You’ve seen how rhodochrosite can grow in bright red transparent crystal clusters. This photo shows the botryoidal form of rhodochrosite. It looks like bubbles of lava coming to the surface. In actuality, the word botryoidal comes from the Greek word meaning “cluster of grapes.” It does kind of look like that doesn’t it? There are lots of minerals and gems that grow in a botryoidal form, I think my favorite is malachite.
According to Wikipedia, botryoidal minerals form when many nearby nuclei, specks of sand, dust, or other particles, are present. Layers of mineral material are deposited radially around the nuclei. As more material is deposited, the spheres grow larger and eventually overlap with those that are nearby. These nearby spheres are then fused together to form the botryoidal cluster.
Author: Michelle M. Rahm is a GIA-trained Graduate Gemologist and is President of Colorado’s Mile High Chapter of the GIA Alumni Association. She has been selling gemstones and jewelry online since 1997. Visit her websites JewelryImpressions.com and OurCustomWeddingRings.com