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What is Rutilated Quartz?

Diane Goettel
Updated Jun 04, 2024
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Rutilated quartz is quartz stone with rutile enclosures. Rutile is a mineral that is made up mostly of titanium dioxide, or TiO2. As a mineral, it's very high on the refractive index and disperses more than almost any other mineral. This means that, when it appears in other minerals, it almost always appears in long, thin shots of color. Rutilus is, in fact, the Latin word for red, and the mineral gained its name because some specimens are a lovely deep red color. It can also appear in brown and gray tones.

Quartz is one of the most common mineral on Earth, and it makes up over 10% of the planet's crust. Furthermore, quartz is quite widespread and can be found in almost every geographical environment. It is understandable that such an abundant mineral comes in a number of variations. These include rose quartz, smoky quartz, and rutilated quartz. Members of quartz family can be found as far apart as Brazil, Madagascar, Australia, Norway, Kazakhstan, and Pakistan. It can also be found in the United States, where many mountain ranges contain large deposits.

When rutile appears within quartz, it often appears as needles of included color. In some examples, the stones look as if they are filled with gold fibers. The rutile inclusions in many pieces are all on the same axis. Because of this, each individual rutile strand is visible, and the effect is often considered to be uniquely beautiful. Venus hair stone, Fleches d’amour, and Cupid’s darts are names associated with this type of stone.

Rutile and quartz have different levels of hardness on the Mohs scale, so rutilated quartz can be difficult to smooth properly so that it can be set in jewelry. For this reason, some specimens are pitted on the surface. Prized examples of this stone often include complete rutiles that are entirely encased in quartz. In these stones, the rutile does not extend past the barrier of the quartz edge, and can therefore be properly polished.

Some earth-based faiths believe that gemstones contain certain spiritual and healing properties. In this arena, rutilated quartz is believed to bring forth a person's personal strengths, empower originality, and help individuals to relate to others. It is also believed to relieve feelings of loneliness and depression.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Diane Goettel
By Diane Goettel
"Diane Goettel has a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MA in English from Brooklyn College. Diane lives in Mount Vernon, New York with her husband, Noah. They are the proud parents of a Doberman Pinscher named Spoon. Specialties: book editing, book marketing, book publishing, freelance writing, magazine publishing, magazine writing, copywriting,"
Discussion Comments
By anon259494 — On Apr 06, 2012

We have on offer 500 pounds of rutilated quartz. Our rough stones are the size of Idaho potatoes and are practically filled with criss-cross strands of red-saffron rutile threads. They are good gem grade. What is a good price for these roughshod from India?

By anon149941 — On Feb 06, 2011

What's more valuable: Rutilated quartz that is generally clear in most parts and has thick, defined rutiles, or the kind that's practically filled with thin threads crisscrossing inside?

By anon134994 — On Dec 16, 2010

Worth about $20 a carat.

By anon34802 — On Jun 28, 2009

Is there much value in rutilated quartz? I have one about the size of my hand and I wonder is it valuable?

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel
"Diane Goettel has a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MA in English from Brooklyn College. Diane lives in Mount...
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