Rhodonite is an attractive mineral that is often carved and used in jewelry.
It is named after the Greek word for rose, rhodon.
Its rose-pink color is distinctive and can only be confused with
rhodochrosite and the rare mineral,
pyroxmangite, MnSiO 3 .
Rhodochrosite however is streaked with white minerals such as calcite and is reactive to acids.
While rhodonite does not react to acids and is usually associated with black manganese minerals and pyrite.
Pyroxmangite is a little harder to distinguish because the two minerals are closely related and x-ray studies are usually needed when found massive.
Crystals of pyroxmangite are often twinned as is not the case with rhodochrosite crystals.
Crystals of rhodonite, while not in nearly the same abundance as massive rhodonite, are still found and distributed on the mineral markets.
They come from a few notable localities and are considered classics by collectors.
Color is typically pink to red or orange and even black.
Luster is vitreous to dull to pearly on polished surfaces.
Transparency: Crystals are generally translucent and rarely transparent.
Crystal System is triclinic; bar 1
Crystal Habits include crystals that have a blocky prismatic habit, however crystals are rare.
More typically massive, coarse and fine granular aggregates.
Cleavage is perfect in two directions forming prisms with a rectangular cross-section.
Fracture is conchoidal.
Hardness is 5.5 - 6.5.
Specific Gravity is approximately 3.4 - 3.7+ (above average for translucent minerals)
Dims: 2.80x2.10x1.70in (7.11x5.34x4.31cm) .... Wt: 12.6oz (356g) .... Loc: North Mine, Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia
A druze plus numerous rhodonite crystals coat most of a host galena crystal. The rhodonite is transparent with a medium to dark burgandy color. The broken crystals appear lighter, and some of the undamaged crystals have an interesting internal texture. A few of the crystals are transparent and dark enough to appear nearly black.