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Polished rhodonite

A bright pink, opaque Gemstone composed of Manganese silicate. Rhodonite is obtained from Russia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Sweden, Canada, and Australia. It has a pearly to vitreous luster and ranges in color from pink to deep red, often with black veins. Rhodonite slowly tarnishes to brown or black with air exposure. It has been used in jewelry, carvings, and inlays. A variety of rhodonite that contains Calcium is called bustamite and is mined in Mexico. A fine, transparent pink variety containing Zinc is called fowlerite and is mined in New Jersey.

Synonyms and Related Terms

manganese silicate; manganese simanganese spar; bustamite; fowlerite; Rhodonit (Deut.); rodonita (Esp.); rhodonite (Fr.) 



Physical and Chemical Properties

  • Triclinic system with rounded tabular crystals; may be massive or granular
  • Perfect cleavage in two directions
  • Fracture = conchoidal to uneven
  • Luster = pearly to vitreous
  • Streak = white or colorless.
Composition MnSiO3
Mohs Hardness 5.5 - 6.5
Density 3.4-3.7 g/ml
Refractive Index 1.711 - 1.751

Resources and Citations

  • 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
  • R.F.Symmes, T.T.Harding, Paul Taylor, Rocks, Fossils and Gems, DK Publishing, Inc., New York City, 1997
  • C.W.Chesterman, K.E.Lowe, Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Rocks and Minerals, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1979
  • 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