Rhodonite

Rhodonite is a lovely pink mineral, often with black bands giving a nice contrast. It is primarily sold as tumblestones or carvings but can be used for jewellery, too.

Higher grade pieces may even be facet cut for jewellery makers.

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Appearance, Uses and History

The first thing to point out, really, should be to avoid confusing Rhodonite and Rhodochrosite. They are both Manganese based, pink minerals, and occasionally do look similar.

Rhodonite was once used as an ore of Manganese, but nowadays its only real use is as a lapidary material, or for mineral specimens.

In rare cases, it is faceted for jewellery usage.

Rhodonite often has black manganese oxide veins running through it, which often form criss cross lines and dendrites.


Locales

Rhodonite is found in a few pieces around the world, including Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Madagascar, Peru, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.


Mineralogy

Chemistry
A Manganese inosilicate, (Mn2+,Fe2+,Mg,Ca)SiO3.
Colours and Variations

Rhodonite is a pink mineral, but often associated with black Manganese oxides which fill fractures, or as matrix. This means some pieces of Rhodonite will purely be pink, and some will be a mixture of pink and black.

The pink and black specimens are sometimes referred to as ‘bustamite’.
In addition, there are also some almost red crystalline forms.

Streak
White
Luster
Vitreous to pearly.
Fracture
Conchoidal to uneven
Crystal habit
Tabular crystals, granular, massive.
Mohs hardness
5.5 – 6.5
Specific Gravity
3.57 – 3.76
Easiest testing method
Visual inspection, hardness test.
Common Treatments

Photos of Rhodonite

Rhodonite-ural
Rhodonite1
Rhodonite (8030250396)

Museum für Naturkunde Berlin February 2008 0081
Harvard Museum of Natural History. Rhodonite. Franklin, Sussex Co., NJ (DerHexer) 2012-07-20
Rhodonite, calcite 300-4-6538

Rhodonite sidelnikovskoe
Rhodonite set for playing cards (Faberge)
Alexander III of Russia cigarette case (cropped)

Rhodonite-147922
Rhodonite-147495
Manganaxinite-Rhodonite-mf23a

Hazards and Warnings

Rhodonite contains Manganese, which is toxic, but the mineral itself should be considered low risk.

Almost all rocks, minerals (and, frankly, almost all other substances on earth) can produce toxic dust when cutting, which can cause serious respiratory conditions including silicosis.

When cutting or polishing rocks, minerals, shells, etc, all work should be done wet to minimise the dust, and a suitable respirator or extraction system should be used.


Translations

Arabic:

Hindi:

  • रोडोनाइट

Portuguese:

  • rodonita
  • rodonite

Bengali:

Indonesian:

Punjabi:

English:

Italian:

Russian:

  • родонит

French:

Japanese:

  • ロードナイト

Spanish:

  • rodonita

German:

  • Rhodonit

Korean:

  • 로도 나이트

Thai:

Gujurati:

Mandarin and Traditional Chinese:

Urdu:

  • روڈونیائٹ

Further Reading / External Links

  • https://geology.com/minerals/rhodonite.shtml
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhodonite
  • https://www.gemsociety.org/article/rhodonite-jewelry-and-gemstone-information/
  • https://www.minerals.net/mineral/rhodonite.aspx
  • https://www.mindat.org/min-3407.html