CALCITE (var. MANGANOAN)
HISTORY, NAME, LOCALITIES: Calcite, pronounced CHAL-site, has been known since antiquity and is the most abundant carbonate mineral. The name is derived from the Greek chalx, meaning “lime” or any white, calcareous mineral. The term “manganoan,” pronounced man-gah-NOH-an, indicates the presence of the accessory element manganese, which is a powerful chromophoric (color causing) agent. Manganoan calcite is found in the Czech Republic, China, Argentina, Mexico, Japan, South Africa, Peru, Romania, Bulgaria, and the United States (Arizona, California, Colorado, Utah, Wisconsin).
MINERALOGY, PROPERTIES, OCCURRENCE: Manganoan calcite [calcium carbonate, CaCO3] contains varying amounts of the accessory element manganese that imparts a distinctive, subtle pink color. The physical properties of manganoan calcite are the same as those of calcite. It crystallizes in the hexagonal (trigonal) system, usually as rhombohedrons, scalenohedrons, and prisms. It has a Mohs hardness of 3.0, perfect cleavage in three directions to form rhombohedrons, and a specific gravity of 2.7-3.0. The soft pink color of manganoan calcite is diagnostic. Manganoan calcite is actually an intermediate member of the calcite-rhodochrosite solid-solution series. Calcite forms in many mineralogical environments; when manganese is present, it often crystallizes as the manganoan variety.
METAPHYSICAL PROPERTIES, LORE, USES: Metaphysical practitioners believe that manganoan calcite is a stone of peace and well-being that enhances self confidence, self esteem, compassion for others, and the ability to cope with emotional trauma.
COLLECTORS’ INFORMATION: Collectors value manganoan calcite for its range of delicate, soft pink colors and often use specimens for display purposes.