Mineral of the Month April: Rhodocrosite!

Mineral of the Month April: Rhodocrosite!

To Scotland and Back Reading Mineral of the Month April: Rhodocrosite! 2 minutes Next Mineral of the Month January: Agate!

Various forms of Rhodocrosite

What is Rhodocrosite?

The mineral Rhodocrosite is a manganese carbonate (MnCO3 for you chem nerds) and is found in beautiful pinks and rosy-reds.

The main use of this mineral is as an ore for the metal, manganese, which is used in a variety of metal alloying, but most frequently in the manufacture of inexpensive stainless steel. 

Though Rhodocrosite is a gorgeous mineral, it's generally too soft for most faceted jewelry. In fact, you'll often find the best, most sparkling specimens in display cases at museums and in personal collections.

Various formations of pyrite. (From top left, Cubic, Concretion, fossil replacement, radial disk).


What's in a name?

The word 'Rhodocrosite' comes from the Greek Rhodon for "rose" and chros for "color", alluding to the beautiful rosy-pink of the mineral. 

Rhodocrosite occurs most often as massive specimens with thin bands of white calcite, or as small gemmy crystals of pure rhodocrosite. 

Check out the fabulous specimen below!

Rhodocrosite in crystal form with darker Tetrahedrite.

Want to know more?

This article just skims the surface of everything there is to know about rhodocrosite. Check out the following books and websites to dive a little deeper: 


Mineral Science, Klein 2002

National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Rocks and Minerals,  Chesterman 1995




Now go forth and lord your new knowledge over all your friends!

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.