Rhodochrosite is a manganese carbonate with a delicate layette pink colour generally of ornamental quality it can be gem quality.
Rhodochrosite is an ornamental stone of a pink colour called “layette” with white zonations called “fangs” (crocs in french) which contributed to the name of this stone.
It is a manganese-coloured carbonate. Be careful not to confuse it with rhodonite, which belongs to the silicate group and is visually differentiated by its black zonations.
Rhodochrosite is usually found as an ornamental stone, but it can also be found in gem quality, which is very rare. It is then a pinkish-red colour and is quite expensive.
Discovered in the 13th century in Argentina during pre-Columbian times, rhodochrosite was discovered in the northwest of the country, then part of the Inca Empire, in mines producing copper and silver. Many Inca myths surround this fascinating stone.
The rhodochrosite was nicknamed Rosa del Inca, which inspired Lydia Courteille to create a collection of the same name based on this stone. Today it is found in mines in Argentina, Peru, the USA, South Africa and China.