Rhodonite Gemstone Information
About Rhodonite - History and Introduction
Rhodonite is a rose pink to dark red gemstone with black dendritic inclusions. It is a manganese silicate, and a member of the pyroxenoid group of minerals. The manganese is often partly replaced by iron, magnesium, calcium, and sometimes zinc, occasionally in large quantities. A greyish-brown variety containing as much as 20% calcium oxide is called bustamite, whilst fowlerite is a variety that contains 7% zinc oxide.
Rhodonite gets its name from the Greek word, "rhodon", meaning "rose coloured" and this attractive hue and vitreous lustre make it a popular ornamental material. Rhodonite inlay was used to decorate the Moscow Metro, and Mayakovskaya Station, built between 1935 and 1938, has over 80 square metres of columns with rhodonite inlay. In 1979, rhodonite was designated as the official state gem stone for Massachusetts, since it is considered to be the most beautiful material found there.
Identifying Rhodonite Back to Top
Rhodonite can be identified by its rosy pink to bright red colour, with black dendritic inclusions.
Rhodonite; Origin and Gemstone Sources Back to Top
Rhodonite deposits are found in Australia (New South Wales), Finland, Japan, Canada, Madagascar, Mexico, Russia (the Urals), Sweden, South Africa, Tanzania and the USA (New Jersey).
Buying Rhodonite and Determining Rhodonite Gemstone Value Back to Top
Rhodonite Gemmological Properties: Back to Top
Please refer to our Gemstone Glossary for details of gemmology-related terms.
Rhodonite: Related or Similar Gemstones Back to Top
As a manganese mineral, rhodonite is related to rhodochrosite, which is manganese carbonate. Rhodonite can appear similar to thulite, pyroxmangite, spessartite, spinel, tourmaline and bustamite. Transparent materials can be confused for hessonite (also known as cinnamon stone).
Rhodonite Gemstone Mythology, Metaphysical and Alternative Crystal Healing Powers Back to Top
Rhodonite's pink hue attributes it to emotional healing, especially when it comes to past issues and relationships. Rhodonite is said to bring calm, confidence and clarity of mind to its wearer. In traditional Hindu belief systems, rhodonite is associated with Anahata, or the heart chakra, which is related to peace, decision-making, love, compassion and psychic healing. Physically, rhodonite is considered to be helpful for skin disorders, and to encourage the healing of cuts and scars.
Rhodonite Gemstone and Jewellery Design Ideas Back to Top
Rhodonite is a versatile material and can be carved into a variety of shapes. For jewellery, rhodonite is most often cabochon cut, tumbled, cut into spherical beads or drilled. Rhodonite suits a range of styles and settings, from tribal and wire-wrapped, to fine jewellery set in gold or silver. Gold settings bring out warmer pink tones, whereas silver enhances cool tones. Despite its feminine colour, rhodonite has been used in men's jewellery, such as in a pair of Faberge nephrite and rhodonite cufflinks. Rhodonite mixed well with white gems such as pearls, or with other pink or purplish gems, such as lepidolite.
Note: Buy coloured gemstones by size and not by carat weight. Coloured stones vary in size-to-weight ratio. Some stones are larger and others are smaller than diamonds by weight in comparison.
Famous Rhodonite Gemstones Back to Top
Rhodonite featured in a lot of Russian art and some interesting pieces have been auctioned at high prices, such as a Faberge rhodonite scent bottle and a Faberge jewelled, silver-mounted rhodonite casket.
At a Sotheby's New York Russian art auction in 2010, a small rhodonite desk clock made by Faberge was sold for $134,500, which exceeded the estimated price of $30,000 by over four times.
In St Petersburg, carved rhodonite is used as a decorative stone in several famous places, such as the Church of the Saviour on Blood and The Winter Palace.
Rhodonite Gemstone Jewellery Care and Cleaning Back to Top
Transparent rhodonite is fragile, whereas opaque rhodonite is a fairly durable gemstone, but should be cared for in order to maintain its lustre. Since household dust contains quartz, which has a Mohs scale hardness of 7, simply wiping dust from a rhodonite gemstone could cause scratches. The best way to clean rhodonite gemstones is by using soapy water and a soft cloth. Be sure to rinse well to remove soapy residue. Do not expose rhodonite to sudden changes in temperature. As with most gemstones, ultrasonic cleaners and steamers are not recommended. Always remove any jewellery or gemstones before exercising, cleaning or engaging in harsh physical activities such as sports. Rhodonite 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 jewellery box.
- First Published: March-18-2014
- Last Updated: May-29-2014
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