Rutilated quartz is a stone type almost exclusively used for gemstone designs and jewelry. This is because the stone type is valued for its unique inclusions of rutile. Inclusions in stones are typically not directly sought after, and are considered imperfections found within or around the stone when mined. Quartz is, however, a fairly inexpensive material, and very easy to mine. Inclusions range in so many mineral types you can hardly imagine the possibilities. Finding, and mining, rutilated quartz is somewhat more rare, and the appearance is unique enough to attract attention and gain interest.  

Quartz and feldspar are the two most common minerals in the earth’s crust. Coloring can range from nearly any shade imaginable, which is part of what makes them so accessible to all kinds of designers and beaders. Many of your favorite stone types belong to the quartz family, like amethystcitrineaventurine, or tiger’s eye. Quartz also has plenty of other uses besides jewelry and decoration. Quartz are used as regulators in radios and clocks-- this process harnesses the small electric charge in the crystal by applying heat and pressure. They is also a great solution for testing the hardness of other gems, as it is fairly common, and relatively hard when compared with other lower-priced gemstones. 

Rutile is a significantly special gemstone, because of its crystal formation. It grows in exceptionally thin, needle-like points. The stone is a titanium dioxide, which is why it appears to be incredibly shiny, as it is a metallic mineral. This can sometimes make the inclusions in the stones appear like bronze or gold. Typically, rutilation occurs in small threadlike strands, but these strands can bunch together into large, rope-like formations. Rutile grows in very straight threads that lace through the mineral. It has had several uses in art and ceramics as a metallic pigment. Rutilation is not limited to quartz, and is quite common in ruby and sapphire, which is a type of corundum. This combination is more rare simply because rubies and sapphires are more rare stones than quartz. 

A safety tip is that it is dangerous to drill, sand, or chipping quartz of any variety. If you chose to work with raw quartz, please make sure you are wearing the proper respirators and work in a ventilated area that is easily cleaned.


Michele King

Date 2/24/2020

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