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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Pyroxmangite

Rectangular emerald-cut red pyroxmangite weighing 0.84 ct.
Photo by Ken Larsen. Click to zoom.
Catalog Number NMNH G11415-00
Locality Brazil
Weight 0.84 ct

Gift of Ms. Luciana Barbosa in 2012.

Pyroxmangite is a very rare manganese silicate. Its name is derived from the presence of manganese and its resemblance to pyroxenes. It has a hardness of 5-6 on the Mohs scale and with its perfect cleavage, it is difficult to cut and facet. Pyroxmangite can be pink, purplish-pink, red, yellowish-brown or brown in color and is usually found in granular masses, crystals seldom large enough or clean enough to facet. Therefore, gems are most often small in size and rarely over a few carats in weight. Because of its similar properties and appearance, it is often confused with rhodonite. There are very few localities for gem quality crystals. Pyroxmangite has been found at Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia and Morro da Mina, Minas Gerais, Brazil, as well as Japan, Sweden, and the U.S. (Colorado and New Jersey). This is the first faceted pyroxmangite gem in the National Gem Collection.


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