Here's a superb thumbnail specimen of RHODOCHROSITE from the Sweet Home Mine in Alma, Park Co., Colorado. I acquired this specimen at the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show. In October 2004 the Sweet Home Mine was closed, and the portal filled with tons of cement. Mine owner Brian Lees explained to me that the mineralized zone was totally mined out, and since there were no areas left to explore, the decision to close was sad but clear. Since then, the prices have skyrocketed to the point that if you see one at a show and there's no price marked, you probably can't afford to buy it. If you don't already have one of these classics, you probably want to act soon, as the price rises have accelerated, not slowed down, in the last few years.
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