What is rhodochrosite?
by Janine Leghissa, Desiderate founder
Rhodochrosite is a gorgeous pink gemstone that is named after the Greek terms ‘rhodos’ meaning rose, and ‘kros’ meaning colour. It is usually a classic pink colour, but can vary in shades of pale pink to deep blood-red.
What I love about rhodochrosite is the gorgeous pink colour. The shades are not uniform, making each gemstone unique. Desiderate rhodochrosite is a pretty pink with shades of lighter pink and pinky-greys that make it so gorgeous. If you ever want a touch of feminine glamour, rhodochrosite is the gemstone to wear.
Don't confuse rhodochrosite with rose quartz. The latter is a paler pink shade compared to rhodochrosite. And while pink tourmaline is closer in shade to rhodochrosite, it is uniform in colour, whereas rhodochrosite has those gorgeous flecks of different pinky hues. These natural inclusions make it a captivating focal point in any piece.
Where does rhodochrosite come from?
Rhodochrosite is found in South Africa, South America, the United States and China. It’s common in Argentina, where it is the national stone. So if you have Argentinian connections — or want to remember a great holiday to Argentina — wear rhodochrosite jewellery!
History of rhodochrosite (don’t worry, I won’t bore you)
In the 12-13th century the Inca people (in what is now modern Colombia and Chile in South America) believed the stones were the blood of their former kings and queens, hardened into a stone to show strength, power and endurance.
Records show that it was discovered by Europeans in Romania, by JFL Haussmann who named it in the early 1800s. In Colorado, United States, in the late `1800s, a silver mine discovered rhodochrosite and would treat it as an unwanted byproduct (how unenlightened). Nowadays rhodochrosite is its main output.
More recently it was a favourite gemstone during the art deco period of the 1920s and 1930s. And lately it’s becoming popular again due to the gorgeous pink shades and its comparative rarity — we all want what we can’t have, right?
Is rhodochrosite rare?
It depends. Larger stones are quite rare as they are difficult to cut into bezels. Argentinian mined rhodochrosite is more plentiful and thus more affordable. With the variation in shading, some rhodochrosite is in greater demand than others — with the rose pink shaded gemstones proving most popular. Even though it is found across several continents, it is not always easy to mine and cut, which causes it to be in high demand.
What is the spiritual meaning of rhodochrosite?
Rhodochrosite is associated with love, compassion and emotional healing. Wear it to invite positivity and balance into your life. Thanks to its pretty pink shade, rhodochrosite is considered a feminine gemstone, associated with intuition, caring and calmness, so it can also be very soothing if you suffer from stress and anxiety.
What healing powers does rhodochrosite have?
On a healing level, rhodochrosite is known to assist with breathing issues, making it a great gemstone for sufferers of asthma or respiratory issues. It is also felt to be good for purifying the circulatory system, kidneys and help with high blood pressure. Some say it’s quite good to get the blood pumping downstairs too ;).
What are the astrological connections of rhodochrosite?
Rhodochrosite is not officially connected to any star signs, but many say it’s the stone for Leo and Scorpio, But I like to associate the rosy pinks with the planet Venus, ruler of Libra and Taurus.
- For reserved Scorpios, rhodochrosite can help open your heart and connect on a deeper level.
- For confident Leos, rhodochrosite can help you appreciate the sincere friends in your life.
- For social butterfly Libras, rhodochrosite can help you identify your genuine friendships and connections.
- For stable Taurus, rhodochrosite can help you get out of your comfort zone and make new acquaintances.
What chakras are rhodochrosite connected with?
With its stunning rosy hue, rhodochrosite is most aligned to the heart chakra while also supporting the solar plexus chakra. Rhodochrosite facilitates all kinds of love, including friendship, family and romance, helping us to be our true selves and open our hearts to the possibility of forming deeper connections. With its clarifying properties, Rhodochrosite can also help clear the energy distribution centre and help fight imbalance, either spiritually or physically.
How to care for your rhodochrosite jewellery
As with any precious gemstone, rhodochrosite needs careful care to maintain its lustre and beauty. Keep your rhodochrosite jewellery safe by removing it while playing sports or any other physical activity where it might be knocked or scratched. When storing your rhodochrosite, keep it in a soft pouch to ensure it isn’t scratched by other jewellery. Avoid extreme temperatures or long periods in bright sunlight which can cause the gemstone to fade. Don’t wear your rhodochrosite swimming as salt water, sea water or chlorinated water can cause damage to the natural stone.
To clean your rhodochrosite, rinse with clean water and dry with a soft cloth. Avoid harsh cleaning agents and scrubbing brushes which can cause scuffs and scratches.
To summarise: what is rhodochrosite?
- a rare gorgeous pink mineral gemstone with flecks of darker and lighter shades
- the national stone of Argentina
- the stone of compassion, love, friendship and self-care
- associated with healing for respiratory systems, blood pressure and circulation
- associated with the heart and solar plexus chakras
- astrologically associated with Leo and Scorpio (and Venus signs, Taurus and Libra)
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