These pseudotriangular rhodochrosite crystals are extremely rare, and most came from one pocket in the 1980s here that was collected by Ernie Schichter and friends. This miniautre is from his collection, and features a "triangular" rhodo perched up on matrix, for a fine display. The sharply twinned crystal, measuring 3.9 cm in length, is lustrous and translucent. Smaller rhodos sit at the base of the large crystal. A superb locality piece, seldom seen for sale.
N'Chwaning II Mine, North Cape Province, South Africa
Cabinet, 11.5 x 6.4 x 4.2 cm
This is a very showy and large display specimen from the classic finds of the late 1970s and early 1980s here. It is a cabinet sized rhodochrosite from on eof the world's two most fmaous sources for the mineral, and at a price which I can only make because it was a "fixer upper" from an old collection, that needed cleaning. Emplaced on a massive, black manganite matrix are beautifully intergrown hemispheres of lustrous and translucent, red rhodochrosite, to 1.5 cm across. When put in a case and backlit, the edges glow red. Shown here under strong halogen light, it is perhaps a darker shade than in room lighting or more subdued light.
Steve's Pocket, Fluorite Raise, Sweet Home Mine, Alma, Park Co., Colorado, USA
Cabinet, 16.3 x 9.7 x 6.1 cm
A significant, very large rhodochrosite specimen from the heyday of mining here in the late 1990's. It comes from one of the very few zones in the mine which had fluorite, as you can see little purple cubes accenting the bottom of the specimen. Crystals range to 3 cm and have a wonderful cherry-red hue to them, and excellent sharpness. Specimens like this in such a size usually have multiple (and I would say quite acceptable) repairs, but this piece has none. It is one of the very few plates of this size that have turned up for sale at all in the recent years, period, let alone at a price well under 7 figures (a price range which I have seen asked and realized for Sweet Home rhodochrosite in this day and time). I was lucky to obtain this via an exchange from an older collection, and from the original owner. One simply cannot even find these things for public sale, normally, and so I am happy to have one to present on the site. Back when I had a personal collection of a dozen rhodo's, I would have kept this one, for sure. Joe Budd photos. Comes with custom lucite base.
Corner Pocket, Sweet Home Mine, Mount Bross, Alma District, Park Co., Colorado, USA
Cabinet, 13.0 x 12.0 x 5.0 cm
The Corner Pocket of the late 1990's remains one of the best single finds of Sweet Home rhodochrosite for a number of reasons: the large crystal size, cherry color, translucency, and the startling contrast on desirable black matrix of crystallized tetrahedrite. This specimen, which went into a major European collection back in around 2005, epitomizes the good qualities of that pocket. It features large sharp crystals to 4.5 cm, with excellent color and translucency. They are displayed about as dramatically as you can ask, on the dark jet black tetrahedrite, and with aesthetic spacing and individuality that was not often seen among many pieces that were more "jumbly." Remarkably, there are no repairs to the specimens at all, although there are a few very minor restoration spots on the periphery of some crystals to fill in dings (quite acceptable on specimens of such magnitude). Most people consider these red-on-black specimens from this mine to set the standard for degrees of fineness and comparison from pocket to pocket. Few can be had, particularly in this size range and nearly 20 years after they were found. I have tried to trade out this cabinet piece for nearly a decade to get it back on the market and only recently succeeded. Comparable pieces have not been publicly for sale in many years. Joe Budd photo. Comes with custom lucite base.
Stari Trg Mine, Trepca valley, Kosovska Mitrovica, Kosovo
Cabinet, 14.9 x 9.7 x 9.4 cm
This is an excellent and simply sparkling combo specimen featuring lustrous, black sphalerite crystals, to 1.3 cm across nestled in a druse of sparkling, beige pink rhodochrosite. The back side is totally covered by a layer of translucent calcite that fluoresces a moderate reddish orange. Overall an interesting and beautiful combo specimen with rich rhodochrosite, for this locality. Beautiful, and remarkably in superb condition.
