Dims: 0.9 x 0.9 x 0.8" (2.3 x 2.3 x 2.0 cm)
Wt: 18.5 g
Uruchaqua Mine, Ancash Department, Peru
This small thumbnail specimen consists of a cut section of a Rhodochrosite stalactite whose cut faces have been polished. It is in moderately fair condition, as there is considerable visible human-induced damage on its uncut surfaces. These natural faces show crystalline tendencies, but intense intergrowth prevented definite crystalline shapes from forming. One portion of these surfaces shows a dull, pink coloration and a matte luster, but most of it is covered with a dusting of some other mineral. This dusting thickens to form a definite crust in one area, and a small spot of damage to this crust reveals a mineral layer that has a moderately dark silvery-gray coloration and a metallic luster. This layer is also visible on the edges of the polished surfaces, but I do not know what mineral or metal it is. The "core" of the stalactite section is made up of several layers of semicrystalline Rhodochrosite that are separated by bands of paler, more massive material. Their color ranges from deep pink to a pale cream coloration that has a pink tinge. It is opaque as far as this piece is concerned, though if cut into thin slices, the material would likely be translucent.