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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Rhodochrosite with quartz

Rhodochrosite from Ancash, Peru
Photo by Chip Clark. Click to zoom.
Catalog Number NMNH 147520-00
Locality Huallapon Mine, Ancash, Peru

Gift of Mary H. Stuart.

Rhodochrosite is a manganese carbonate, typically found associated with manganese ores. It is commonly a rose-red color but can vary in shades of pink to light brown.This extraordinary specimen was found during mining for tungsten. Rhodochrosite was first discovered in 1813 in the silver mines of present day Romania.  It can form as stalactites and when cut display concentric bands of rose colored layers. This material is often used as an ornamental stone as well as for carvings and jewelry.

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