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Rhodonite

Posted by Ralph Bottrill  
avatar Rhodonite
April 25, 2009 09:48AM
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Can you help make this a better article? What good localities have we missed? Can you supply pictures of better specimens than those we show here? Can you give us more and better information about the specimens from these localities? Can you supply better geological or historical information on these localities?




Rhodonite
MnSiO3 Triclinic

Rhodonite, Zinc Corp. Mine, Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia ~4cm tall©


Mindat currently lists more than 760 localities for Rhodonite (2010). It is a relatively uncommon mineral found in some metamorphosed manganese deposits and mostly found in a massive or granular state, but some localities produce fine crystals. Most Rhodonite contains some magnesium and there may be a continual series with the calcium manganese silicate Bustamite. Fowlerite is a zinc rich variety commonly found at Franklin New Jersey. Bustamite, marsturite, nambulite, natronambulite and Pyroxmangite which is dimorphous, can be difficult to distinguish from Rhodonite and stones and lapidary objects made from or including these minerals are frequently called Rhodonite. The largest crystals are undoubtedly those from Franklin New Jersey and can reach 20cm. These crystals are almost always found growing in calcite and not as free standing crystals. The best free standing crystals are probably those from Australia, Brazil and Peru. Rhodonite is often used as a gemstone where it is shaped into cabochons and other lapidary items, some of them very large as exampled by the meter wide bowls and candelabras manufactured for the Czar of Russia. In the Russian section below is a fascinating account of the Russian Imperial lapidary works in Ekaterinburg by Frederich Kunz. A few faceted stones have been made, but they are not common.
[Ralph Bottrill & Rock Currier 2010]


Rhodonite
Australia
New South Wales, Yancowinna Co., Broken Hill

Rhodonite 3.4cm wide© Rob Lavinsky
Rhodonite 1.7cm wide© Rob Lavinsky


Rhodonite & Galena ~2cm tall© Joseph Freilich


Many of the Broken Hill mines produced rhodonite and its hard to put an exact location on most specimens. The North mine was probably one of the best sources. The rhodonite from these mines is usually of a deep red colour, high lustre, large size (to about 10cm) and good crystallinity, and may be transparent and gemmy. These attributes combine to make it the source of some of the worlds best specimens. Sadly, few good specimens have emerged in the last few decades. Many of the specimens from broken hill have been associated with well crystallized massive Galena and since this Galena is not hard to remove, especially with air abrasive technology, many specimens of Rhodonite from this locality have been improved by removing much of the Galena that commonly surrounds the Rhodonite crystals and sold on at considerable increased profit.


Rhodonite
Australia
New South Wales, Yancowinna Co., Broken Hill, Broken Hill Proprietary Mine (Proprietary Mine; BHP Mine)

Rhodonite 8.5cm tall© Joseph A. Freilich, LLC



Rhodonite
Australia
New South Wales, Yancowinna Co., Broken Hill, North Mine

Rhodonite 2cm tall© Keith Compton
Rhodonite 3.5mm wide on Galena© viccloete


Rhodonite
Australia
New South Wales, Yancowinna Co. South Mine

Rhodonite 2.4cm tall.© Rob Lavinsky



Rhodonite
Australia
New South Wales, Darling Co., Tamworth, Daglemagh, Black and White Mine

Massive Rhodonite 9cm wide© Andrew Tuma



Rhodonite
Australia
New South Wales, Yancowinna Co., Broken Hill, Zinc Corporation Mine (ZC Mine)

Rhodonite ~4cm wide©
Rhodonite, Bannisterite, Calcite~7cm wide©


Rhodonite ~3cm tall©
Rhodonite & Axinite-(Fe) ~3cm tall©


Rhodonite, Calcite & Bannisterite ~11cm wide©
Rhodonite & Calcite on Bannisterite ~9cm wide©


Rhodonite ~3cm tall©
Rhodonite & Calcite ~2cm tall©


Rhodonite ~2cm tall©
Rhodonite ~3cm tall©


One find pocket of free standing Rhodonite crystals was encountered at the Zinc Corporation mine and of those, the best went to the collection of Albert Chapman. I think the majority of the good specimens from this find is shown above. Until the discovery of the localities in Brazil and Peru were made a few years later these were by far the finest free standing Rhodonite specimens know. Whether the new finds from Brazil and Peru eclipse those pictured above, it will be for the user of this article to decide.


