Rhodonite Gemstone Information
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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 grayish-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 colored" and this attractive hue and vitreous luster 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 gemstone for Massachusetts, since it is considered to be the most beautiful material found there.
Rhodonite can be identified by its rosy pink to bright red color, with black dendritic inclusions.
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 varies from a soft rose-pink to a bright flesh-colored red, with black dendritic inclusions. Crystals are inclusion-free and transparent red, but rare.
Rhodonite Clarity and Luster
Rhodonite is transparent to opaque. However, transparent material is extremely rare and most gemstones are opaque. Gemstones typically exhibit black inclusions that are composed of manganese oxide. The black inclusions may be absent, sparse or dense. When polished, rhodonite exhibits a vitreous luster.
Rhodonite Cut and Shape
Rhodonite is typically cut en cabochon or carved. Transparent materials are faceted, but these are rare.
Rhodonite is not known to be treated or enhanced in any way.
||(Mn,Fe,Mg,Ca)SiO3 Manganese silicate
||Triclinic; platy, columnar, usually compact aggregate
||Pink to dark-red with black dendritic inclusions
||5.5 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale
||1.716 - 1.752
||3.40 - 3.74
||Transparent to opaque
|Double Refraction or Birefringence:
||0.010 to 0.014
||Vitreous to pearly
Please refer to our Gemstone Glossary for details of gemology-related terms.
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.
|Disclaimer: Metaphysical and Alternative Crystal Healing Powers and Properties are not to be taken as confirmed advice. Traditional, Ceremonial and Mythological Gemstone Lore is collected from various resources and does not represent the sole opinion of SETT Co., Ltd. This information is not to replace the advice of your doctor. Should you have any medical conditions, please see a licensed medical practitioner. GemSelect does not guarantee any claims or statements of healing or astrological birthstone powers and cannot be held liable under any circumstances.
Rhodonite Gemstone and Jewelry Design Ideas Back to Top
Rhodonite is a versatile material and can be carved into a variety of shapes. For jewelry, 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 jewelry set in gold or silver. Gold settings bring out warmer pink tones, where silver enhances cool tones. Despite its feminine color, rhodonite has been used in men's jewelry, 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 colored gemstones by size and not by carat weight. Colored stones vary in size-to-weight ratio. Some stones are larger and others are smaller than diamonds by weight in comparison.
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 jeweled, 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 Jewelry 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 luster. 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 jewelry 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 jewelry box.