Rhodochrosite is one of the most aesthetic, beautiful and collectable minerals to be found. Its one-of-a-kind cherry-red color, transparency and crystal formations are legendary. In addition to cherry-red, other colors can be pink, rose-red, yellow and cinnamon-brown. Its luster is vitreous to pearly. Although it is a Manganese ore, it is primarily mined for its ornamental and display qualities. This striking mineral has numerous associations with other quality minerals, including Quartz, Fluorite, Pyrite, Sphalerite, Calcite and Galena.
The crystal system for Rhodochrosite is hexagonal, typically forming rhombohedral and scalenohedral crystals, often in dense clusters. Other forms include bladed, botryoidal, encrusting, radiating, massive, stalactitic and as veins. Note: The largest crystal found to date, called the “Alma King”, is a single 15 cm crystal from the Sweet Home Mine in Colorado in 1992.
Rhodochrosite comes from numerous localities, although quality specimens are far less common. Notable locations include China, Mexico, Peru, South Africa and USA (Colorado).