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A rose red mineral composed of Manganese carbonate. Rhodochrosite is mined in Rumania (Kapnik), Germany (Saxony, Westphalia), England (Cornwall) as well as in the U.S. (New Jersey, Connecticut, Colorado, Montana, and Nevada). The transparent to opaque mineral ranges in color from pink to deep red. It has been used as a minor ornamental stone and as a source for Manganese.

Synonyms and Related Terms

manganese carbonate; dialogite; manganese spar; Rhodochrosit (Deut.); Manganspat (Deut.); Himbeerspat (Deut.); rodocrosita (Esp.); rodocrosite (Port.); rodochrosiet (Ned.).)


Toxic by inhalation.


Rhodochrosite IR-ATR RRUFF R040133.png

Raman (RRUFF)

Rhodochrosite Raman RRUFF R040133.png

Raman (RASMIN)


Physical and Chemical Properties

  • Trigonal crystal; rhombohedral faces
  • Cleavage perfect in three directions
  • Fracture = uneven to granular
  • Luster = vitreous to pearly
  • Streak = white
  • Fluorescence = inert to dull red in LW; inert to pink in SW
  • Pleochroism = moderate to strong
Composition MnCO3
Mohs Hardness 3.5 - 4.5
Density 3.7 g/ml (but may be lower)
Refractive index 1.597 to 1.817
Birefringence 0.218 - 0.220

Resources and Citations

  • Gem Identification Lab Manual, Gemological Institute of America, 2016.
  • Mineralogy Database: Rhodochrosite
  • Frank A. Lent, Trade names and Descriptions of Marbles, Limestones, Sandstones, Granites and Other Building Stones Quarried in the United States Canada and other Countries., Stone Publishing Co, New York, 1925
  • C.W.Chesterman, K.E.Lowe, Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Rocks and Minerals, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1979
  • Wikipedia: Rhodochrosite (Accessed Sept. 14, 2005 and Dec 2022)
  • Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia, Douglas M. Considine (ed.), Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1976
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998

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