One of the most unusual crystal specimens I’ve ever seen on display is the Alma Rose rhodochrosite at the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals in Hillsboro. This extravagantly beautiful specimen boasts five large rhodochrosite crystals, speckled with yellowish calcite deposits. Almost pure MnCO3, they have a deep pink, almost cherry-reddish coloring and are shaped like tilted rectangles (rhombohedrons). It sits innocuously, protected by a glass case, in the basement of the house originally occupied by Richard and Helen Rice, who were avid rock collectors. The ranch-style house is listed on the National Registry for Historic Places and considered the Northwest’s finest rock and mineral museum.
Alma Rose’s companion, the Alma King, both mined from the Sweet Home Mine in Alma, Colorado, resides in the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and is the largest known sample, almost perfect in its rhombohedric symmetry.