Saturday, October 8, 2011

Gemstone of the Week: Rhodocrosite

Rhodocrosite is mineral of Colorado and in its best quality is gorgeous transparent red gem, however, most often it is found as an opaque, pink banded stone.  The highest quality Rhodocrosite are found in Alma, Colorado and is very, very rare.  Rhodocrosite of the opaque variety can be found in Peru, Argentina, South Africa, Mexico, and Japan.  The mine where the transparent variety are known to be found, has unfortunately closed. Rhodocrosite that is transparent can have a value of $150-$500 per carat in stones that weigh above a carat and as much as $1,000 per carat for stone that are above 10 carats.  Some Rhodocrosite may be red and translucent, and they are often cut into cabochons instead of faceted and are often valued at $5-$20 per carat.  In South Africa a red to orangey-brown transparent Rhodocrosite is sometimes found and has a value of between $100-$300 per carat.  The hardness of Rhodocrosite is a 3.5-4.5 on the Mohs scale.