Uchucchacua Mine, Oyon Province, Lima Department, Peru
Large Cabinet, 14.5 x 7.0 x 6.5 cm
A highly aesthetic Uchucchacua Mine specimen of lustrous, gemmy, cherry-red Rhodochrosite crystals resting in a vug of botryoidal Manganese. The main Rhodochrosite crystal is in superb condition, and is as lustrous and gemmy as you could want. Standing upright within the pocket, at 1.6 cm tall it is a significant crystal. Large and dramatic, this is a colorful, eminently displayable specimen. The pics really say it all!
Uchucchacua Mine, Oyon Province, Lima Department, Peru
Small Cabinet, 5.9 x 4.0 x 4.0 cm
Rich cluster of dozens of pinkish red Rhodochrosite rhombs from the well-known Uchucchacua Silver Mine. The rhombs have excellent luster and a very finely stepped habit. Rhombs from here tended to precede the finding of the equally desired scalenohedrons. These rhombs are gemmy to translucent, with the largest being 1.2 cm across. As you might imagine with a carbonate, there are a few bruises, but overall the crystals are in excellent condition, and the aesthetics are very good. The form of crystallization is really quite unusual. Although we see others from this mine with the same shape, usually they are not so saturated in color, and translucent.
An excellent example of the odd "trigonal," twinned habit of Rhodochrosite from the Poudrette Quarry at Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec. This mahogany-red, translucent and complete-all-around crystal is excellent condition, with contacting only on some of the edges. The luster is good, with the faces being finely textured and smoothing out right along the edges, which actually adds quite a bit to the aesthetics. These specimens of flat Rhodochrosite, likely mined in the late 1970's from the alkaline massif of Mont Saint-Hilaire, appear to be contact twins. This one would be considered unusually fine and large for the locality.
Hotazel Mine, Kalahari Mn field, Northern Cape Province, South Africa
Miniature, 4.8 x 3.0 x 3.0 cm
The Kalahari Mn field has produced its share of great Rhodo specimens. This one rates 'very cool' - a gemmy to translucent .3-.4 cm layer coating a botryoidal matrix. Sandwiched in between is a layer of fine crystalline Manganite. The Rhodochrosite varies from red to pink, and the luster is very good. The color variation is quite attractive, and is usually an indicator of temperature variations as the Rhodochrosite grows. A very interesting, and equally attractive, effect. The largest ball of Rhodo is 2.3 cm across. This is pre-1980 Hotazel - a definite oldie and cutie!
A classic, lustrous, rose-red Rhodochrosite rhomb from the famous early 1980s finds at the Huayllapon Mine, Pasto Bueno, Peru. This striking, stepped rhomb has the typically gemmy, cherry-red, edge rinds and is accented with Quartz and a few small fluorite crystals around the bottom. Gorgeous. Contacted only on a small bit of the back, it is otherwise complete all around. A true classic, as very few of these ever existed to begin with, and they almost never become available nowadays. This pocket is still distinctive today, 20 years later.
This specimen is a classic old mid-1990's-era rhodo, from Peru. Although many came out at the time, few had any aesthetics to speak of. This style of Rhodochrosite with slightly curving rhombohedra and a nice red-pink color, is unique to the mine. Most specimens also had damage, or clunky matrix. Overall, this is a very aesthetic example from the old find. From the Tom Hall collection. Joe Budd photos.
N'Chwaning I Mine, Kuruman, Northern Cape Province, South Africa
Miniature, 4.9 x 4.3 x 3.4 cm
These treasured red jewels from the late 1970s and early 1980s finds here only turn up in old collections. This is a very balanced, 3-dimensional miniature with superb aesthetics and the best rich, cherry-red color. Unlike most of them which are rather damaged (due to the time they were collected, generally in haste), this has only one small tip missing. Small hematite crystals provide accent. It is, to those who know what they are looking at, just a very sophisticated example of one of the pre-eminent pockets of minerals in modern times. Joe Budd photos.
Perched nicely on matrix is a spherical mound of sparkling, light pink rhodochrosite. The spherical or botryoidal mound measures 6 cm across. A very aesthetic locality specimen for the species! Collected prior to 1980, this is from an old Greek collection that was recently brought to market.
Emplaced on a matrix of gray drusy quartz are several elegant spherical aggregates, to 2 cm across, of lustrous, light pink rhodochrosite. Collected prior to 1980, this is from an old Greek collection that was recently brought to market.
