The name Rhodonite comes from its colour, Rhodo being Greek for Rose.
The finest examples of this attractive gemstone come from the Tamworth area of New South Wales. It is also found in Tasmania, Queensland and Western Australia as well as various locations around the world.
Rhodonite is a manganese silicate, created by a geological process called regional metamorphism, during which time the oxidised manganese veins from which it was formed were recrystallised and replaced with silica.
This regional metamorphism took place around 300 to 400 million years ago.
Rhodonite can be found in two forms, crystalline or massive, both having a hardness around 5.5 to 6.5.
Rhodonite is most commonly used as a jewellery stone. It is also used extensively for carving and ornamental pieces. Historically, it has also been used as a building stone in many Russian palaces.
Today, the world wide resurgence in the use of stone for building has seen Rhodonite become a popular stone in furniture pieces, tiles and bench tops.