Rhodonite
Australia
New South Wales, Darling Co., Tamworth, Woods Mine (Wood's Rhodonite Mine)

Massive Rhodonite© 2005 M Goodwin
Massive Rhodonite 12cm wide© Andrew Tuma


Rhodonite
Austria
Carinthia, Koralpe Mts, Prössinggraben (Pressinggraben), Poms farm

Massive Rhodonite FOV ~9cm© Franz Bernhard



Rhodonite
Brazil
Southeast Region, Minas Gerais, Conselheiro Lafaiete (old Queluz de Minas)

Rhodonite & Opal 5.2cm tall© Kevin Ward
Rhodonite 5cm wide© Rob Lavinsky


Rhodonite
Brazil
Southeast Region, Minas Gerais, Conselheiro Lafaiete (old Queluz de Minas), Morro da Mina Mine

Rhodonite 5.3cm tall© Rob Lavinsky
Rhodonite 6.6cm tall© Rob Lavinsky


Rhodonite, main xl. 1.2cm tall© Kristalle and Crys
Rhodonite & Quartz 6cm wide© Rob Lavinsky


Rhodonite 7cm wide© Michael C. Roarke
Rhodonite 2.5cm wide© Rob Lavinsky


Rhodonite 5.5cm wide© Rob Lavinsky
Rhodonite 7.7cm wide© Rob Lavinsky


Rhodonite 5.1cm wide© Rob Lavinsky
Rhodonite 4.4cm wide© Rob Lavinsky


I have collected at Morro da Mina for several years, and I am sure that there is no albite associated with rhodonite there; rhodonite forms by contact metamorphism inside fractures into metamorphic manganese carbonate rock ("queluzite"); what I have identified on these veins, associated with rhodonite, is calcite or opal... Luiz Menezes"



Rhodonite
Germany
Rhineland-Palatinate, Eifel Mts, Laach lake volcanic complex, Mendig, Niedermendig, Wingertsberg Mt., Pumice quarries

7mm Rhodonite xl on Sanidine© C.H.M.-Schäfer


Rhodonite
Germany
Saxony-Anhalt, Harz Mts, Wernigerode, Elbingerode, Schävenholz (Schebenholz; Schäbenholz)

Rhodonite cut & polished 14cm wide© E. Riech
Rhodonite cut & polished 7cm wide© E. Riech


Rhodonite
Italy
Liguria, Genova Province, Ne, Graveglia Valley, Molinello Mine

Rhodonite 6cm wide© Marco Macchieraldo



Rhodonite
Italy
Liguria, Genova Province, Ne, Graveglia Valley, Reppia, Valgraveglia Mine (Gambatesa Mine)

Rhodonite 5mm crystals© D.Respino



Rhodonite
Italy
Veneto, Vicenza Province, Recoaro Terme, Civillina Mt.

Rhodonite xls to 1mm© Chinellato Matteo
Massive Rhodonite 7cm© Gianfranco Capolupi


Rhodonite FOV 7cm© Manuele Moro



Rhodonite
Madagascar
Tuléar (Toliara) Province, Southwestern Region, Ampanihy District, Ampanihy rhodonite deposit

Rhodonite 7cm tall© M Arliguie



Rhodonite
Peru
Ancash Department, Bolognesi Province, Huallanca, Chiurucu (Chiuruco), San Martín Mine

Rhodonite & Pyrite 6.2cm tall© Fabre minerals
Rhodonite 6cm wide© Rob Lavinsky


Rhodonite 4.5cm wide©
Rhodonite 7cm wide©


Rhodonite & Pyrite 3.2cm wide© Tony Peterson
Rhodonite 3.1cm wide© D. Richerson


Rhodonite & Quartz 3.9cm tall© fabreminerals.com
Rhodonite 2.2cm wide©


Rhodonite 3.7cm wide© Rob Lavinsky
Rhodonite 7.1cm wide© Rob Lavinsky


Rhodonite 3.4cm wide© fabreminerals.com
Rhodonite, Calcite & Quartz 5.5cm wide© Fabre Minerals


