Rhodonite Gemstone

Rhodonite Gemstone

Rhodonite is derived from the Greek word RHODON, which means Rose Colored. Other gemstones that drew their names from the Greek RHODON are Rhodolite Garnet and Rhodochrosite.

Rhodonite is of a manganese iron magnesium calcium silicate chemical composition. It is a member of the pyroxenoid group of minerals.

Rhodonite varies from a soft rose-pink to a bright flesh-colored red, with black dendritic inclusions of manganese oxide. Some Rhodonite crystals are red and transparent but they are extremely rare. Most Rhodonite gemstones are opaque. Opaque Rhodonite is usually tumbled, carved or cut en cabochon and into spherical beads. The transparent specimens are faceted, but are not very common.

In Rhodonite, the manganese is often partly replaced by iron, magnesium, calcium and sometimes zinc, occasionally in large quantities. For instance, Fowlerite is a variety of Rhodonite that contains 7% zinc oxide. Bustamite, grayish brown and contains 20% calcium oxide is often regarded as a calcium-rich variety of Rhodonite. However scientifically, it is classified as an individual mineral, not a variety.

Rhodonite has a hardness ranging from 5.5 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale. When cut and polished Rhodonite displays a glass-like to pearly luster. Rhodonite has a perfect cleavage which gives it a reputation of one of the most difficult gemstones to cut as it splits easily.

Rhodonite beautiful color and glass-like luster is often used as cabochon for necklaces, ornamental objects and decorative material.

Rhodonite was first discovered in the Ural Mountains in Russia in the 1790s.

It quickly became an extremely popular stone in Russian culture as an amulet of protection for babies, travellers, and nobles. In 1913, Russia even declared Rhodonite the national stone!

Rhodonite inlay of over 80 square metres of columns was used to decorate the Moscow Metro, and Mayakovskaya Station, in Russia between 1935 and 1938. It is an impressive and unique sight! These carvings and inlays of natural stone is known to have a highly beneficial effect on the human psyche.

Rhodonite is very similar to Rhodochrosite. However, Rhodonite is a manganese silicate, whereas Rhodochrosite is of a manganese carbonate chemical formula. Rhodonite features black inclusions (black manganese oxide) and rhodochrosite displays white inclusions (manganese carbonate). Moreover, Rhodochrosite effervesces in hydrocloric acid as it is a carbonate while a silicate doesn't.

Other gemstones that look similar to Rhodonite include Thulite, Pyroxmangite, Spessartite, Spinel and Tourmaline. The Hessonite known as Cinnamon Stone looks similar to the transparent Rhodonite.

Rhodonite is not known to be treated or enhanced in any way though it may be simulated or lab created.

In Russian, Rhodonite is called orletz, which means “the Eagle Stone,” because eagles were attracted to the stone and carried pieces to their nests.

Eagles must have been intensely drawn to the spiritual energy of the Rhodonite stone, as well as to its bold colour.

Rhodonite’s energy resonates with the heart and base chakras. Its pink color has the quality to emotionally heal past regrets and relationships.

It brings self-confidence, inner calmness, love, compassion, clarity of mind and psychic healing to the wearer.

Opaque rhodonite is quite a tough gemstone, but needs to be cared for in order to maintain its luster.

The best way to clean rhodonite gemstones is by using soapy water and a soft cloth. Be sure to rinse well to remove soapy residue. Do not expose Rhodonite to sudden changes in temperature.

Rhodonite deposits have been found in Australia, Finland, Japan, Canada, Madagascar, Mexico, Sweden, South Africa, Tanzania, Russia (Sverdlovsk) and the United States (New Jersey).

The Russian (Sverdlovsk) and the United States (New Jersey) deposits are among the most famous in the world yielding large specimens popular with mineral collectors.

Final note, Rhodonite was named the state gemstone of Massachusetts in 1979.