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Fake vs Real Rhodonite

Are you unsure if your Rhodonite is real? Is it a fake being passed off as the real deal? Is it Rhodochrosite? Is it another stone altogether? Let's learn to pick out real Rhodonite crystals for your collection. 

Watch the video on Real vs Fake Rhodonite to see examples and read below for even more tips and tricks. 

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pink tumbled stones in hand wearing bracelets

How can you tell if your Rhodonite is real?

The best way to know if your Rhodonite is real is to buy from a reputable seller who knows what they are selling you.

Luckily, most real Rhodonite is not treated or dyed. However, you may find vendors passing off other materials like polymer clay, glass, or resin dyed to look like Rhodonite as a real gemstone, so the more you know, the better!

If you do not have access to a reputable seller, here are some tips to follow to tell if your Rhodonite is real: 

  • Real Rhodonite is a 5.5-6.5 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness. This makes it harder than stainless steel. It will not be scratched by stainless steel (which is a 5 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness). Use your steel keys, knife, or scissors to scratch the surface of the stone. It should not scratch. You could also try this test with an Apatite crystal which is a 5 on the scale. Keep in mind that if Rhodonite is growing with a harder stone like Quartz, it won't scratch as easily. 

  • Real Rhodonite will never have air bubbles. Air bubbles are an indication of glass. Use a magnifying jeweler's loupe to help you see into the stone.

  • Real Rhodonite will have inclusions. Notice the mineral inclusions, veins, craters, dips, and imperfections in your stone. You may not find these in a fake. 

  • Real Rhodonite may be magnetic. If there are iron, aluminum, copper, or magnetite inclusions in your stone, your Rhodonite could be magnetic. 

  • Real Rhodonite will always have a white streak. Despite its outwardly gray appearance, Real Rhodonite will have a white or very pale pink powder in the crystal streak test

  • Real Rhodonite has a stable color. Testing with acetone should not remove any color from the stone. 

  • Real Rhodonite has a specific gravity between 3.4 and 3.7. Here is a video on how to measure your stone's density at home. 

  • Real Rhodonite does not react with hydrochloric acid. It should not bubble or fizz like carbonate stones. 

  • Real Rhodonite has a weak birefringence. For this, you need a polarized light. Birefringence means the stone will show different colors or color intensities under different angles of light. Rhodonite will show little to no doubling of the image. 

  • Real Rhodonite has a single refraction. This test requires a dichroscope which shows if stones remain consistent in one color or are split into two separate colors. Rhodonite will show one consistent color. 

  • Real Rhodonite has a refractive index range of 1.73 to 1.76. This test requires a refractometer. 

None of these tests are conclusive in themselves. If you are still unsure, you can send your Rhodonite to a certified gemological laboratory for testing. You can also find additional tips in the Crystal Identification Help.

rhodonite and rhodochrosite

What's the difference between Rhodonite and Rhodochrosite?

Rhodonite and Rhodochrosite are often confused because of their pink tones and veined exterior. They are both colored pink by Manganese but Rhodonite is a silicate and Rhodochrosite is a carbonate. To tell the difference between Rhodonite and Rhodochrosite, follow these tips.

Here are some ways to tell Rhodonite and Rhodochrosite apart: 

  • Rhodonite may have black veins whereas Rhodochrosite has white or gray veins.

  • Rhodonite may have random veins, but Rhodochrosite shows layers and bands.

  • Rhodonite is a 5.5-6.5 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness while Rhodochrosite is softer at 3.5-4. Rhodonite will easily scratch Rhodochrosite. Rhodonite will scratch Apatite (a 5 on the scale) while Rhodochrosite will not. 

  • Rhodonite will not react in hydrochloric acid whereas Rhodochrosite, being a carbonate, will react. You will see small bubbles fizzing off the Rhodochrosite in warmed hydrochloric acid. This is a destructive test and you must have proper protective gear when performing it. 

  • Rhodonite may have chatoyancy while Rhodochrosite is never chatoyant.

  • Rhodonite's manganese oxidization can make the whole stone look black whereas Rhodochrosite's oxidization from iron inclusions makes the stone look darker pink. 

  • Rhodonite will display weak birefringence while Rhodochrosite will have high birefringence. This test must be done through a pair of polarizing filters and will give you double images when you rotate the filters if birefringence exists. 

  • Rhodonite is usually less expensive than Rhodochrosite.

The translucent, deep-colored Rhodonite and Rhodochrosite can be the hardest to tell in terms of outward appearance. You will have to go deeper and use more scientific tests to determine what stone you have.

Is there Synthetic Rhodonite?

Scientists do create Synthetic Rhodonite for different research purposes and some of this has leaked into the gemstone market. If you search for "Synthetic Rhodonite" online, you may come across some listings that look very similar to the real thing.

These synthetics are usually the common opaque pink and black version of the stone rather than the high-end translucent pinks. It is not clear if they are laboratory recreations or if they are other materials being passed off as Rhodonite. 

What is pressed Rhodonite?

Some vendors pass off pressed Rhodonite as a naturally occurring stone. This can be scraps of Rhodonite, sometimes dyed, pressed into Quartz, or other material.

There is nothing wrong with pressed Rhodonite if it is labeled correctly and you know what you are buying. For example, our Rhodonite coaster chargers are real pieces of Rhodonite encased in resin for stability. 

rhodonite, pink opal, jasper, rhodochrosite bracelets

Is it Rhodonite or another stone?

Vendors could also be mislabeling, naively or deceptively, other stones as Rhodonite. Besides Rhodochrosite, here are other natural stones you want to rule out when wanting to purchase Rhodonite: 

Bustamite is a different mineral species than Rhodonite but is sometimes labeled as calcium-rich Rhodonite. It is usually a lighter pink color than Rhodonite and has a lower refractive index. 

Pink Wood Jasper is a pink laced with yellow and tan inclusions that is often falsely sold as Haitian Flower Rhodonite or Rhodochrosite. 

Pink Coral may have a similar pink to Rhodonite but often leans toward more of an orange tone. 

Pink Feldspar is usually lighter pink and lacks the black veins. 

Pink Opal shares soft pink tones with Rhodonite but rarely has any banding. 

Pyroxmangite is indistinguishable from Rhodonite without complex tests. Its birefringence index is different though. 

Rhodolite or Rhosolite Garnet have rosy pink to purplish red hues corresponding to Rhodonite's color ranges but are much harder stones. 

Sakura Rhodonite, Sakura Rain Rhodonite, or Ice Rhodonite, is pink Rhodonite suspended in clear Quartz. Beware when buying as much of this material is fake or dyed. 

Thulite which is usually not associated with black manganese oxides. It is an opaque, pink variety of Zoisite found in Norway and can be distinguished by its streaks or spots of white Quartz. 

Shop Real Rhodonite Stones

The power of real Rhodonite can never be replaced by fakes. Go ahead, try it for yourself. Here are a few real stones from the Satin Crystals' Rhodonite Collection to add to your treasures.

Additional crystal resources for you

Disclaimer: The metaphysical information provided is for entertainment only. See full disclosure.

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