A flat habit rhombohedral crystal of Rhodochrosite sits aesthetically on matrix. Tiny purple Fluorite and Pyrite is also on the front face of the Rhodo adding some character. The matrix has clusters of elongated white Apatites (not visible in the photos) mostly on the backside. These are vividly fluorescent (yellow) in long wave. The condition is excellent and the Rhodo is partly transparent. Better color than is usually seen, this piece was from the earliest finds of Rhodochrosite at Wudong. I do not think any Apatites were found in the later pockets.
A cluster of deep red Rhodochrosite crystals up to 1 CM long contrast with the dark matrix. Rich color and very good luster, this piece from late 1990's vintage mining at Uchucchacua. Scalenohedral Rhodos are much less common than rhombohedral habit and just a few worldwide localities have produced these. There are almost always some tip cleaves on these delicate crystals, this one is no exception but not too many and not distracting. This also keeps this affordable even though it looks like it should be much more expensive. A good intense red color and the crystals are translucent to transparent.
Rhodochrosite with Quartz
Wutong Mine, Liubao, Cangwu Co. Wuzoh Pref.
2 x 1.6 x .8 CM (thumbnail)
Small, but very cute, cluster of sharp and slightly-etched Rhodochrosite rhombs. Several faces show complex stepped modifications that add extra pop. Aside from a tiny spray of Quartz crystals, there is no matrix, just Rhodochrosite. This thumbnail from an important find at Wuzoh in 2009, this was one of the last of this form, as most later pockets have more flattened and disk-like crystals. Nice color, form and presentation, if this was larger, it would be a very costly specimen!
Capillitas Mine, Andagala
7.7 x 3.3 x 1.4 CM (cabinet)
A pair of intergrown "stalactite" habit Rhodochrosites with well defined lathlike crystals in stacked arrangement. From the famed mine at Capillitas, which is still the only place on Earth that this form is found. The bottom or base of the pair is broken and shows the concentric banding that is so sought after in the lapidary trade, but the form and larger than average crystals makes this a choice mineral specimen. The color is a pink to orange hue on one edge, the other sides have a secondary coating of a white to grey Manganese oxides. The unusual structure of intersecting fingers makes for an esthetic display piece. In excellent condition, the crystals are undamaged save for the point of attachment.
Rhodochrosite on Analcime
Mont Saint-Hilaire, Monteregie
4.6 x 3.6 x 2.5 CM (miniature)
A killer miniature with a main Rhodochrosite rhomb 3.2 CM in diameter which is perfectly perched on a cluster of Analcime crystals. The Rhodos are opaque in some areas and translucent in others, perhaps due to some dark inclusions (Birnessite?). The luster is in person impressively bright and glassy, there are some subtle striations and growth structures as well that add interest in person. The faces show a color range and mottling from dark reds, pinks and close to black in spots. Rhodochrosite at Mont St. Hilaire took many forms and color hues, but such well formed, sharp textbook crystals are not common at all. This is an exceptional showy piece in remarkable clean condition.
A large plate of complex Fluorites crystals mixed with multiple minerals including Rhodochrosite Rhombs, Sphalerite, Quartz and misc Sulphides. The Fluorites are mostly a pale purple to almost colorless but a few smaller crystals have a distinct pink color caused by being formed on top of Rhodochrosite. Nearly all the crystals on this plate are lightly frosted and have a slightly "melted" look. This locality is located on the same mountain as the famed Sweet Home and Detroit City Mines. This locality is a small propect with minimal devolopment has been worked for specimens by a small crew for a few weeks each year. They choose to not name or provide exact location of the site to protect it. The Fluorites are clearly different in habit from most that come from the mountain and the overall esthetics of this piece are quite choice.
Rhodochrosite with Hematite
Montreal mine. Gogebic Range, Iron County
5.9 x 4.7 x 4 CM (cabinet)
A really nice example of an open Rhodochrosite vug from the Wisconsin (USA) Iron region. The Vug is richly packed with sharp Rhombs of a rose-pink color some of which are partly transparent and zoned. Mixed in are sparkling clusters of dark Hematite crystals which adds contrast. A choice older Wisconsin specimen from the famed Montreal Mine, This locale started in 1886 and was quite active until 1950, Final shutdown was 1963. Now a classic locality with any Rhodo specimens rarely available usually from older collections.
Sharp and gemmy red Rhodochrosite crystals on a contrasting matrix. The crystals are mostly formed as Scalenohedral but take a few other forms as well. Uchucchacua is one of the worlds best Rhodo localities for Scalenohedrons, but not as well known (or expensive) as South Africa. Several crystals are partly coated with a thin crust of what seems to be Calcite and makes a nice contrast.