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Article: Rutilated Quartz Benefits, Properties and Meanings

Rutilated Quartz Benefits, Properties and Meanings

Rutilated Quartz Benefits, Properties and Meanings

Rutilated quartz is a variety of quartz containing acicular inclusions. These needle-like inclusions are of rutile, which is a mineral containing titanium dioxide and often contains iron oxide, in various quantities.

Usually, inclusions decrease the value of a gemstone and for a long time, rutilated quartz was overlooked by miners and gem collectors. Nowadays though, rutilated quartz is highly sought after because of its inclusions!

These inclusions definitely kick an otherwise pretty gemstone up a notch and can add another dimension to an otherwise common gemstone.
Rutilated Quartz Rings

Golden Rutilated Quartz


These inclusions of rutile are often red/copper in color. This is where we get the name 'rutile', as it is derived from the Latin Rutilus, meaning 'ruddy'/'golden red'. The higher the iron oxide content, the more red/golden the strands of rutile will appear.

This is where the 'golden rutilated quartz' name came from. Not all rutilated quartz fit this description, however.

Golden Rutilated Quartz

Other Rutilated Quartz Varieties


The lower the iron oxide content, the darker the strands of rutile will be, with some even appearing to be dark blue/ black. These varieties will be known as 'black rutilated quartz' or 'blue rutilated quartz'.

The quartz crystals themselves vary in color. Some are clear and transparent, so-called 'clear quartz', while others may be opaque and foggy-looking, known as 'smokey quartz'.

The beauty of rutilated quartz is its unique appearances, where even the thickness of the rutile strands will vary. Some are exceptionally fine, very needle/syringe-like in appearance while others will be thicker, chunkier, and wider. 

The inclusions can be sparse or dense, some will cluster in star-like formations, not unlike a firework display, while others will be very scant and dispersed.

Rutilated Quartz Properties

Alternate Names of Rutilated Quartz

There are a few poetic names of rutilated quartz which reflect the beauty of this gorgeous gemstone, including 'Angel's Hair', 'Venus Hair' and 'Cupid's Darts'. These delightful descriptions all touch on a similar theme - That of love, beauty, feminine energy and ethereal romance.

These evocative connotations reveal an idyllic charm contained within the once-overlooked gemstone, neglected and discarded for decades until some enterprising miner found beauty and value amidst the rubble.


History of Rutilated Quartz

Rutilated quartz was usually unnoticed and excluded by gemstone aficionados and merchants. In ordinary circumstances, a gemstone's value will depend on how 'perfect' it is. Polished, inclusion-free, clear quartz crystals were what the market demanded.

Anything less than this was discarded and not regarded as having any value. This was for practical as well as aesthetic reasons, as quartz was often mined for use in lenses, which needed utmost clarity to be of any use.

This all changed in the twentieth century however when some Brazilian miners decided to take a risk and bring some of the rutilated quartz with them to Salvador. Rutilated quartz underwent a rags-to-riches transformation, quickly gaining popularity and making up for lost time.

No longer thrown out, miners and sorters would now be seeking the rutilated quartz gemstones as they became quite fashionable, especially for those who wished to stand out from the crowd with a truly unique piece.

 Rutilated Quartz Cuff

Properties of Rutilated Quartz

Quartz crystal are around a 7-7.5 on the Mohs hardness scale and have a slew of practical uses. This hardness makes quartz very scratch-resistant and durable, so it was used in optical lenses before glass-making was refined.

Still today quartz is used in making watches, UV lenses and for sharpening objects or sand-blasting. Quartz is a good electrical isolator, (as opposed to a conductor) so it can be used for that purpose too. In fact, the rutile strands within rutilated quartz are actually quite fragile, only surviving due to the layer of hardy quartz that envelopes them.


Rutilated Quartz Mining

Quartz is a very abundant material and can be found all over the world, especially in places where large basalt and rhyolite eruptions have occurred. Quartz is being mined in Brazil, the United States, China, Egypt, and Mexico among other countries and you will find rutilated quartz in areas where quartz is located.

Because Rutilated Quartz develops its metallic sheen only after exposure to light or heat, it has historically been used for a variety of ceremonial purposes because of its shining beauty. It was also used in trade by ancient tribes due to the demand for more attractive jewelry among women. Some tribal leaders would even expose the quartz to sunlight in order to make it appear more attractive to potential buyers.

Rutilated Quartz Earrings

Cutting rutilated quartz helps bring out the stone's beauty.  It can be a difficult stone to cut because the rutile intersects in different directions throughout the quartz.  There's a chaotic quality to it.  If you don't cut the stone correctly the rutile can look flat.  However, the rutile brightens with a well placed window or facet into the stone. 

We treat every gemstone we use in our jewelry with extreme care and you can create your very own made-to-order Rutilated Quartz piece from Variance here.


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