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What on Earth Is Rhodochrosite?

What on Earth Is Rhodochrosite?

Are you looking for a stone that promotes deep healing and unconditional love?

With its soothing pink shade and tender energies, rhodochrosite may be the right gemstone for you. It's an excellent stone for meditation believed to widen your consciousness, help you reach a more relaxed state, and attract all forms of love into your life.

It is found in several locations around the world, especially in places where other manganese minerals are also present. Not only is rhodochrosite valued as a healing stone, it's also an ore of manganese used in steel production.

Dig deeper into the properties of this alluring and powerful mineral.

The Physical Properties of Rhodochrosite

Rhodochrosite belongs to a family of carbonate minerals which are minerals that are widely abundant in the Earth's crust.

Rhodochrosite forms as botryoidal (like a cluster of grapes), granular, or stalactite-like crystals in hydrothermal veins of lead, copper, and silver mines. It also occurs in metamorphic and sedimentary rocks.

In terms of lustre, rhodochrosite appears glassy (vitreous) and pearly. Its light pink to raspberry red body is wrapped with white- or light-pink coloured bands.

Due to its colour, this mineral is often confused with rhodonite. But one should remember that rhodochrosite is a carbonate while rhodonite is a silicate mineral. Also, rhodochrosite's bands are white or pink (which differ from specimen to specimen), while rhodonite has black patches imparted by manganese oxide.

Rhodochrosite is a soft mineral with a hardness rating of 3.5 to 4. It also has a perfect cleavage. These characteristics make it too fragile for jewelry use, especially in making rings or bracelets. It is often fashioned into cabochons, pendants, and earrings, which do not require too much impact or abrasion.

The History of Rhodochrosite

The name rhodochrosite comes from the Greek words rhodon meaning rose and chroma meaning colour. It is believed that the mineral was first discovered in a cave in Argentina by the ancient Incas. The Incas mined rhodochrosite and made it into jewelry together with silver. This went on until the 1500s

Sometime in 1873, rhodochrosite was also discovered and mined at the Sweet Home Mines in Alma, Colorado. At a time where silver was the most valued mineral, rhodochrosite didn't receive much attention so miners would discard the mineral.

The demand for the pink mineral peaked in the 1930s, with collectors discovering that the rhodochrosite found at Sweet Home were rare and had an almost perfect rhombohedron shape. They found the crystals to be a lot more valuable than those mined in Argentina. Soon after, the Colorado rhodochrosite became the standard for the crystal thus increasing its value in the market. In 2002, Colorado named rhodochrosite as its state gemstone.

Today, lapidary grade rhodochrosite is only found in certain parts of the world other than Argentina and Colorado. These include China, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Romania, Russia, South Africa, and Spain.

properties of rhodochrosite

The Lore of Rhodochrosite

Upon discovery, the Incas believed that the red rhodochrosite crystals were the blood of their ancestors that hardened and turned into stones. Rhodochrosite was first mentioned in 1873 where specimens extracted from Argentina were called Inca Rose (Rosa del Inca or Rosinca).

The Metaphysical Properties of Rhodochrosite

There are several healing and metaphysical benefits attributed to the use of rhodochrosite crystals.

Carrying, wearing, or meditating with it fills you with a vibrant energy that makes you active and cheerful. It increases your creativity and activates dream states. Rhodochrosite can empower you to freely express your feelings, which in turn heightens your passion and sexuality.

The crystal is used to build telepathic links with others, even with animals. If you want to reconnect with a family member, a friend, or an old flame with whom you've lost contact, you can use a rhodochrosite crystal to reach them.

  • Grab a photo of that person and place a crystal next to it.
  • Place your hands on either side of the crystal.
  • Try to recall the last place and time you were together.
  • Say the person's name 3 times and ask them to keep in touch or send a message.

Have you been desiring a romantic partner for so long? Like other pink stones, rhodochrosite can help open up your life to a new love or to invite your soulmate into your life.

It can guide you to achieving happiness with your new partner. If you're experiencing doubt, pain, and a fear of rejection caused by a traumatic relationship in the past, rhodochrosite can free you from any emotional baggage so you can live happily and positively.

This crystal is also useful in kicking negative habits. It imparts a purifying energy that stimulates healing, compassion, forgiveness of self, and resolution, paving the way for resolution and transformation.


King, H. (n.d.). Rhodochrosite. Geology.com. Accessed at https://geology.com/minerals/rhodochrosite.shtml

Rhodochrosite Uses and Meaning. (n.d.). Crystal Vaults. Accessed at https://www.crystalvaults.com/crystal-encyclopedia/rhodochrosite/

Cornford-Matheson, A. (2020, October 29). RHODOCHROSITE VS. RHODONITE: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE? Fierce Lynx Designs. Accessed at https://fiercelynxdesigns.com/blogs/articles/rhodochrosite-vs-rhodonite-whats-the-difference

The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. (n.d.). Carbonate Mineral. Britannica. Accessed at https://www.britannica.com/science/carbonate-mineral

EraGem. (2019, November 30). Rhodochrosite History. EraGem. Accessed at https://eragem.com/news/rhodochrosite-history/

Rhodochrosite Value, Price, and Jewelry Information. (n.d.). International Gem Society. Accessed at https://www.gemsociety.org/article/rhodochrosite-jewelry-and-gemstone-information/