Rhodonite

Rhodonite has a distinct pink or rose red color, although material containing black veins is more popular than a uniform pink. Massive rhodonite is usually opaque to translucent, and it is carved, or cut as cabochons or beads. Transparent crystals are rare and fragile, but some have been cut for collectors.

Both crystals and massive material have been found in the Ural (Russia), Sweden, and Australia. Other localities for fine-grained rhodonite include Brazil, Mexico, United States, Canada, Italy, India, Madagascar, South Africa, Japan, New Zealand and England.

The name comes from rhodos, the Greek for "rose", referring to the distinct color.

Rhodonite Pictures

Rhodonite mineral

Rhodonite Properties

Chemical Composition: 
Manganese Silicate with traces of Ca, Zn and Fe may be present. MnSiO3
Colors / Varieties: 
Rose-red, orange-red, brownish-red (transparent to translucent to opaque). Massive, similar to marble i.e., pink veined, with black oxidized manganese spots or veins at the surface.
Crystal System / Forms: 
Triclinic System / Massive large crystals, in tabular and granular habits.
Hardness: 
6
Specific Gravity: 
3.40 - 3.70
Cleavage / Fracture: 
2 directional prismatic cleavage but not seen due to aggregate form / Conchoidal fracture
Optic Character: 
Anisotropic, D.R.; Biaxial positive
Lustre: 
Vitreous to pearly
Refractive Index / Birefringence: 
1.711 - 1.751 (Spot R.I.: 1.73) / 0.013
Pleochroism: 
Distinct trichroism in transparent variety.
Magnification: 
Black manganese oxide spots or veins at the surface.
U.V. Fluorescence: 
Inert.
Spectrum: 
Strong line at 503nm, band centered at 548nm, cut off at 490nm
Cause of Color: 
Manganese
Simulants (with separation tests): 
Rhodochrosite (structure, birefringence), Hydrogrossular Garnet (structure, spectrum), Jade (R.I., S.G., structure), Unakite (R.I., structure)
Geological Occurrence: 
Manganese ore bodies in calcite.
Sources: 
Russia (Ural Mountains), Sweden, South Africa, Australia, England, U.S.A. (New Jersey), etc.
Cuts & Uses: 
Facetted, cabochon, beads, carving, etc.