Often mistaken for more expensive gemstones like rubies or red beryl, rhodolite is coveted for its lovely and unique rose-pink color. This gemstone has gained popularity over the years due to its lovely appearance and affordability.
If you’re looking to add rhodolite jewelry or gemstones to your jewelry collection, then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ve got everything you need to know when buying your very own rhodolite piece.
- What is Rhodolite?
- Evaluating Rhodolite
- Treatments or Enhancements
- Rhodolite Durability
- Rhodolite Jewelry
- Rhodolite Pendants and Necklaces
- How to Spot a Fake Rhodolite
- Rhodolite Meanings and Uses
- How to Care for Rhodolite
- Where to Buy Rhodolite Jewelry
- Wrapping Up
What is Rhodolite?
Rhodolite, also called ‘rhodolite garnets’ is a member of the precious garnet family, composed of pyrope and almandine. Its name is derived from two Greek words: ‘rhodon’ meaning ‘rose’ or ‘rose like’ and ‘lithos’ meaning ‘stone’, referring to the color of the gem.
Rhodolite is often mistaken for other pink stones such as rhodonite, red beryl, ruby and rhodochrosite. However, not all rhodolite on the market is the same rosy pink. In fact, this gemstone is found in a variety of colors that vary from pink to a purplish-violet red.
While garnets have long been used in jewelry design dating back to the prehistoric times, the variety known as rhodolite was discovered only recently in the 1890s. William Earl Hidden, a mineralogist form Rhode Island first came across gem-quality rhodolite in North Carolina, USA. It was named after the rhododendron flower since the two are similar in color.
Rhodolite has also been found in various other countries including Brazil, Kenya, Norway, Mozambique and Norway but highest quality stones are mined in India, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.
When buying rhodolite jewelry, you can use the 4 Cs (cut, color, clarity and carat) to assess the quality of the gemstone.
Rhodolite is fairly easy to cut and is often done so into various shapes including cushions, ovals, trillions and emeralds, to name a few. The stone is typically faceted to enhance its brilliance, but it can also be cut into cabochons.
Princess cut rhodolite engagement ring by Stav Fine Jewelry. See it here.
Jewelers usually cut this stone into shapes and various cutting styles that would allow them to retain most of its weight from the rough.
Known for its gorgeous, natural and vibrant colors, rhodolite is commonly found in lighter shades of pink to lavender. However, raspberry-red rhodolite is the most desired and valued variant of the gemstone. Many jewelry lovers prefer to opt for rhodolite as an affordable alternative to more expensive gemstones such as the ruby.
Clarity is one of the most important factors to consider when evaluating the quality and value of a gemstone. It refers to the various types of inclusions, which are imperfections in the stone, and how they affect its quality. The less inclusions a gem has, the higher its clarity and price.
Fine quality rhodolite stones don’t have any inclusions that can be seen by the naked eye, but they’re far more brilliant and exhibit luster than those of lower quality. Rhodolite has a high refractive index which is responsible for its brilliance.
Found in all weights and sizes, rhodolite with less carat value is priced much lower than those with high carat value. As the size of the gemstone increases, the carat value and the price also increase quite dramatically.
Fine quality rhodolite has a medium tone and is well saturated. Its color is a strong pinkish-red, called the ‘Spirit Color’ by miners because of its resemblance to premium gasoline. Although these stones were commonly found in Tanzania in the 1980’s and 90’s, they’re now extremely rare. Their quality and rarity make them the most valuable and highly priced rhodolite stones.
Purple rhodolite by Toujourinclusive. See it here.
In general, the value of rhodolite depends on its color and rarity. The more purple and pink a rhodolite gemstone contains (which is difficult to come by), the more valuable it is. The price of darker rhodolite stones ranges from around $50-250 per carat and the rarer, crimson stones from $200-400 per carat. Bright purple rhodolite is the most expensive and a 10-carat stone can be as costly as $2000 per carat.
Treatments or Enhancements
Many gemstones undergo treatments and enhancements to improve their color or brilliance. However, rhodolite gems aren’t treated or enhanced in any way.
In 1997, jewelers tried treating rhodolite gemstones by heating them as part of an experiment which failed. The stones turned into ugly orange and brownish-red colors and some even developed a strange, metallic coating as a result after which jewelers decided to leave the stone in its natural state.
Ranking at 7-7.5 on Moh’s scale of hardness, rhodolite is a durable gemstone that’s suitable for everyday wear. It also has no cleavage (the tendency to break along its defined planes) which is why it’s easy for jewelers to cut in all shapes and styles.
However, small inclusions inside the stone can easily burst due to high heat or ultrasound, causing the gem to fracture. This is something you’d need to be careful about since even eye-clean stones can have tiny inclusions inside.
Due to its attractive look and durability, rhodolite has become a highly popular gemstone for jewelry use. It’s perfect for all jewelry types and is quickly become one of the most sought after go-to gems in the jewelry industry. Here’s a look at some popular jewelry designs featuring this beautiful gemstone.
Rhodolite earrings are great for adding a pop of color to your ensemble and look enchanting in any setting whether minimal or elaborate.
Beautiful rhodolite dangle earrings by Adita Gold. See them here.