Rhodonite 4.9cm wide© fabreminerals.com
Rhodonite & Sphalerite 5.6cm wide© JSS


Rhodonite & Quartz 10.9cm tall©
Rhodonite 4.6cm tall© Rob Lavinsky


Rhodonite & Calcite 2.6cm tall© Rob Lavinsky
Rhodonite & Quartz 6.8cm tall© fabreminerals.com


Rhodonite & Pyrrohotite 15cm tall© Weinrich Minerals
Rhodonite, Calcite & Sphalerite 3.4cm tall© Fabre Minerals


Rhodonite & Pyrrohotite 5cm wide© Weinrich Minerals
Rhodonite 4.5cm wide© Rob Lavinsky


Rhodonite 15cm wide© Renee Teresa Polityka
Rhodonite & Calcite 5.5cm wide© fabreminerals.com


When these specimens were first brought to Lima for sale by the runners in the 90s, they were thought to be some sort of low grade rhodochrosite and the first lot of more than 100 specimens was sold on to another local dealer in Lima for about $500. He found out what they were and raised the price more than ten fold and sold them on to dealers in the USA and Europe who again raised the price more than ten fold.


Rhodonite
Peru
Ancash Department, Bolognesi Province, Pachapaqui District

Rhodonite & Sphalerite 4.2cm wide© Dan & Diana Weinrich Minerals



Rhodonite
Russia
Urals Region, Middle Urals, Ekaterinburgskaya (Sverdlovskaya) Oblast', Ekaterinburg (Sverdlovsk), Sedel'nikovo, Malosedel'nikovskoe deposit

"Imperial Rhodonite vase©
Rhodonite candelabra©


Massive Rhodonite 4cm wide© Pavel M. Kartashov


"...In August, 1891, there were at least 36,000 poods, or over 1,000,000 pounds, of rhodonite, jaspers of various colors, jade and other allied hard stones, at the Ekaterinburg Works. One single block of Rhodonite weighed 1,500 poods, or 54,000 pounds. A mass of Kalkansky jasper weighed 500 poods (18,000 pounds). These may seem immense blocks of stone, but in 1869 a mass of rhodonite was brought to the Ekaterinburg Works weighing 2,850 poods (102,600 pounds). It was transported on imense sledges made of iron and wood and was drawn by 90 horses, or more strictly speaking, by 30 troikas tied together, one after the other. These were driven by more than 50 men, who shrieked, whistled, swore and beat the horses, and an entire week was required to transport the stone from the mine at the town of Sedelnikowja, about fourteen miles southeast, to Ekaterinburg, a rate of about two miles a day.

It is only on reaching the finishing-room of the great lapidary works that one realizes the grandeur of what is accomplished here. A pair of magnificent Kalkansky jasper vases and pedestals, measuring six feet in height, occupied the time of half a dozen or more men for six whole years.

In 1840 there was finished a large elliptical jasper vase, now in the Winter Palace at St. Petersburg. It is one meter in diameter and required just 25 years to complete. Time seems to be no object: there is no haste. Everything goes to the Czar, either for the adornment of his palaces or as imperial gifts: and what ever is not up to the standard is sold. The two imperial lapidary works are run at a cost of 80,000 to 100,000 roubles annually, paid from the private revenue of the Emperor.

One of the most remarkable pieces of lapidary work ever attempted is the sarcophagus of Rhodonite now in process of making for the widow of the late Czar, Alexander II. The block weighs 800 poods, or 28,800 pounds. This may require at least ten years more to complete..."1.
1. Journal of the Franklin Institute, Volume 146 from a lecture presented April 20 1898 by Frederick Kunz.


