Rhodochrosite: Related or Similar Gemstones
As a manganese mineral, rhodochrosite is related to rhodonite, which is manganese silicate. Rhodonite has a similar rosy color to rhodochrosite, but usually has black dendritic inclusions of manganese oxide. As a member of the calcite group, rhodochrosite is related to smithsonite, gaspeite and calcite. Rhodochrosite can also appear similar to fire opal, tugtupite (also known as reindeer stone), pink tourmaline and bustamite.
Rhodochrosite Gemstone Mythology, Metaphysical and Alternative Crystal
Rhodochrosite’s pink color associates it with emotional healing, love, compassion, creativity and intuition. Rhodochrosite is thought to encourage positive feelings, personal strength and to soothe its wearer. Physically, rhodochrosite is said to help blood pressure, respiration, migraines and the sexual organs. In traditional Hindu beliefs, rhodochrosite is associated with Anahata, or the heart chakra, which is related to peace, decision-making, love, compassion and psychic healing.
Rhodochrosite Gemstone and Jewelry Design Ideas
Rhodochrosite’s intriguing colors and pattern make it an appropriate gemstone for pendants, rings and earrings. For rings that are worn daily, protective settings such as bezel settings are recommended, since rhodochrosite is a fairly soft gemstone.
Rhodochrosite is used to make beautiful spherical beads, or can be used as stacked chips.
For pendants, fancy-shaped rhodochrosite can be drilled or wire-wrapped. Alternatively, sleek modern designs use smooth bezel-set rhodochrosite for necklace pendants, earrings or bracelets. These not only look stunning, but have the advantage of being less prone to scratches.
Note: Buy colored gemstones by size and not by carat weight. Colored stones vary in sizeto-weight ratio. Some stones are larger and others are smaller than diamonds by weight in comparison.
Famous Rhodochrosite Gemstones
At the 2014 Oscars, Amy Adams wore $1.4 million gold, rhodochrosite, lapis lazuli and turquoise earrings by Tiffany & Co.
Rhodochrosite gemstone jewels have not achieved fame, but the largest faceted rhodochrosite weighs 59.65 carats, is from South Africa and belongs to a private collector.
One of the best-known mineral specimens is owned by world-famous mineral and gemstone expert, Bill Larson. The rhodochrosite crystals on manganite are known as “the snail” due to their unusual snail-like appearance.
A 10 cm rhodochrosite crystal on quartz and tetrahedrite matrix, known as “The Alma Queen” is another famous mineral specimen. It is the finest known example of rhodochrosite and mineral collectors consider it to be the finest mineral specimen of any kind ever found.
The largest known rhodochrosite crystal is known as “The Alma King” and is on display at Denver Museum of Nature and Science. It was found in the Sweet Home Mine near Alma, Colorado.
Rhodochrosite Gemstone Jewelry Care and Cleaning
Rhodochrosite is a fairly soft gemstone, so it should be cared for in order to prevent damage. Since household dust contains quartz, which has a Mohs scale hardness of 7, simply wiping dust from a rhodochrosite gemstone could cause scratches. The best way to clean rhodochrosite gemstones is by using soapy water and a soft cloth. Be sure to rinse well to remove soapy residue. Do not expose rhodochrosite to household chemicals or excessive heat. As with most gemstones, ultrasonic cleaners and steamers are not recommended. Always remove any jewelry or gemstones before exercising, cleaning or engaging in harsh physical activities such as sports. Rhodochrosite can be easily scratched by harder substances, so it should be stored away from other gemstones. It is best to wrap gemstones in soft cloth or place them inside a fabric-lined jewelry box.