Item # RH08108421
Rhodochrosite, Quartz and
Galena from Raura, Peru
SpiritRock Shop
Click on any photo to see a larger version
Museum Specimens
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Raura District, Cajatambo Province, Lima Department, Peru
The Raura "mine" is actually several orebodies spread over a 24 square km mineralized area. The
rhodochrosites and stibnites from here can easily be confused with those from Romania.
1) Quiruvilca District

2) Pasto Bueno District

3) Raura District

4) Pachapaqui District

5) Huanzala Mine

6) Uchucchacua Mine

7) Cerro de Pasco Mine

8) Huaron Mines

9) Morococha District

10) Casapalca District

11) Pampa Blanca Areas

12) Julcani District

13) Castrovirreyna District
Perù is a beautiful country.  Anyone from an archaeologist to a zoologist will be
mesmerized by Perù, and the fascination is limitless for true Mineral Collectors
and Rockhounds!!

The Peruvian Andean Mountains are arguably the most beautiful and accessible
on the continent and the Cordillera Blanca range has became world famous
among all visitors of this region. There are several other ranges in Perù which
are less visited but no less magnificent as many of the precipitous glacier-clad
mountains have peaks of more than 6000 metres (19,600 feet).   But the
Peruvian Andes is not just the scene of remote wilderness. It is also home to
millions of highlands Indians who still speak ancient tongue (Quechua or
Aymara) and preserve much of their traditional way of life.

Huascaran, at 6768 metres (22,204 feet) above sea level, is Peru's highest
mountain and the highest mountain anywhere in the tropical world.   Most of the
Peru's Andes lie between 3000 and 4000 metres (9,800 to 13,100 feet) above
sea level and support half the country's population. It is a rugged and difficult
landscape with jagged ranges separated by extremely deep and vertical sheer
wall canyons.

For mineral collectors Perù has been the world's most prolific source of mineral
specimens, producing top-quality pyrite, rhodochrosite, hubnerite, tetrahedrite,
pink fluorite, pyrargyrite, chalcopyrite, rhodonite and orpiment.   

Looking for minerals in Peru is quite complicated, because roads are not
passable sometimes and the environment is dangerous. Finding the mine can
be a real adventure. It is often easier and safer to look for minerals for sale from
the local dealers (called 'piriteros') that walk many times from the mine to Lima
where they sell their specimens.
Old Stock Raura,
Peru Rhodochrosite
from the old
"Mineral Museum"
Classic Raura, Peru Rhodochrosite specimen!
0.42 lb (192g) 4.2 x 3 x 1 inches (11 x 7.6 x 2.6cm)

This wonderful and exceptionally rare specimen comes from the old "Mineral
Museum" in Follansbee, West Virginia that was operated by the respected
rockhound Jim Smedley who made his collections during the 1950's into the
early 1960's. Jim wrote some excellent articles in the Rocks and Minerals
magazine during those years detailing his family cross country and foreign
country rock collecting trips filling the trunk of his old Studebaker with as many
specimens as the car would allow. We were lucky enough to obtain some
specimens from the old "Mineral Museum" collection and are keeping most of
them for our personal collection but we feel it is only fair to share some of
these treasures with our loyal customers as well!
(specimen comes with original Mineral Museum ID tag)
Rhodochrosite is a manganese carbonate mineral. In its rare pure form, it is typically a rose-red color, but
impure specimens can be shades of pink to pale brown. Rhodochrosite occurs as a hydrothermal vein mineral
along with other manganese minerals in low temperature ore deposits as in the silver mines of Romania where it
was first found.

Banded Rhodochrosite is mined in Capillitas, Argentina. Catamarca, Argentina has an old Inca silver mine that
has produced fine stalactite examples of Rhodochrosite that are unique and very attractive. Cut cross-sections
reveal concentric bands of light and dark rose colored layers. These specimens are carved and used for many
ornamental purposes.

The pink color of Rhodochrosite is created by the element manganese. Rhodochrosite is formed when
manganese which is dissolved by ground water combines with a carbonate mineral and then drips into deep
underground crevices and fissures.  Rhodochrosite may be found in Argentina, Peru, Colorado, Romania and
Quebec, Canada.

It is commonly found in the form of stalactites and stalagmites in the caves of Argentina.   Rhodochrosite (whose
name means rose-colored) often  forms pink and white bands. It is often carved into figurines or display
specimens while the tubular stalactite formations are often slabed for making cabochons for use in jewelry. Fine
gem quality crystals are sometimes faceted as gemstones for use in high end jewelry, but the more common
grade is used extensively in silver and gold jewelry, and is very popular for wire wrap applications.

Rhodonite, another pinkish stone, may be confused with Rhodochrosite because the pink color is similar, but the
difference is that rhodonite contains black manganese oxide patterns while Rhodochrosite is normally banded
with white and pink.

