Sweet Home Mine, Mount Bross, Alma District, Park Co., Colorado, USA

Dimensions (H x W x D)

11 x 14 x 5 cm


Description & Provenance

Rhodochrosite is a cult classic among mineral collectors and is considered a staple in almost all world-class collections. Despite this, it is important to understand the many different crystal habits displayed by rhodochrosite and just how different any given specimen can look. With shapes that vary from rhombohedral, scalenohedral, botryoidal, bladed and even stalactitic, it is not its shape but its color that makes rhodochrosite so identifiable. Named by the Greeks, “rhodochrosite” means “rose-colored,” and is named aptly because rhodochrosites are always a variant of red, ranging from soft pink to the more coveted, deep crimson.

The Sweet Home Mine of Colorado was founded in 1873 for its silver but is famous today for having produced several of the most cherished rhodochrosite specimens known to the collecting community. The best Sweet Home rhodochrosites exhibit exceptional luster, a gem-like rhombohedral crystal habit, and an intense fire-engine red coloration. Sweet Home rhodochrosites have achieved international recognition as a cult classic and collector’s favorite in the mineral collecting community. Notably, the mine is no longer open, making these specimens incredibly rare and hard to come by. Notably, Sweet Home is home to historic rhodochrosite specimens including the “Alma King,” “Alma Queen,” and “the Sno-Cone.”

This specimen has dozens of sharply formed, rhombohedral rhodochrosite crystals, as well as perfectly formed, cubic fluorite crystals. Purple fluorite is a less common secondary mineral for the Sweet Home rhodochrosites. This example has the unusual and rare addition of fluorite yet has formed in such a way that still allows the rhodochrosites to have crystal isolation, showing off their form and color. Each species is beautifully expressed and prominent. This attractive and rare combination is a wonderful example of its historic locale and is sure to elevate any collection with its sensational colors and unusual combination.

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