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Pink, rose, red, yellowish-grey, brown, white, gray; colourless to pale rose in transmitted light.
Vitreous, Pearly
3½ - 4
Specific Gravity:
Crystal System:
Member of:
Named in 1813 by Johann Friedrich Ludwig Hausmann from the Greek ρόδο, "rose", and χρώς, "coloring", referring to its color.
Calcite Group.
Calcite-Rhodochrosite Series and Rhodochrosite-Siderite Series.

Commonly occurs as a primary gangue mineral in moderate- to low-temperature hydrothermal veins, also in high-temperature metasomatic deposits and sedimentary manganese deposits or as a late stage hydrothermal mineral in pegmatites, especially lithiophilite-bearing ones.

As a biomineral, it may be formed by some fungi, e.g., Lichenothelia, during oxidation (e.g., Burford et al., 2003).

Visit for gemological information about Rhodochrosite.

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Classification of RhodochrositeHide

Approved, 'Grandfathered' (first described prior to 1959)

A : Carbonates without additional anions, without H2O
B : Alkali-earth (and other M2+) carbonates

1 : A(XO3)

11 : Carbonates
12 : Carbonates of Mn

Physical Properties of RhodochrositeHide

Vitreous, Pearly
Transparent, Translucent
Pink, rose, red, yellowish-grey, brown, white, gray; colourless to pale rose in transmitted light.
Reds occur when the mineral has minimal iron content.
3½ - 4 on Mohs scale
On {1011}.
On {0112} at times.
Irregular/Uneven, Conchoidal
Translation gliding:
Translation gliding with T{0001}, t[1010].
3.7 g/cm3 (Measured)    3.7 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Optical Data of RhodochrositeHide

Uniaxial (-)
RI values:
nω = 1.814 - 1.816 nε = 1.596 - 1.598
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.218
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness)
and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
The deep red coloured material may be faintly dichroic with absorption O greater than E.

Chemical Properties of RhodochrositeHide

Common Impurities:

Crystallography of RhodochrositeHide

Crystal System:
Class (H-M):
3m (3 2/m) - Hexagonal Scalenohedral
Space Group:
Cell Parameters:
a = 4.777 Å, c = 15.67 Å
a:c = 1 : 3.28
Unit Cell V:
309.68 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Crystals rhombohedral {1011} or less commonly {0112}, then frequently rounded and composite; scalenohedral rare; thick tabular {0001}; prismatic [0001]. {1120} and {2131} often striated [1101]. Massive, coarsely granular; compact; columnar; crusts; stalactitic (with zoned growth rings); botryoidal.
For habits see:Rhodochrosite Habits.
On {0112}, lamellar, uncommon.

Crystallographic forms of RhodochrositeHide

Crystal Atlas:
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Rhodochrosite no.7 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Rhodochrosite no.8 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Rhodochrosite no.10 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Rhodochrosite no.11 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
3d models and HTML5 code kindly provided by

Edge Lines | Miller Indicies | Axes

Opaque | Translucent | Transparent

Along a-axis | Along b-axis | Along c-axis | Start rotation | Stop rotation

X-Ray Powder DiffractionHide

Image Loading

Radiation - Copper Kα
Data Set:
Data courtesy of RRUFF project at University of Arizona, used with permission.
Powder Diffraction Data:
3.66 (35)
2.84 (100)
2.39 (20)
2.172 (25)
2.000 (25)
1.770 (30)
1.763 (35)

Type Occurrence of RhodochrositeHide

Synonyms of RhodochrositeHide

Other Language Names for RhodochrositeHide

Varieties of RhodochrositeHide

CapillititeYellowish brown to gray banded ferro-zinciferous variety of rhodochrosite.
Cobaltoan RhodochrositeCo-bearing variety, first reported from Virneberg Mine (St Josephsberg Mine), Rheinbreitbach, Westerwald, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany.
PoniteA ferroan (iron-bearing) variety of Rhodochrosite wherein Fe" substitutes for Mn in a complete series extending to siderite (see Rhodochrosite-Siderite series).
SphaerodialogiteRhodochrosite as minute globules in manganese ore.
ZincorhodochrositeA zinc-bearing variety of rhodochrosite.