Rhodochrosite became the official state mineral for Colorado in 2002 after the Platte Canyon High School in
Bailey,Colorado made the proposal based on the fact that the Sweet Home Mine near Alma, Colorado
produces the highly prized and rare red crystals which are found only in a few places on earth.
Item# RSHM081600001
Rose Pink
hodochrosite on Matrix
from Sweet Home Mine

Rare "Sweet Home Mine" Rhodochrosite Specimen!
2.7 oz (78g) 2.7 x 1.2 x 0.89 inches (6.9 x 3 x 2.2cm)
This beautiful and exceptionally rare specimen comes from the old "Sweet Home Mine",
Mount Bross, Alma District, Park County, Colorado. This is a fine and gorgeous
specimen of Rhodochrosite on matrix with quartz, pyrite, and other minerals from the
Sweet Home mine. It's a really nice specimen with a gorgeous semi-clear gemmy crystal
of Rose Pink color Rhodochrosite. There are dozens of Rhodochrosite crystals on the
mass matrix on the opposite end of the specimen. This piece has been in our personal
collection for many years. The Sweet home mine (famous for its Rhodochrosite) is now
closed and has been reclaimed. Rhodochrosite finds were very limited during its
thirteen year operation.
Item# RHO011600001
Rose Pink and White  
Rhodochrosite Polished Face
Display Specimen from Argentina

Polished Face Argentina Rhodochrosite Specimen!
13.8 oz or 0.86 lb (393g) 3.8 x 2 x 1.3 inches (9.8 x 5.3 x 3.5cm)

This beautiful and exceptionally rare polished face specimen comes from the
old "McKinneys Gem Shop" in Spruce Pine, North Carolina. The Gem Shop
closed in 2006 a few years after the owner died. We were lucky enough to
obtain some specimens from the old Gem Shop collection from his son and are
keeping most of them for our personal collection but we feel it is only fair to
share some of these treasures with our loyal customers as well! Mr McKinney
was a miner from the Spruce Pine area and was very highly respected as the
local expert on gem and mineral identification. Many of his specimens are in
the North Carolina Museums. This piece is natural with a polished face.
It has a
thick felt pad on the bottom and sits upon a wooden stand. A very nice looking
display specimen. It has excellent color in a medium pink that has some
translucent areas and pink and white banding on the edges. Comes with
wooden base shown in photos
The large single gemmy crystal
measures 0.39 x 0.26 x 0.2 inches
(9.9 x 6.6 x 5mm)
Item# RSHM08160007
Rose Pink
Rhodochrosite on Matrix
from Sweet Home Mine

Medium Cabinet "Sweet Home Mine" Rhodochrosite Specimen!

This is a beautiful medium cabinet specimen of Rhodochrosite with quartz and
Chalcopyrite from the Sweet Home Mine (famous for its Rhodochrosite), Mount Bross,
Alma District, Park County, Colorado. The mine is now closed and has been reclaimed.
Rhodochrosite is a manganese carbonate. Its name means rose-colored and it is a very
attractive mineral with an absolutely one-of-a-kind, beautiful color. Although it is an ore
of manganese, its ornamental and display specimen qualities are what make it a very
popular mineral.

It measures 2
.7 x 2.5 x 1.7 inches (6.9 x 6.5 x 4.3cm) and weighs 10.4 oz or 0.65 lb
. The end mass surface area measures 1.8 x 1.6 inches (4.8 x 4.1cm).
This will make a great addition to your collection.
Item# RSILV08169053
Rhodochrosite on
Matrix from Si

Rhodochrosite Specimen on Matrix from Silverton, Colorado

This is a beautiful pink specimen of Rhodochrosite with quartz from the Silverton mining
area in San Juan County Colorado.
We procured this old stock specimen from a mineral
dealer at the Grassy Creek Gem & Mineral Show in Spruce Pine, North Carolina. This
specimen is in a 2" x 2" x 1" clear plastic display. It is glued to the styrofoam base as
was common through the  1970's. We have no further verified information about this
piece, but it looks to us like it is from the American Tunnel Mine area.

It measures 2
.1 x 1.1 x 0.6 inches (5.3 x 2.9 x 1.5cm) and weighs 1.7 oz (48g) including
the case
. This will make a great addition to your collection.
Item# RMM08169053
Rhodochrosite on Matrix
from M
onarch Mine

Rhodochrosite Specimen on Matrix from Monarch Mine, Colorado

This is a beautiful pink specimen of Rhodochrosite with Quartz and Galena from the
Monarch Mine (Mountain Monarch Mine), Ouray District (Uncompahgre District), Ouray
unty, Colorado. We procured this specimen from a mineral dealer in Quartzsite
Arizona in 2009
. This specimen has been in our collection for the last six years.

It measures 2.
3 x 1.8 x 1.4 inches (6 x 4.6 x 3.6cm) and weighs 3.3 oz (94g). This will
make a great addition to your collection.