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Rhodochrosite

One of the minerals used for the 1974 Mineral Heritage Stamps, rhodochrosite is also known as manganesespar and raspberryspar. Its name is derived from the greek rhodon, meaning "rose" and chroma, meaning "color", referring to its rosy color. It is a manganese carbonate mineral and is a relatively soft stone, ranking only 3.5 to 4 on the Moh's Scale of Hardness. It also has three directions of cleavage (the quality of a crystallized substance or rock of splitting along definite planes), which does not make it a very durable stone to use for commonly-worn jewelry like rings. Rhodochrosite is commonly found associated with calcite, quartz and metal sulfides. Each reddish-pink crystal is shaped like a distorted cube, or rhombohedron.

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