Rhodonite
Russia
Urals Region, Middle Urals, Ekaterinburgskaya (Sverdlovskaya) Oblast', Ekaterinburg (Sverdlovsk), Kurganovo, Kurganovskoe deposit



Rhodonite 22cm tall© Pavel M. Kartashov
Rhodonite 8.8cm tall© Rob Lavinsky



Rhodonite
South Africa
Northern Cape Province, Kalahari manganese fields, Hotazel, Wessels Mine (Wessel's Mine)

Rhodonite 5.1cm wide© Rob Lavinsky



Rhodonite
Spain
Catalonia, Tarragona, Priorat, El Molar, Serrana Mine

Massive Rhodonite FOV 3cm© Rafa Muñoz Alvarado



Rhodonite
Sweden
Värmland, Filipstad, Persberg district, Pajsberg, Harstigen Mine

Rhodonite 7cm wide©
Rhodonite xls to 8mm© Knut Eldjarn


Rhodonite FOV 6cm©

Found in Mn-rich skarns.
GEOL. FÖREN. FÖRHANDL. N:o 138. Bd 13. Häft. 5. 545



Rhodonite
United Kingdom
England, Cornwall, Liskeard District, North Hill Area (North-Eastern Bodmin Moor), Treburland Mine

Rhodonite 7.8cm wide© Dan & Diana Weinrich Minerals



Rhodonite
USA
Alaska, Fairbanks North Star Borough, Tok

Massive Rhodonite 9cm wide© Crater Rock Museum


Rhodonite
USA
New Jersey, Sussex Co., Franklin Mining District, Franklin

Rhodonite 15cm wide© J.Ralph
Rhodonite 60cm tall© Joseph Polityka


Rhodonite & Barite 5.5cm© 2008 Peter Cristofono
Rhodonite & Calcite 2.5cm wide© Rob Lavinsky


Rhodonite & Galena 7.2cm wide© Rob Lavinsky
Rhodonite 2.9cm tall© Rob Lavinsky


Rhodonite & Calcite ~14cm wide©
Rhodonite & Calcite ~8cm tall©


Rhodonite ~6cm tall©
Rhodonite & Calcite ~10cm wide©


Rhodonite ~9cm wide©
Rhodonite & Franklinite? ~7cm?© Peter Cristofono


Rhodonite ~7.9cm tall© Rob Lavinsky
Rhodonite, specimen 10cm wide©
Rhodonite & Calcite 11.8cm wide©


Rhodonite
USA
New Jersey, Sussex Co., Franklin Mining District, Ogdensburg, Sterling Hill, Sterling Mine

Rhodonite & Calcite etc. 4.8cm tall© Rob Lavinsky
Rhodonite ball 9cm wide© Crater Rock Museum




Click here to view Best Minerals R and here for Best Minerals A to Z and here for Fast Navigation of completed Best Minerals articles.

Regards,
Ralph



Edited 38 time(s). Last edit at 03/26/2012 06:11PM by Rock Currier.
avatar Re: Rhodonite
April 25, 2009 10:22AM
    
Might want to read:
[www.cst.cmich.edu]
avatar Re: Rhodonite
April 26, 2009 05:29AM
Thanks David
Good info - I will incorporate some of this shortly
Ralph

Regards,
Ralph
avatar Re: Rhodonite
May 07, 2009 06:10PM
Hi,

the mineral mentioned as "Rhodonite" from Greece (Kato Nevrokopi), is not rhodonite. The man who found this material thought it was rhodonite but it actually is a mix of Manganoan Clinozoisite, Manganoan Chlorite and other minerals.

Please remove the pic from the list.

(I made the XRD and SEM analysis in the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece).

Chris.
avatar Re: Rhodonite
May 08, 2009 04:15AM
Thank you Chris, I will do

Regards,
Ralph
avatar Re: Rhodonite
May 08, 2009 11:18AM
Ralph, it might be worth leaving a note that this material has been mistakenly identified as rhodonite along with the facts about who identified the mistake and what the material really is.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
avatar Re: Rhodonite
May 09, 2009 08:00AM
I have moved this message to the mistakes forum
Ralph

Regards,
Ralph
avatar Re: Rhodonite
May 09, 2009 09:45PM
Ralph, I meant that we should mention it in the article and probably even put a picture of the stuff there so if people had one for there they could compare it one that had shown to be incorrect. When ever there are fakes or commonly incorrectly identified stuff, that kind of think should also go into the article. I think that a picture of a artificially colored Australian "gypsum" specimen could find a welcome spot in the Australian gypsum article. If we sat down we could probably list several hundred such "bogus" examples that should have a place in our articles.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
avatar Re: Rhodonite
May 10, 2009 02:50AM
OK, fair point, willl do

