I hand cut this cabochon which measures 55x53mm and is 7mm thick. A trillion shape with a nice polish. It shows beautiful pattern on face, banding and shading on the sides. A really nice piece that would look great worked into a creative piece of art jewelry!
This magical material is from Argentina, probably from San Luis or Capillitas. It is difficult to get good cutting rough because the government owns the mines and limits production. While Rhodochrosite has a hardness of only 4 it is much loved for its distinctive color and patterning. It is not easily mistaken for any other stone. The Incas believed that rhodochrosite is the blood of their former rulers, turned to stone, therefore it is sometimes called "Rosa del Inca" or "Inca Rose". Rhodochrosite is formed in low temperature hydrothermal veins in ore deposits of silver, lead, zinc, and copper and also in sedimentary manganese deposits. Rhodochrosite was one of the first stones I ever cut and I made many lovely cabochons out of it back when I was in Middle School in Jackson, Michigan. I made a lovely pendant for my Nana and all her friends admired it so much that I made and sold a bunch to her friends. Luckily none were as nice as the first one I made for Nana!
I was fortunate to get one decent sized chunk of mid grade lapidary material when I was at the Tucson gem & mineral shows in recent years! I look forward to cutting more of this lovely material.
The Crystal Awareness Guide by the Legion of Light has this to say about Rhodochrosite, "Aids spleen, heart, kidneys, and pituitary gland and circulation of blood. Enhances memory and intellectual power. Emotional balance. Helps heal emotional wounds and traumas. Aligns subtle bodies. Red/Pink color helps to blend courage/will/passion aspects of lower chakras with loving expression of the heart. Divine love, acceptance of self and life. Powerful healer for those attuned to the stone. Chakras: root, heart." .
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