White gold rhodolite stud earrings by Gem Stone King Store. See them here.
If you’re looking for something simple, yet delicate and feminine, a pair of rhodolite studs would be an excellent choice. You can opt for earrings with cabochons, faceted stones or just the gem in its original rough form. Rhodolite looks stunning and elegant in all types of earrings including drop earrings and chandeliers as well.
Rhodolite Pendants and Necklaces
Rhodolite drop pendant minimalist necklace by Thomas M Jewellery. See it here.
Since rhodolite is easy to cut and facet, it can be found in all types of necklaces: both simple and complex. If you’re going for a minimalist look, a simple necklace with a rhodolite pendant would be a great choice. However, if you’re after a more eye-catching look, a statement necklace could be the right one for you.
Rhodolite Engagement Rings
As a stone that’s symbolized love for thousands of years, rhodolite is an excellent gemstone for engagement rings. Its hardness of 7-7.5 on Moh’s scale makes it highly suitable for daily use. It’s also less prone to getting scratched and damaged especially if you’re careful with it.
Rhodolite and diamond tennis bracelet by Gem Stone King Store. See it here.
Rhodolite gemstone is a great choice for bracelets due to its high versatility and attractive look. A gorgeous tennis bracelet like this one showcases the color of the gemstone perfectly and would look stunning sitting on your wrist.
How to Spot a Fake Rhodolite
Sometimes, jewelers try to pass off fake rhodolite as genuine stones, so it’s important to be careful and know what to look for. Luckily, there are a few ways to tell the difference between a genuine rhodolite and a fake one.
The first thing you need to check is the color of the gemstone. The easiest way to identify a real rhodolite is by its rose-raspberry color. Its unique color sets it apart from other red or pink gemstones such as pink tourmalines and rubellite.
Rhodolite contains high amounts of manganese and iron which makes it magnetic. If you have a neodymium magnet on hand, you can use it to identify whether the stone is genuine or a fake. If it’s attracted to the magnet, you’ve got a real rhodolite.
Rhodolite Meanings and Uses
Rhodolite is known as a ‘stone of inspiration’, believed to bring feelings of love to its wearer. It’s also believed to enhance creativity as well as the ability to re-energize and purify your chakras. In the past, it was used as a protective talisman to keep its wearer safe from injury, a practice that some people continue to believe in today.
Rhodolite open eye protective amulet by Moon Honey BK. See it here.
Some people believe that wearing rhodolite jewelry gives courage and hope, while also strengthening one’s survival instincts. It’s considered a sincere, warm, trusting and loving stone that can increase energy levels wherever it’s placed.
It’s said that this gemstone has the ability to aid in treating certain disorders of the heart and lungs while enhancing sexuality and metabolism. It’s often used as a healing stone since it has positive healing energies and is also an important stone in meditation and divination.
Like all garnets that are associated with the first month of the year, rhodolite is the birthstone for January and for the Zodiac sign Aquarius. It’s also associated with the second wedding anniversary.
How to Care for Rhodolite
Although rhodolite is a durable gemstone, it can still crack or chip if dealt a hard blow. Taking good care of your rhodolite jewelry is important to maintain its beauty and you’ll be able to use it for a long time. The best part about this gemstone is that it requires very little care and won’t take up too much of your time. Here’s how to take care of your rhodolite jewelry.
- Clean your rhodolite jewelry regularly using a soft brush and mild soapy water. Rinse the soap off well once you’re done and dry it with a soft cloth. Remember to store it away from hard objects that can damage it or from softer stones that can get damaged.
- Never use heat to clean your rhodolite since this can ruin the color of the stone. The best way to clean it is to wash it by hand, so avoid placing it in ultrasonic cleaners as well.
- Keep your rhodolite away from harsh chemicals since these can damage the surface of the gem. We also don’t recommend swimming with your rhodolite jewelry on since chlorine can affect its appearance.
- If you’re indulging in physical activities like sports, cleaning or gardening, remember to take it off beforehand and never expose it to sudden temperature changes.
Where to Buy Rhodolite Jewelry
If you’re having trouble trying to find rhodolite jewelry at your local brick and mortar store, we recommend searching on online platforms, where you’ll have a wide range of products to choose from. As rhodolite isn’t a mainstream gemstone, you won’t typically find rhodolite jewelry at mainstream online stores either. We suggest searching on:
- Etsy – Famous for their high quality, hand-made products and excellent customer service, Etsy offers quite a range of unique rhodolite jewelry including engagement rings, necklaces, pendants and earrings.
- Amazon – Known as the largest online marketplace in the world, Amazon showcases a wide variety of rhodolite jewelry and gemstones in all shapes, sizes and designs.
When shopping online, remember to always communicate with the retailer and check out their policies. Check the images closely to make sure you know what you’re buying and go through customer reviews to gauge the quality of the product.
With its alluring beauty, rhodolite has been much sought after and valued by various cultures throughout history as a powerful healing stone possessing mystical abilities. It’s an excellent gemstone to add to your jewelry collection and you’ll find it’s easy to match with your clothes and most other jewelry items.
If you’re looking to spice up a simple outfit with a splash of color, rhodolite jewelry would be a stunning and affordable choice. To learn about other red gemstones, check out our comprehensive list here.