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Appearance, Uses and History
Rutile is well known for forming needle like inclusions in other materials; especially Quartz, which is known as Rutilated Quartz.
These pieces are used as collectors specimens, or rarely, gemstones. Rutile actually cuts great faceted stones, but unfortunately the larger cuts appear opaque, which limits the size at which they can be cut.
Thin inclusions of Rutile needles are the cause of some interesting optical effects such as asterism in certain stones; including ‘star’ Sapphires.
Rutiles primary use is as an ore of Titanium, but it is also used industrially as a pigment for white paints and ceramic glazes.
Synthetic Rutile has been created, and they are sometimes used for jewellery. They are nearly colourless, with a yellow or brown tinge. They were for a time used as substitutes for Diamond!
The mineral was known as ‘red schorl’ in the past. This is likely due to its similarity to schorl when included, aka black Tourmaline. To be clear – rutile is not a form of schorl.
Rutile can be found in a range of locales worldwide as crystals or as inclusions, including parts of Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Czechia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Madagascar, Mexico, Mozambique, Namibia, Norway, Pakistan, Portugal, Russia, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, the USA, and Zambia.
Distinct crystals can occur too, with excellent specimens found across much of Europe and a few of the ‘usual suspects’ worldwide – Armenia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Madagascar, Namibia, Pakistan, Spain, Switzerland, the USA, and Zambia.
Photos of Rutile
Hazards and Warnings
Almost all rocks, minerals (and, frankly, almost all other substances on earth) can produce toxic dust when cutting, which can cause serious respiratory conditions including silicosis.
When cutting or polishing rocks, minerals, shells, etc, all work should be done wet to minimise the dust, and a suitable respirator or extraction system should be used.
Mandarin and Traditional Chinese: