Rhodochrosite with Fluorite and Quartz
Wutong Mine, Liubao, Cangwu Co. Wuzoh Pref.
Xinjiang Autonomous Region,
7.8 x 5.1 x 2.7 CM (cabinet)
Early summer 2021
A choice plate of red rhombohedral Rhodochrosite crystals with a purple Fluorite that adds a nice color accent. A very early specimen from the large find at Wutong, these Rhodos are very three dimensional, they stand above the matrix which is mostly Quartz some of which is in needle crystal. The color is a very deep red on many crystals, others are a little more pinkish red. Overall this is as vivid as we have seen from China with a hue comparable to many Sweet Home Mine Rhodos. The entire plate can be backlit to a glowing red, the crystals are mostly not transparent but translucent and cloudy inside. An attractive and colorful specimen and a good value.
An older specimen from the Wutong Mine (China) with very good pink to red Rhomb crystals. Close exam with magnification will find several very small crude crystals and masses of Silver on the underside. This is certainly not a display grade Silver specimen but more of interest as an accessory mineral on the Rhodos. This find was an important discovery and in the first zones exploited the crystals usually had a rhomb form while later finds tended to be more flattened or disk shaped. Overall in very good condition and with with some faces showing etching and brighter luster.
Idaho Springs, Clear Creek County
1.4 x 1.2 x .8 CM (thumbnail)
new year 2021
A single Rhodochrosite crystal which is a rather small thumbnail but is quite unusual, having a "melted" surface with etching and coming from an uncommon locality. This was collected in 1966 by Les Hitchings, he gives only Idaho Springs, Colorado as the locality, he collected three thumbnails there while on an extended trip, he was very proud of these pieces. The crystal is mostly transparent and gemmy, has good luster and a nice red color.
N Chwaning II Mine, Kalahari Manganese Filed
Northern Cape Province,
9 x 7.4 x 2.3 CM (cabinet)
new year 2021
An excellent cabinet sized Rhodochrosite that is of an unusual habit for N'Chwaning. Rhodo crystals fully cover the face of this large plate of Manganite matrix. From the display side just a sliver of the underlying black Manganite crystals can be seen. The hundreds of tiny sparkling Rhodochrosite crystals are sharp transparent scalenohedra most being free standing when seen under magnification. In excellent condition, there is no damage found by naked eye and under magnification only micro bruises on edges can be found with some difficulty. The sparkling luster and undulating surface make an attractive cabinet sized specimen from this famed mine. The color is not the intense red that some N'Chwaning Rhodos have but is a good red to pink-rose hue. This is also not a 5 figure specimen it is a very good value for a sizable, undamaged Rhodo from this famed, classic locale.
A well-composed pink-red Rhodochrosite with both equant rhombohedral crystals and the flattened habit. In great undamaged condition, there are a few small Fluorites on the display face that are transparent light violet dodecahedral crystals. Very good luster for a Chinese Rhodo, this is a a wonderful esthetic specimen with a great visual pop in person.
Small bright red transparent Rhodochrosite crystals scattered in an open vug on a dark matrix. The Rhodochrosites are perched on tiny fingers and knobs of Goethite with a few small crystals of pale colored Fluorite making a nice addition. Minimal damage, the specimen displays well; it could also be trimmed to a miniature size but we like it just like this. Ex Charles M Noll collection, his label is also included.
A flat habit rhombohedral crystal of Rhodochrosite sits aesthetically on matrix. Tiny purple Fluorite and Pyrite is also on the front face of the Rhodo adding some character. The matrix has clusters of elongated white Apatites (not visible in the photos) mostly on the backside. These are vividly fluorescent (yellow) in long wave. The condition is excellent and the Rhodo is partly transparent. Better color than is usually seen, this piece was from the earliest finds of Rhodochrosite at Wudong. I do not think any Apatites were found in the later pockets.
A cluster of deep red Rhodochrosite crystals up to 1 CM long contrast with the dark matrix. Rich color and very good luster, this piece from late 1990's vintage mining at Uchucchacua. Scalenohedral Rhodos are much less common than rhombohedral habit and just a few worldwide localities have produced these. There are almost always some tip cleaves on these delicate crystals, this one is no exception but not too many and not distracting. This also keeps this affordable even though it looks like it should be much more expensive. A good intense red color and the crystals are translucent to transparent.