Rhodochrosite (Greek "rhodo" for rose and "khros" for color), whose compound name is manganese carbonate, is found in ore veins and extremely large manganese deposits. It has a grainy texture, somewhat like brown sugar, and ranges in color from a dark rose color to light pink, gray, or brown. This variation in color, which many wire artists find intriguing, is due to the varying amounts of trace compounds in the rhodochrosite. These include iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and cobalt. Its luster ranges from a glass-like appearance to a somewhat pearly veneer. Rhodochrosite is an excellent addition to a jewelry collection because it is so visually stimulating, although it is quite soft, so handle it carefully. Its brilliant red color and iridescence stand out when wrapped or set in a white metal, such as sterling or Argentium®, or with white gemstones or clear Swarovski® crystals.
Rhodochrosite wire wrapped by Beverly Brown