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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Rhodonite vs. Rhodolite Gemstone

Garnet is a popular beaded jewelry component and has been used since the bronze age as an ornamental gemstone. The color range of garnets run from reds to greens.

Rhodonite Gemstone Beaded Necklace (N071)
The rhodonite gemstone is a stone of grace, elegance and gets its' name from the Greek word for rose, rhodon.

Giving rhodonite its' distinctive appearance are black manganese oxide veins running through its' beautiful muted rose-pink color.

This uniqueness in its' coloring is why rhodonite is carved into beads and ornamental objects. In 18th century Russia, it was used extensively for decorating the Russian court.

Rhodonite is mined in the United States, Brazil, India, and Russia and is the official gem of Massachusetts.

Rhodolite comes from the garnet family and is a mixed crystal of almandine and pyrope. It, too, gets its' name from the Greek word "rhodon", meaning rose.

Rhodolite Garnet Gemstone Beaded Bracelet (B124)
The rhodolite garnet generally features a magnificent velvety red with a fine violet or raspberry-red undertone. This "purple-red" color is the most sought after color for rhodolite.

This coloration and the commonly inclusion-free nature of the rhodolite garnet has led to it being used as a semi-precious gemstone.

Rhodolite is a beautiful stone that tends to be lighter in color than most other kinds of red garnet. It can easily be confused with ruby because of the similarity in color. However, rhodolite garnet is not artificially enhanced in any way.

Originally found in the USA, it now comes mainly from the gemstone mines in East Africa, India and Sri Lanka.

A fun-fact about rhodolite garnet:
At the auction of the Estate of Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis at Sotheby's in 1996, a striking cabochon garnet flower brooch from the 19th century was sold for $145,000.


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