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.
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!
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!