Don't Eat the Rhodo
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|Rhodochrosite (whose name means rose-colored) is a very attractive mineral with an absolutely one-of-a-kind, beautiful color. It is a Manganese Carbonate but crystals like this only occur in one place on the entire planet earth. |
This specimen is from the Good Luck Pocket of the The Sweet Home Mine in Alma, Colorado. It was an old abandoned gold and silver mine which was opened up a few years back just to mine specimens. This stuff is too soft to be cut into gemstones.
I again used my desk lamp (Ott Lite) which is daylight temperature.
I love the rhombohedral crystal form. This minature is 5 cm across.
Individual crystals can be found in well shaped rhombohedrons and more rarely scalahedrons which are toothy looking crystals. I'll try and upload one sometime soon.
Here's more about this mineral:
In its "massive" form its pink and white bands are extremely attractive and are often used in semi-precious jewelry. Rhodochrosite is often carved into figurines and tubular stalactitic forms are sliced into circles with concentric bands that are truly unique in the mineral kingdom. I
There are sevarl localities for rhodochrosite that are world class. The best locality for rhodochrosite is the Sweet Home Mine in Colorado. It is unmatched for its superb rhodochrosite crystals that exhibit the best features of the species; a fine bright rose color and sharp well formed crystals. .
Other localities have produced some fine specimens as well. Catamarca, Argentina has an old inca silver mine that has produced fine stalatitic examples of rhodochrosite that are unique and very attractive. Cut cross-sections reveal concentric bands of light and dark rose colored layers. These specimens are carved and used for many ornamental purposes.
Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada has produced many fine rare minerals but it also produces some nice rhodochrosite specimens as well. Specimens from here are generally small, but have a good color and are associated with rarer minerals.
There are many Peruvian rhodochrosite localities that have produced a number of good specimens. These crystals are usually paler in color than other specimens, but are accented by interesting metal sulfide minerals.
N'Chwanging Mine, Hotazel, South Africa has produced possibly the best examples of scalahedral crystals of rhodochrosite. The unusual crystal habit is due in part to this being one of a few sedimentary crystallizing environments for the species. Most other localities are the result of metamorphism, late stage igneous intrusion or more commonly hydrothermal precipitation.
AdrianW, hummingbird24, red45, Callie, puffy, SelenE, jmp, LiBuMa has marked this note useful
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