A rare locality piece, probably from the early to mid-1950s. Covering all of the underlying matrix is a series of intergrown, lustrous, bright pink rhodochrosite crystals. Ex. The University of Arizona Mineral Collection to me, in their culling down of excess specimens not on display.
Wessels Mine, Kalahari Manganese Fields, South Africa
Miniature, 5.6 x 2.1 x 1.3 cm
We had only two such specimens in the whole collection of thousands of pieces, of these strange cast pseudomorphs of minutely crystallized, sparkling, andradite garnet that have replaced twinned rhodochrosite crystals. I had only ever seen 2 others, before. These look just like the famous pseudo-triangular crystals one saw from Mt St Hilaire in Quebec, in the 1980s. But, made of garnet! This one is shaped like a shield, very tapered, with the interior completely lined with crystals of gaudefroyite that stick out to one side.
A SHARP, beautiful cherry-red, elongated disc-shaped crystal from this small find. Most unusual in form, compared to other worldwide rhodo locales where you may see this habit, but not in such sizeable crystals. This is a particularly fine example for this locality because of the size, good color, overall form, and completeness all around. Both sides shown - it is almost a floater with just a small attachment point on the bottom. Also, the Baryte association is a novel and nice touch!
This is a rare piece - few matrix specimens were recovered, it seems. This one has fat disc-shaped crystals to 2.3 cm on matrix. They have a thin white coating in some places, that may come off in acid if one wants to try, but I like the softened look of it and the pink hue the thin white coating casts in combination with the red rhodo. Its unusual! Cheaper than it might be because it has minor damage to the left edge of the front-middle crystal.
Another HUGE floater specimen of Chinese rhodo! The form, like the above, is just extremely elongated and unusual for a rhodo. This one is a compound cluster, a floater that is complete and terminated all around, composed of several intergrown crystals. This is a most impressive piece, in person. Again, we have a strange association with what appears to be pegmatitic cleavelandite.
Wuzhou Mine, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China
Miniature, 4.2 x 3.3 x 2.8 cm
This specimen looks very much like the fluorite-rhodochrosite combos from the Sweet Home Mine. SO MUCH SO, that I got tricked by the person offering it to me. Until I saw the little sulfides attached, because there is some chalcopyrit eo nthe back you would not see at Sweet Home, I didn't catch the joke. As a Sweet Home piece, its pretty damned good. As a China combo, its still pretty good. Contemporary or not, I cannot imagine many combo pieces of this balance and poise coming out of any pocket. It features a limpid, equant, translucent, lustrous, purple, fluorite crystal, measuring 2.5 cm across, which grew on rose-pink rhodochrosite, along with minor sphalerite, chalcopyrite and quartz. I particularly like the stepped faces on the fluorite which ada a complexity, visually. Stellar specimen from a new find. I am told on good reliability that there were only 3 good ones from this pocket
This specimen has impressively large, wine-red crystals of the rare manganese species shigaite, ensconced on attractive, sparkling manganite blades and accented by rhodochrosite. It is from a small 1993 pocket and is said to be one of the best of that pocket. In fact, this was said by Charlie Key himself who brought out the majority of pieces at the time, and then he KEPT THIS PIECE until selling a South African assemblage suite from the collection a few years ago to Harvard, from which this piece came to me because the donor who bought the group kept a few things. An important specimen, this piece at one time was considered one of the world's great specimens for the species and from the only great find for the species. This has changed, only slightly, recently. It still is significant, though others have been found recently of a different style. The new ones are more gracile and fragile-looking (almost like hexagonal red mica blades) although they have a metallic luster and brighter color, whereas these crystals are more robustly 3-dimensional and darker wine-red. Also this matrix association is unique to the 1993 pocket which really did redefine the species in terms of quality compared to anything imagined previously from micros found in Japan. Another example from this famous pocket is illustrated in the F John Barlow Collection book, in his chapter on South Africa, and is also on this website (item T08-68). The specimens were dispersed, as you can see, into the major collectors' hands of the time. Charlie, however, kept a few - among them this one.