Relationship of Rhodochrosite to other SpeciesHide

Member of:
Other Members of this group:
CalciteCaCO3Trig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3c
Cobaltoan calcite-spherocobaltiteCobaltoan dolomite and cobaltoan calcite are frequently mislabeled as spherocobaltite.
MagnesiteMgCO3Trig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3c
OtaviteCdCO3Trig. 3m (3 2/m)
SideriteFeCO3Trig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3c
SmithsoniteZnCO3Trig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3c
SpherocobaltiteCoCO3Trig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3c
Forms a series with:

Common AssociatesHide

Garnet Structural GroupX3Z2(TO4)3
Associated Minerals Based on Photo Data:
Quartz1,780 photos of Rhodochrosite associated with Quartz on
Fluorite492 photos of Rhodochrosite associated with Fluorite on
Pyrite477 photos of Rhodochrosite associated with Pyrite on
Sphalerite325 photos of Rhodochrosite associated with Sphalerite on
Calcite259 photos of Rhodochrosite associated with Calcite on
Tetrahedrite220 photos of Rhodochrosite associated with Tetrahedrite on
Galena153 photos of Rhodochrosite associated with Galena on
Chalcopyrite153 photos of Rhodochrosite associated with Chalcopyrite on
Aegirine122 photos of Rhodochrosite associated with Aegirine on
Shigaite113 photos of Rhodochrosite associated with Shigaite on

Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz GroupingHide

5.AB.05CalciteCaCO3Trig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3c
5.AB.05MagnesiteMgCO3Trig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3c
5.AB.05OtaviteCdCO3Trig. 3m (3 2/m)
5.AB.05SideriteFeCO3Trig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3c
5.AB.05SmithsoniteZnCO3Trig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3c
5.AB.05SpherocobaltiteCoCO3Trig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3c
5.AB.10AnkeriteCa(Fe2+,Mg)(CO3)2Trig. 3 : R3
5.AB.10DolomiteCaMg(CO3)2Trig. 3 : R3
5.AB.10KutnohoriteCa(Mn,Mg,Fe)(CO3)2Trig. 3 : R3
5.AB.10MinrecorditeCaZn(CO3)2Trig. 3 : R3
5.AB.15AragoniteCaCO3Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
5.AB.15CerussitePbCO3Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
5.AB.15StrontianiteSrCO3Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
5.AB.15WitheriteBaCO3Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
5.AB.20VateriteCaCO3Hex. 6/mmm (6/m 2/m 2/m) : P63/mmc
5.AB.25HuntiteCaMg3(CO3)4Trig. 3 2 : R3 2
5.AB.30NorsethiteBaMg(CO3)2Trig. 3 2 : R3 2
5.AB.45BarytocalciteBaCa(CO3)2Mon. 2/m : P21/m
5.AB.50Carbocernaite(Ca,Na)(Sr,Ce,Ba)(CO3)2Orth. mm2
5.AB.55BenstoniteBa6Ca6Mg(CO3)13Trig. 3 : R3
5.AB.60JuangodoyiteNa2Cu(CO3)2Mon. 2/m : P21/b

Related Minerals - Dana Grouping (8th Ed.)Hide 3m (3 2/m) : R3c 3m (3 2/m) : R3c 3m (3 2/m) : R3c 3m (3 2/m) : R3c 3m (3 2/m) : R3c 3m (3 2/m)éiteNi(CO3)Hex.

Related Minerals - Hey's Chemical Index of Minerals GroupingHide

11.12.2HoldawayiteMn6(CO3)2(OH)7(Cl,OH)Mon. 2/m : B2/m
11.12.3DesautelsiteMg6Mn3+2(OH)16[CO3] · 4H2OTrig. 3m (3 2/m)
11.12.4KutnohoriteCa(Mn,Mg,Fe)(CO3)2Trig. 3 : R3

Fluorescence of RhodochrositeHide

Other InformationHide

Thermal Behaviour:
Begins to dissociate at about 300˚ with the formation of CO2 and MnO.
Soluble with effervescence in warm acids. Slightly soluble in water with the solubility rate increasing with the presence of CO2.
Health Risks:
No information on health risks for this material has been entered into the database. You should always treat mineral specimens with care.

