DIRK WIERSMA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DIRK WIERSMA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
The rose-red mineral in this sample is rhodochrosite, a manganese carbonate mineral (MnCO3) most often occurring in medium temperature, hydrothermal veins associated with copper, silver and lead sulphides or other manganese minerals. It is also fairly common as a sedimentary mineral in the oxidation zone of sulphide deposits or as a precipitate from hydrothermal solutions. It is used as an ornamental stone and, when occurring in large enough quantities, as a source of manganese.Intergrown with the rhodochrosite are veins of pyrite, the metallic, glossy mineral also known as fool's gold. Pyrite is a crystalline form of iron sulphide (FeS2), one of the most abundant sulphides on earth, used as an iron ore as well as in the manufacture of sulphuric acid. See coin for scale.
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