Rhodonite - "orletz" ("The Eagle - stone").
There is a remarkable semiprecious stone of red colour in
the Urals which we are definitely proud of, a stone of great decorative
meaning - it is the rhodonite.In the middle of the XVIII century in 20
kilometers from Ekaterinburg, near the village of Maloe Sidelnikovo a
rich deposit of this wonderful pink - red stone was discovered and called
"orletz" ("The eagle stone") by the local inhabitants. None of the world
deposits (Sweden, USA, Australia) could ever compete with this one. For
more than 150 years large blocks of this beautiful semipresious stone
rohich weighed up to 47 tons have been extracted from the Sidelnikovo
Rhodonite is a silicate of manganese,
formed under special conditions on the contact of magma with rocks,
rich in manganese. Deposits of pure mineral rhodonite are fen and rare
and in stone - carving business a sort of rhodonite rock "orletz" is
used, which consists of a large number of different manganese minerals.
The colour of the "orletz" is pink, cherry - pink or raspberry-pink,
sometimes purplish. Being mostly nontransparent it is in fact finely
translucent, which adds to its depth and peculiar bright colour. In large
blocks of "orletz" extraordinary nice "nests" can occur - of bright red
colour looking like rubies.
A special peculiarity
of "orletz" are dark - black veins of oxides of manganese, forming a
complicated ornament of needles, grasses and tree - branches, on the pink
or cherry - pink background of the stone.
In should be
born in mind, that at the present moment the Sidelnikovo rhodonite deposit
is completely worked out. What is more, rhodonite has already been extracted
out of the stags and waste - heaps around the quarry, and the quarry it
self has been recultivated. On the place where the quarry and the stags
used to be there is a field now.