexual abuse. According to some theory, it can also bring people soul mates — people who can help us experience life — but even if these experiences are not as exciting as you think, and also helps to bring higher virtue.

On the other hand, according to crystal therapy, Rhodochrosite can purify the sun chakra and the root chakra, which can drive people to release the pain and depression hidden in their hearts and dispel them through this method.

It helps you to face the facts about yourself and others with the awareness of love rather than any excuse or escape mentality. It can also expand consciousness, enhance creativity, integrate spiritual and material energy, stimulate emotions, bring a positive and active attitude to life, and add happiness to life.

In addition, Rhodochrosite helps treat psychological diseases. Some people always subconsciously suppress some performance of their own personality and do not want to be expressed by outsiders.

However, Rhodochrosite can overcome this inexplicable sense of fear and paranoia and make them understand that the deep-rooted feelings in their minds that they think are unwelcome are actually normal so that they can no longer think of problems negatively.

Rhodochrosite is a filter with irritation, which can relieve asthma and respiratory diseases, purify the circulatory system and kidneys, correct vision, and restore blood pressure.

It can return to normal, stabilize the heartbeat, and nourish yin and yang.

As Rhodochrosite can expand blood vessels, it can also relieve migraine. After being made into Gemstone, it can eliminate traumatic infection, improve skin condition and balance thyroid function.

rhodochrosite beads

How to use Rhodochrosite

People can wear Rhodochrosite to help them release the pain in their hearts and bring peace of mind and support when losing love or being forced to face drastic changes.

However, because it is fragile and easy to wear, it is recommended to wear a necklace or earrings instead of a bracelet.

In addition, Rhodochrosite is easy to turn black when it is damp, so it should not wear it in places with high humidity or on bathing beaches.

Rhodochrosite can help people with serious diseases or seriously damaged energy to dredge and repair energy and clean up the negative energy hidden inside.

It is also suitable for people who have been single for a long time or have decided to be single. Even if they remain single, they can cherish themselves.

You can also wear Rhodochrosite on your wrist or put it on your heart. Placing it on the top of the spine can help relieve migraines.

When to use Rhodochrosite

  • When support is needed
  • When yearning for a beautiful new relationship
  • Hope to increase the interest with your partner
  • Wanting to gain charm
  • Need to heal the wounds of intimacy
  • Out of sadness or tears

How to clean Rhodochrosite

√: Aromatic smoke, crystal hole, sound

×: The sunlight method is easy to fade, and the sea salt and flowing water methods will cause structural damage.


Rhodochrosite is transparent to translucent, glassy, and pink. Although its hardness is lower, its appearance attracts young people. Since the 21st century, it has risen and become popular in the market.

In terms of jewelry, the stone is cut into round beads or pendants. Because its pink background is mixed with white texture patterns of different shapes, and the output and crystal block is large, it is often used for decoration.

Due to the perfect cleavage in three directions, we should carefully cut this kind of crystal. It is easy to crack at high temperatures and has no contact with chemicals. Gem-grade raw Rhodochrosite usually coexists with calcite. The crystal of Rhodochrosite produced in the Andes Mountains of Argentina is of the best quality. Its color looks like a rose, so it is called “Inca Rose.”