Rhodonite Click to enlarge image
Rhodonite, polished slice. Danglemah, NSW Image: Stuart Humphreys
© Australian Museum

Rhodonite is a manganese silicate and forms in the triclinic system. It occurs in both a crystallised and a massive, fine-grained form. The massive material is a popular ornamental stone, used for carved objects and beads. It is opaque with a light to deep pink body colour. Contrasting veins of dark manganese often create an attractive pattern.

Physical properties

  • Chemistry: Manganese silicate
  • Hardness: 6
  • Refractive Indices: 1.733 - 1.747
  • Specific gravity: 3.40 - 3.70

New South Wales 

Massive rhodonite is found in the Tamworth area. 

At Broken Hill, New South Wales, rare, transparent, red crystals of rhodonite occur. These are usually seen as fine mineral specimens on matrix but occasionally transparent rhodonite from this area is faceted. The result is a rare, collectors' gemstone.