Not all gemstones are created equal. Some gems score high on cut and clarity while others draw attention due to their colour. In the family of sparkling gemstones, the rhodolite stands tall with its brilliance and distinctive beauty. Though not a precious gemstone, it is never short of dazzle and shine. Such is its beauty that it has made its place among the most coveted gemstones. Whether you are looking for rhodolite-studded gold rings and bangles or rhodolite pendants or bracelets in white gold, you can find plenty of them online and offline. Interested in knowing more about this semi-precious gemstone? Here is a complete guide to Rhodolite – its history, qualities, features, and information about buying and caring for the gemstone.
Rhodolite, sometimes referred to as rhodolite garnets, belongs to the garnet family. In chemical composition, this semi-precious gem is a mix of pyrope and almandine garnets. While common red garnets are of a deep red colour with a brownish tint, rhodolites are of a brighter and lighter red hue. The colour of this gemstone varies from rose-pink to purple-red to raspberry-red, owing to the presence of iron and chromium. This is a transparent gemstone and it is the lack of visible inclusions that further add to the allure of this crystal. On the Mohs scale, this gemstone scores 7.0 to 7.5. This makes it a pretty hard and durable gemstone which makes it suitable for making all kinds of jewellery. It is known as the stone of inspiration and emotional healing. This stone is believed to activate the root, heart, and crown chakras.
History of Rhodolite
The stone derives its name from the Greek word rhodon, which means rose coloured. It is named after the rhododendron flower. The history of this stone dates back to a long time. Travellers in ancient Rome, Egypt, and Greece wore this stone as a protective amulet against evil. Legend has it that Noah used this stone to guide his boat through the darkness of the night. In the Middle Ages, the stone was used as a protection against accidents. It was believed that the stone could stop bleeding. Do you know that until the nineteenth century, some tribes in Southwest America and Asia used to make bullets from this stone? People have also used this stone to ward off bad dreams.
Types of Rhodolite
If you have not heard about the different types of rhodolites, it shouldn’t be a surprise. Only some varieties of this crystal have been named commercially. Gemmologists don’t usually consider rhodolites as a specific sub-group of garnets in itself. Instead, they use the term to refer to garnets of rose, pink or rhododendron colour. Among the most well-known types is the Raspberry rhodolite. It has a purplish-pink colour that resembles the fruit. Grape-garnet is another popular variety of this stone. It displays an intense purple-red colour, similar to that of cabernet wine.
Birthstones and Anniversary Stones
Rhodolite is the birthstone for January and the Zodiac sign of Aquarius. The gemstone makes a traditional gift for second wedding anniversary.
Real Rhodolite vs Fake Rhodolite
The brilliance and colour of this stone make it quite popular among the jewellery enthusiasts. But you have to be careful while buying a rhodolite or you may land up with a fake one. Do not worry. There are a few ways to tell a real rhodolite from a fake one. The best way to identify a rhodolite is by its unique rose – raspberry colour, which will also help you set it apart from red garnets. You can also use strong neodymium magnets to identify these stones. Since they contain high concentrates of iron and manganese, they are easily attracted to the magnet.
How to Buy Rhodolite Jewellery?
This versatile stone can be used for almost all types of jewellery, such as rhodolite rings, bracelets, earrings, etc. It can also be worn in gold and silver settings. What makes this gemstone special is that normally it is not treated or enhanced in any way. When buying Rhodolite-studded jewellery, you should keep in mind the following factors:
Colour: Rhodolite is known for its vibrant natural colours. Common shades of the stone are not very dark. It is found in shades of pink through lavender. The rating of the colour is done in terms of intensity and saturation. Raspberry-red is the most desired and expensive variant of this stone.
Cut: Due to its transparent clarity, this stone is often cut into varied shapes. Ovals, trillions, cushions, and emeralds are among the most common shapes. Rhodolite is usually faceted to increase its brilliance. This stone also exists in cabochon form. Small sizes of this stone are relatively low in price.
Clarity: The value of your gemstone depends on its clarity. The more flawless it is, the higher the price. Fine quality Rhodolite does not exhibit any visible inclusions. Such stones do exhibit lustre. The brilliance of this stone is due to its high refractive index.
Carat: Rhodolites can be found in all sizes and weights. Stones with a low carat value (less than one carat) less expensive compared to those with a high carat value. As the size of the stone increases, the carat value and the price also increases dramatically.
How to Look After Your Rhodolite Jewellery?
Even though this gemstone is hard and durable, you have to take care of your rhodolite jewellery to maintain their beauty. The good part is that it requires little effort to look after them. Here are a few points to help you take care of your trinkets.
- Clean the crystal using a soft brush and warm soapy water at regular intervals. Always rinse the stone well after you wash it. Use a soft cloth to wipe it off after cleaning it.
- Avoid steaming your rhodolite in order to clean it. Ultrasonic cleaners are also not recommended for cleaning rhodolite jewellery.
- Do not expose your gemstone to sudden temperature changes.
- Protect your gemstone from hard blows.
- To increase the life of your gemstone-studded jewellery, avoid using any chemicals on them.
- Remember to take off your rhodolite bangles and rings before you indulge in any kind of physical labour, such as cleaning or gardening.
- Store Rhodolite jewellery away from other stones and jewelleries to avoid scratches. You can wrap your jewellery in a soft cloth and store them inside a fabric-lined box.
The beauty of rhodolite is alluring, to say the least. The guidelines given above will help you to buy and take care of your rhodolite jewellery with ease.