Regards,
Ralph
avatar Re: Rhodonite
May 10, 2009 07:05AM
    
Hi Ralph,

I posted a couple of photos of the ornamental/semi-precious gem Rhodonite from north of Tamworth to add. Search out Woods mine and Black and White mine, Tamworth. There was a basic write up on these deposits in the 1998 Australian Journal of Mineralogy on new England - this should suit the Mindat Rhodonite entry just right. I can summerise if you want..

cheers

Andrew Tuma - crusher of vugs
avatar Re: Rhodonite
May 10, 2009 09:09AM
Thanks Andrew, I had a specimen I am going to photograph too; I was amazed this material was not on Mindat till just recently, but there is a reluctance to add lapidary material for some reason, even when its mineralogically interesting. I will add the links shortly.

Regards,
Ralph
avatar Re: Rhodonite
May 10, 2009 10:38AM
Of course there is a reluctance to add lapidary stuff to Mindat. No one wants to be accused of letting the money changers into the church. But I think there should be a lot of them on mindat. How could you not put a malachite bathtub or a six foot malachite chalice in the malachite article. I plan to stick in some pictures of the Taj Majal and the gemstone inlays into the Indian calcite section.

Ralph, you have been busy with the Rhodonite article. Looks like you have got a lot of clean up work with formatting the pictures I think.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
avatar Re: Rhodonite
May 10, 2009 11:43AM
Yes, agreed about lapidary material, and the formatting takes time

Regards,
Ralph
avatar Re: Rhodonite
October 04, 2010 07:10AM
A major revision of the Rhodonite article above has been completed.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Re: Rhodonite
October 04, 2010 01:40PM
Rock, nice to see the rhodonites!
If you go to my home page there are several rhodonites for you to use.The Sterling Hill Mine, Ogdensburg, NJ shot as my "cover" picture with yellow willemite and a second shot of this on additional views is the brightest that Sterling Hill produced. The following numbers may also be usefull:
260404, 247837, 243 985, 243983, 243979, 243831.
I can add a few more colorfull and gemmy ones from the area if interested.
Steve.
avatar Re: Rhodonite
October 05, 2010 03:20AM
Steven
I see one in there I will probably use. If the images showed the entire specimen rather than parts of them I would probably use more of them, and one good candidate was too out of focus in my way of thinking. Ill sometimes settle for just close up parts of specimens, but I avoid them there possible and encourage other best mineral authors to do the same, but ultimately each author must make up their own mind about what images will be included. The one you use for your home page image is a really nice specimen. Sure wish it included the whole specimen. Don't know whether it should be in the Rhodonite or Willemite article. Juicy looking specimen.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Re: Rhodonite
October 05, 2010 11:17AM
I wonder why the Mentone, California, piece is included? Or did I miss something special about it? Massive pink rhodonite like this was mined at dozens of other localities in California, and at least 300 localities in Japan, and literally thousands more elsewhere in the world. It's just manganese ore! ...and not very good manganese ore either; the mining companies used it when they had to, but preferred the black oxides. There was even better rhodonite (lapidary grade) just 3 or 4 miles west of here, in Crafton Hills, Yucaipa.

(Personally, I have a great fondness for such metasedimentary manganese silicate deposits, and the rare micro species included in them, but that's just me; I can't imagine too many other people are interested in them enough to want to look at photos of massive impure rhodonite.)



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/05/2010 11:26AM by Alfredo Petrov.
avatar Re: Rhodonite
October 05, 2010 11:29AM
Alfredo, you are probably correct. I have banished it from the article.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
avatar Re: Rhodonite
October 05, 2010 01:04PM
Its looking good thanks Rock, though a couple pictures are so-so (eg Madagascar, Spain), but it may encourage uploading of better pictures? I am making a couple small additions and amendments where I can.

Regards,
Ralph
Re: Rhodonite
March 02, 2012 08:44AM
    
Ralph,

You might find some useful information on the Harstigen rhodonites from the following links:

Article on Långban
general geology
Rhodonite Harstigen

Olav
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