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Rhodonite

Rhodonite is a manganese inosilicate mineral, known for its striking pink and black colours. Its name derives from the Greek word ‘rhodon,’ meaning ‘rose,’ a reference to its characteristic rosy pink hue. Rhodonite often includes black manganese oxide veins, giving it a unique, intricate appearance.

First discovered in the Ural mountains of Russia in the 1790s, rhodonite was initially called “orletz” by local miners, a word translating to “the Eagle Stone,” because eagles were said to carry small pieces of rhodonite to their nests. Rhodonite later became highly regarded in Russia, to the point where it was used to create stunning decorative objects, including the panels of the Russian coronation coach.

On the Mohs hardness scale, rhodonite measures between 5.5 and 6.5, meaning it’s somewhat resistant to scratching, but softer than many other gemstones. Because of its relative softness, rhodonite is typically used for beads, cabochons, or carved decorative items rather than faceted gemstones.

In the realm of metaphysical properties, rhodonite is often referred to as the “stone of compassion.” It’s believed to stimulate, clear, and activate the heart, encouraging altruistic love and forgiveness. Some people use it in crystal healing for its supposed ability to reduce anxiety, confusion, and stress.

Despite being discovered in Russia, rhodonite can be found worldwide, including in Australia, Brazil, Canada, England, Mexico, Sweden, and the United States. The variety of locations where it can be found, combined with its unique pink colouration, makes rhodonite a popular stone for jewelry and decorative pieces.

In summary, rhodonite is a visually striking gemstone with a rich history. Its distinctive colouration and pattern make it a popular choice for various decorative and jewelry applications. Despite being softer than many gemstones, rhodonite’s unique beauty ensures its continued popularity.

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