This is an unusually robust, sharp, and large rhodochrosite from a famous small pocket collected by Ernie Schlichter and friends, if I recall in the late 1980s. The crystals are unique for rhodochrosite, sharply twinned as you can see. Most are wafer thin, and thumbnail-sized. Only a few crystals in the pocket were as robust as this one (to 1.5 cm thick!), and as large. This one was kept by Ernie until sold with his collection, around 2003. It is an extreme rarity both for a Canadian specimen, and for rhodo in general.
N'Chwaning I Mine, Kuruman, Kalahari manganese fields, Northern Cape Province, South Africa
Small Cabinet, 6.4 x 4.2 x 2.5 cm
This style of rhodochrosite came out in the early 1980s and is often referred to as "wheatsheaves." The color can truly be called "cherry red." Here is a relatively large, rolling plate of the gemmy, transparent to translucent crystals on manganese matrix. The luster is so brilliant in person, it is hard to convey in photos....but it is like glass, in real life. These are beautiful and truly unique rhodochrosite formations, not found anywhere else, and have always gone for a premium since day one. Today, such specimens, especially in this size, are hard to come by on the open market. Although there are a few small dings, this is very nearly pristine on its display face and for the size, an uncommon find. This is one of those original specimens, long in the private collection of dealer Lawrence Conklin.
Uchucchacua Mine, Oyon Province, Lima Department, Peru
Small Cabinet, 7.1 x 6.4 x 3.9 cm
A single sharp crystal to 1.9 cm, perched atop massive alabandite and accented by a sharp rhodo rhomb, make this an appealing display-quality specimen. THIS IS A very SHARP crystal, way above average for this already near-miraculous find for the species. This is one of the sharpest pieces I saw - many crystals approaching this size show etching or cracking on the major surface planes. Not this.
Classic material from a classic, but now closed, locality! Rhodochrosite is typically regarded as among the most beautiful of mineral specimens and its legendary color make it a spectacular gem. This is a rather large-sized stone in an attractive marquise cut. The photos, although accurate, don't do this rare collector's gem justice because the camera enhances flaws that the human eye does not spot as readily. It is a super bright jewel of a gorgeous red-pink color. The gem is also exceptionally clean for the species and location (again, given the size, some internal flaws are acceptable. And the over-accuracy of the high-resolution professional photography enhances those small flaws which in person are not so obvious). In sum, this is a very "sweet" stone of exceptional size and quality. A must for any serious rough-and-cut set, or collection of connoisseur gems. They can only go up in value now that the mine is closed, and few large stones of this size were ever available even in its heyday. Cut by Paul Cory.
N'Chwaning II Mine, Kuruman, Kalahari manganese fields, Northern Cape Province, South Africa
Gems and Jewelry, 15.0 x 11.0 x 7.0 mm; 9.41 cts
An absolutely superb and irreplaceable rarity because of its size and quality, this gem dates to the few pockets of large crystals found in 1978-1980. Cut by Spectrum Award-winning cutter Mark Kaufman, this rich red gem is an impressive oval that has remarkable presence in person and more internal brightness than you would expect for often-sleepy rhodochrosite gems. The polish is amazing, highly glassy. Another top quality collector's stone suitable for any sophisticated collector or a rough-and-cut display. Clean and bright and an excellent value in today's market.
Fluorite Raise, Sweet Home Mine, Alma, Park County, Colorado
Small Cabinet, 8.5 x 6.0 x 4.1 cm
This specimen comes from a unique pocket hit in the late 1990s, featuring small hexagonal APATITES perched on the rhodochrosite, with a bonus of little jewel-like cubic purple fluorites for accent. The three larger crystals reach 2 cm across, and have very good cherry-red color, not the more commonly seen (today) pale, partially-ripe strawberry hue. This specimen has been in a private collection for some time and was recently given to me for sale. I believe their asking price to be very fair in light of recent prices I have seen on specimens remaining with the former miner as they also are buying back specimens in the marketplace for resale now. Comes with custom lucite base. NOTE: I am selling this for a friend and I think he low-balled the price. This is, I feel, a pretty good deal...
Toenail – A “gut feeling” but often overlaps between a large thumbnail and a small miniature
Miniature – Maximum 5.0 cm
Small Cabinet – Maximum 9.4 cm
Cabinet – Maximum 18.0 cm
Large Cabinet – Over 18.0 cm
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