Celebrating the chromatic splendor of the crystalline world
Rhodochrosite Book Now Available Posted: 09/04/2014

Click to buy my book.


Due to age and infirmity I have determined that it is simply not reasonable to continue maintaining the large (and heavy) inventory necessary to continue a show schedule and website. My back has complained loudly with two surgical interventions and more to come. I still maintain a small, local, storefront retail business however.

For the last few years I have spent increasing time curating my own personal collection of Rhodochrosites, my favorite since day one. The first specimen I purchased as a collectable in 1965 was a Silverton Rhodochrosite, purchased from Lloyd Allison in Durham, NC, when I was still a student. It is still one of my favorites. But the collection has inevitably expanded now to well over 1000 pieces from 182 localities with 92 minerals in association. Several mineral friends have suggested that I document the collection on-line. But, having missed the cut for the technology revolution, I prefer the familiar feel of a real book. As so, I have recently published a commentary on the collection but also an attempt to put forth a comprehensive treatise on the species as it has revealed itself to me.

The book is titled Rhodochrosite: Crystals of Drama and Nuance and is available through the on-line publishing company of Blurb.com (www.Blurb.com). A direct link to the site follows. You may click on the link, or copy and paste this to your browser, to take you directly to the order page: http://www.blurb.com/b/4541789-rhodochrosite.

My purpose with the book is to outline the available information, as it stands now, with the amateur collector in mind. There is therefore some restraint in such highly technical fields as the Geology and Crystallography of Rhodochrosite, as fascinating as they actually are. The intent is to avoid unfamiliar terms and to smooth over the complexities in an effort to convey the information in a readable style, and only as it applies to the species and the needs of the collector. Some amazing facts are made reference to but only in the setting of a specimen that illustrates the topic.

For example, I don't believe that the fact that Rhodochrosite is so restrained with regard to twin crystals is widely realized. After all, it is isomorphic with Calcite, a recognized champion in twin examples. Yet true contact (or penetration) twins of Rhodochrosite have been described only once, from the amazing diversity of specimens from Mount Saint-Hilaire, Canada. So the subject of twinning is raised in regard to illustrations from that locality from the collection. This makes the subject personal and accompanied by pertinent illustration in terms of an actual specimen which displays it. Furthermore that picture is always on the same page. A major effort has been made to be sure that the discussion is right beside the example in every case. (No more thumbing through the book to find figure 123 on Plate VI). In this particular case, the subject of twinning also comes up in the discussion of the trigonal pinacoid termination, a habit absolutely unique to Mount Saint Hilaire.

So, again, the topic is illustrated by a specimen which exhibits it, on the same page. And, finally, twins resurface in the context of lamellar twinning, which, unlike penetration twinning, is rather common. That fact is mentioned in association with a superb example of lamellar twinning from the Uchucchacua mine, Peru (on the same page). Finally, there is even a surprise, new, revelation about twinning on page 117.

I believe the reader will take away a better idea of Rhodochrosite crystal habits when the subject is illustrated. Of course, since there are a lot of peculiarities of the species besides twinning (color variations, common color-zoning in contrast to the near-absence of colored phantoms, rarity of scepters, commonness of stalactites from localities you never imagined, oddly rare association with copper carbonates, common association with Fluorite - except for the continent of Africa, prevalence of association with clear Quartz but extreme rarity with Amethyst or Smoky Quartz, and many, many others). All of these are discussed with photos of what I hope are unusually spectacular examples; on the same page. Naturally this requires some juggling of text and a lot of photos (376 of them). But I hope it makes for an informative, yet readable, tour through the wonder of this stunningly beautiful species, made more intriguing by the diversity of imperfection. There is much, much more to Rhodochrosite than the admittedly perfect crystals from Sweet Home mine. And they are affordable! Imagine that.

A review of the book was recently published in Rocks and Minerals, September/October, Volume 89, number 5, by Robert Cook. I have reproduced that review here.

I love talking rocks, especially rhodochrosites and I am interested in any and all peculiarities of the species. If you have a rare locality or crystal or specimen, I would love to hear from you. I welcome questions about any particular pieces you may have wondered about. Simple write me directly at wslogan@carolina.rr.com.

Rhodochrosite Book Now Available Posted: 09/04/2014

Bill Logan, Spectrum Minerals
1360 Betsy Drive
Charlotte NC 28211

All contents copyright SpectrumMinerals.com unless otherwise stated.