Rhodochrosite is derived from the Greek word, RHODOKHROS, meaning Rose Colored. It is also known in South America as the Rosa del Inca, the Rose of the Incas, or Inca Rose Stone. The Aymara and Quechua people of the Andes (i.e., the Incas) believe that the blood of their ancestor rulers created the color of this precious sacred stone.

Rhodochrosite is of a manganese carbonate chemical composition. It has a trigonal and rhombohedra crystal structure.

Though most Rhodochrosite is in the pink to red color range, it can also be yellowish, orange or brown. It has a distinctive raspberry red and pink or white stripe similar to that of malachite or agate. Rhodochrosite gets its color from the presence of manganese.

Rhodochrosite has a hardness of 4 on the Mohs scale and a perfect cleavage. Due to these, it is almost always cut as cabochons, beads or carved. It can also be tumbled or drilled.

Rhodochrosite is transparent to opaque. When polished, it has a vitreous, pearly and resinous luster. It also has a weak red fluorescence.

Rhodochrosite can be found in both aggregate and crystal form.

Rhodochrosite is usually opaque, though transparent crystals have been found. These transparent crystals are rare and usually come filled with inclusions.

The transparent blood red crystals are highly sought after but are very rare. Thus, these particular specimens of Rhodochrosite command extraordinary high prices in the gemstone market. They are usually bought by collectors only.

Rhodochrosite is not known to be treated or enhanced in any way though there are imitation Rhodochrosite made from resins.
Rhodochrosite is related to the mineral calcite, with the difference being that rhodochrosite is composed of manganese, whereas calcite is made up of calcium. It is also related to Rhodonite (which is a manganese silicate) and also has a rosy color; the difference here is that Rhodonite comes with black dendritic inclusions of manganese oxide. Moreover, Rhodochrosite is also related to Smithsonite, and Gaspeite, all of them members of the Calcite group of minerals.

Gemstones that look similar to Rhodochrosite include Fire Opal, Tugtupite (also known as Reindeer Stone), Pink Tourmaline and Bustamite.

Rhodochrosite is connected to the heart chakra which is associated with peace, love, compassion and psychic healing. It is known as a stone of compassion.

The pink color accompanying Rhodochrosite brings emotional healing and love and compassion, creativity and intuition.
Rhodochrosite encourage positive feelings, personal strength and brings peace and relaxation to the wearer.

All Rhodochrosite gemstones are stunning and unique in its beauty. Remember to get Rhodochrosite jewelry with protective settings such as smooth bezel-set which will make your Rhodochrosite jewelry less prone to scratches.

Rhodochrosite gemstones should be cleaned by using a soft cloth with soap and water. Remember to rinse well and remove all soapy residue.

Rhodochrosite is the national gemstone of Argentina and the state mineral of Colorado because important deposits have been found in both of these places.

Other main rhodochrosite deposits are found in Chile, Mexico, Peru, and South Africa. Rhodochrosite crystals are also found in Romania and Hungary.