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Rhodonite crystals in rock

Rhodonite, also called "Burning Rose," is a silicate quartz of rose-red color, often tending to brown color. The mineral was named "rhodonite" by Christoph Friedrich Jasche in 1819, the term comes from the Greek word RHODON meaning rose. It has surprisingly been the best kept secret, and managed to slip through history without much accounts on it. The gem is known for centuries for teaching humanity the lessons of universal unconditional love. Rhodonite teaches self love, and absolute love towards others.

Rhodonite is well known among collectors for its beautiful pink and red color. The red variety can be so deep red that it rivals the color of ruby. Rhodonite often has black veins running through a specimen, giving it the distinct appearance of pink with black crisscrossing lines and flower-like formations throughout. These are the forms most commonly used as gemstones, being cut and polished into cabochons, beads, and other ornamental objects.

Iguana carved from a single block of rhodonite
click to enlarge

The two most outstanding localities for this mineral, where incredible blood-red transparent crystals came from, are in New South Wales, Australia, and in Minas Gerais, Brazil. Two Peruvian localities also produce fabulously colored rhodonite. Some of the largest and most classic rhodonite crystals once came from Franklin, New Jersey. Rough masses can still be found there, but the fine crystals are long exhausted. The Sterling Hill Mine in nearby Odgensburg also produced some rhodonite crystals, but not quite as magnificent as those at Franklin.

Pink crystals similar to those at Franklin come from the Harstigen Mine in Pajsbergat, Varmland, Sweden. A classic source of rhodonite was Malosedelnikovskoe, Yekaterinbug, in the Ural Mountains of Russia, where massive Rhodonite was mined for its use as an ornamental stone, especially for use in the palaces of the Czars. The other notable sources of rhodonite are in Italy and in New South Wales, Australia. Rhodonite is the official gem of Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

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