Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Argentine Precious Stone

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Rhodochrosite is a manganese carbonate mineral with chemical composition MnCO3. In its (rare) pure form, it is typically a rose-red color, but impure specimens can be shades of pink to pale brown. Rhodochrosite is Argentina's "national gemstone".

Famed for its banding, ranging from light pink to bright red, Argentinian Rhodochrosite is a truly unique gemstone. In ideal specimens of this stone, the banding crosses the surface of the stone in a zigzag pattern, with a sharp contrast between colors.

Inca Rose
Throughout our trip in South America we saw several merchants selling the local semi-precious gem.  These images were taken at Buenos Aires International Airport while waiting for our return flight.

As you can see the gem can be carved into many shapes, including my favorite (you guessed it) - Penguin.

As with any gem, expect to pay a premium based on the quality of the stone used for the setting.   A decent grade stone used in an earring will cost around $125 US at most jewelers.  If you are looking for something special for yourself or a gift, you'll want to check these gems out during your visit.

Click on the image to the right for more Blog posts about this trip.

Related Album:

Inca Rose Gems

Additional photos can be found on our South America Shutterfly page

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