References for RhodochrositeHide

Reference List:
Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Bergmann, T. (1782) Sciagraphia regni mineralis (as Magnesium acido aëro mineralisatum).
Lenz, D.G. (1794) Versuch einer vollständigen Anleitung zur Kenntniss der Mineralien. vol. 2, Leipzig (as Luftsaures Braunsteinerz).
Haüy, R.J. (1809) Tableau comparative des résultants de la cristallographie et de l’analyse chimique relativement à la classification des minéraux. Paris: 111.
Hausmann, J.F.L. (1813) Handbuch der Mineralogie 3 volumes, Göttingen. Second edition: 302.
Sansoni (1881) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 5: 250.
Lacroix, A. (1901) Minéralogie de la France et des ses colonies, Paris. 5 volumes: vol. 3: 623.
Kreutz (1909) Contributions to the Study of Parallel Growths of Different Substances. Mineralogical Magazine, vol. 15, n° 70, 232-237.
Manasse (1911) Atti soc. tosc., Mem., Pisa: 27: 76.
Wyckoff cited in: Strukturber (1913-1926): I: 316.
Ford (1917) Trans. Conn. Ac. Arts Sc.: 22: 211.
Wherry and Larsen (1917) Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences: 7: 365.
Goldschmidt, V. (1918) Atlas der Krystallformen. 9 volumes, atlas, and text, vol. 5: 198.
Honess (1918) American Journal of Science: 45: 201.
Gaubert (1919) Bulletin de la Société française de Minéralogie: 42: 97.
Niggli (1921) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 56: 231.
Veit (1921) Jahrbuch Min., Beil.-Bd.: 45: 121.
Koch (1924) Annals Hist.-Nat. Mus. Nat. Hungary: 21: 67.
Manchot and Lorenz (1924) Zeitschrift für anorganische und allgemeine Chemie, Hamburg, Leipzig: 134: 297.
Barić and Tućan (1925) Ann. Geol. Pen. Balkan., Belgrade: 8: 129.
Hintze, Carl (1927) Handbuch der Mineralogie. Berlin and Leipzig. 6 volumes: 1 [3A]: 3216.
Zsivny (1927) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 65: 728.
Mayo, E.B. and O'Leary, W.J. (1934) Oligonite, a manganosiderite from Leadville, Colorado. American Mineralogist: 19: 304.
Otto (1935) Mineralogische und petrographische Mitteilungen, Vienna: 47: 89.
Dolar-Mantuani (1937) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 98: 181.
Yoshimura (1939) Journal of the Faculty of Science of Hokkaido Imperial University: 4: 361.
Fornaseri (1941) Rend. Soc. min. ital.: 1: 60.
Wayland, R.G. (1942) Composition, specific gravity and refractive indices of rhodochrosite; rhodochrosite from Butte, Montana. American Mineralogist: 27: 614.
Ham and Oakes (1944) Economic Geology: 39: 412.
Kulp, J.L., Wright, H.D., and Holmes, R.J. (1949) Thermal study of rhodochrosite. American Mineralogist: 34: 195.
Palache, C., Berman, H., and Frondel, C. (1951) The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, Yale University 1837-1892, Volume II: Halides, Nitrates, Borates, Carbonates, Sulfates, Phosphates, Arsenates, Tungstates, Molybdates, Etc. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, 7th edition, revised and enlarged: 171-175.
American Journal of Sciences: 50: 317-360.
Reviews in Mineralogy, Mineralogical Society of America: 11.
Effenberger, H., Mereiter, K., Zemann, J. (1981): Crystal structure refinements of magnesite, calcite, rhodochrosite, siderite, smithonite [sic], and dolomite, with discussion of some aspects of the stereochemistry of calcite type carbonates. Zeitschrift für Kristallographie 156, 233-243.
Deer, W.A., Howie, R.A., and Zussman, J. (1997) Rock-Forming Minerals. Vol. 2A: 586-599.
Anthony, J.W., Bideaux, R.A., Bladh, K.W., and Nichols, M.C. (2003) Handbook of Mineralogy, Volume V. Borates, Carbonates, Sulfates. Mineral Data Publishing, Tucson, AZ, 813pp.: 590.
Burford, E.P., Kierans, M., and Gadd, G.M. (2003) Geomycology: fungi in mineral substrata. Mycologist: 17(3): 98-107; DOI: 10.1017/S0269915X03003112
Polgári, M., Bajnóczi, B., Götze, J., and Vígh, T. (2007) Cathodoluminescence behaviour of Mn-rich carbonates. Goldschmidt 2007 Conference, 20-24 August, Cologne, Germany, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, vol. 71, no. 15., Special Supplement, A801.
Shi, W., Fleet, M.E., and Shieh, S.R. (2012) High-pressure phase transitions in Ca-Mn carbonates (Ca,Mn)CO3 studied by Raman spectroscopy. American Mineralogist: 97: 999-1001.
Farfan, G.A., Boulard, E., Wang, S., and Mao, W.L. (2013) Bonding and electronic changes in rhodochrosite at high pressure. American Mineralogist: 98: 1817-1823.
Merlini, M., Hanfland, M., and Gemmi, M .(2015) The MnCO3-II high-pressure polymorph of rhodocrosite [sic]. American Mineralogist: 100: 2625-2629.

Internet Links for RhodochrositeHide

Localities for RhodochrositeHide

This map shows a selection of localities that have latitude and longitude coordinates recorded. Click on the symbol to view information about a locality. The symbol next to localities in the list can be used to jump to that position on the map.

Locality ListShow