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Home » Rock Tumblers » Gemstones » Rhodonite

Rhodonite Gemstones



What is Rhodonite?



Rhodonite is a manganese silicate mineral that is typically pink to dark red in color. It is most often associated with a black manganese dioxide that occurs as veins through the rhodonite or as dendritic inclusions. Although pink stones with associated black color are typical the most desired stones are purely pink.


Rhodonite Gemstones:



Rhodonite is most often cut en cabochon or used to produce beads, carvings and tumbled stones. It is most attractive and popular when the amount of black veining or dendrites is a minor contributor to the stone. Rhodonite is popular in beaded necklaces, earrings, pins, pendants and rings. Although rhodonite is normally translucent to opaque, some transparent stones are found and used as faceting material. Rhodonite breaks or cleaves easily and is best suited for jewelry items that will not be subject to impact.


Tumbled Rhodonite:



Rhodonite is frequently tumbled and is a good rough material for experience tumblers. The material most often offered as a tumbling rough is inexpensive material with significant amounts of black manganese oxide. It has a harness of between 5.5 and 6.5 and is best tumbled with materials that are softer than quartz, agates and jaspers. It can be challenging to polish because the manganese oxide can have a different hardness than the rhodonite.


More About Rhodonite:



Rhodonite has been used indoors as an architectural stone. It is famous for being used as wall tiles in parts of the Moscow subway.


Rhodonite Rough
Typical pink rhodonite rough with black manganese oxide veining. Public domain image by Chris Ralph of Nevada Outback Gems.
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Rhodonite Gemstone
Tumble polished rhodonite with black veining. © iStockphoto / Arpad Benedek.


Small Rhodonite Gemstone
Bright pink rhodonite tumbled stone. © iStockphoto / Arpad Benedek.

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