Rhodonite

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Chemical composition -- Manganese silicate.

Color -- Rose red or pink, frequently with black veins of manganese oxides.

Optics-- R.I. 1.72-1.74. Biaxial positive.

Durability -- Hardness 5.5-6.5. Massive pieces, cut as cabochons, are usable in jewelry not subject to hard wear. Faceted stones are too fragile and must be restricted to collections.

Crystal structure -- Triclinic, often massive.

Specific Gravity -- 3.57-3.76.

Sources -- Russia, British Columbia, and Australia are prime sources of massive material for cabochons and carvings. Faceted stones are rare and small, and they are fragile and difficult to cut, due to perfect cleavage.

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