Rhodochrosite, from the Greek "rodon" (pink) and "chroos" (color), is a mineral belonging to the calcite group. Crystals are scarce and not very distinct with three cleavage directions parallel to the main faces of the rhombohedron; most commonly it occurs in granular masses. Chemically it is a manganese carbonate and is a highly sought-after mineral for the extraction of this element. The color is flesh-pink, intense pink (this coloring is generally noticed when the mineral is fresh, just extracted, because it stains black or brown by alteration when it is exposed to the air), variegated with bands alternating with gray-white areas. It is translucent, opaque and has a vitreous-fat lustre tending to pearly.
It is found associated with silver, copper and lead. It is very abundant in the United States; it is also found in Russia, in southern Spain near Huelva, in Hungary, in Romania, in Germany. Important deposits are the ones in Capillitas, Argentina, where rhodochrosite is known as the "rose of the Incas".
Rhodochrosite is widely used for the manufacture of artistic objects such as vases, boxes, figurines that are of great effect.