Gem Profile May 27: Ruby Fuchsite

By on May 26, 2011
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip for
May 27, 2011

Ruby Fuchsite

Ruby Fuchsite Nuggets

Nuggets of Ruby Fuchsite. Notice the blue-green halo around the fuchsia rubies. Private Collection - Dale Armstrong

This week’s featured gem or rock is Ruby Fuchsite, which is another stone that Cathy Whitten used in her Ruby Zoisite & Ruby Fuchsite necklace, which you can see on our Featured Wire Artist of the Month: May 2011 page.

Ruby Fuchsite is a gem-rock that is composed of at least two, but most often three or more different minerals. (I use the term “gem-rock” to identify rocks that contain more than one mineral, and are used in jewelry, as opposed to gems, which by definition, only contain one mineral) The silvery-green matrix material that contains the bright fuchsia and pink corundum/ruby is actually a form of muscovite or mica. Pure muscovite is silvery-white that obtained its color from the mineral chromium during its formation deep in the earth, termed fuchsite. This is why items made from Ruby Fuchsite are often a lighter green than most Ruby Zoisite pieces. The lovely blue and green hues of kyanite are also present in most fuchsite, sometimes appearing as streaks, but most often surrounding the trapped corundum with a marine-colored halo. Muscovite is fascinating as a common, rock-forming mineral, that we may address at a later date.

Kyanite Blades

Blades of Kyanite in their natural colors of green and blue. Private Collection - Dale Armstrong.

Fuchsite plays an important part in many materials used in the lapidary arts. The mottled dolomite material called Mariposite, named for where it was first found in California, owes its green colors to fuchsite, and when white or clear quartz contains fuchsite, we call it Aventurine! Jewelry makers may sometimes be able to find designer-style cabochons made of a more pure fuchsite, but beware! This material is extremely fragile due to its layered or, schist-like composition.

Fuchsite Cabochons

Fuchsite cabochons from Russia, showing kyanite inclusions. Private Collection - Dale Armstrong.

As I promised last week, here is a photo comparing the three materials that can often be confused for one another. As you can see, when they are put side-by-side, there can be no mistake!

Compare Ruby Fuchsite, Ruby Zoisite, and Smaragdite

Left to right: Ruby Fuchsite, Ruby Zoisite, and Smaragdite from Chunky Gal Mountain, N.C. Private Collection - Dale Armstrong.


The “jewelry grade” Ruby Fuchsite that has become popular with jewelry makers most often comes from mines in India. However, this material is also found in several other locations such as Brazil, North America, parts of Russia and Pakistan.

Tracey McKenzie's Colorful Ruby in Fuchsite Necklace

A Ruby Fuchsite Necklace made with Antique Brass and Rose colored craft wire by Tracey McKenzie

A Fuchsite Cabochon wrapped with Argentium Silver Wire by Becky Davis.

A Ruby Fuchsite Cabochon wrapped with Argentium Silver Wire by Becky Davis.

With fuchsite having a Mohs hardness of 2 to 3 and ruby scaling a 9, this is a very difficult material to polish, especially into cabochons that are calibrated. Even though fuchsite containing ruby can be softer, and sometimes a bit less stable than other gem-rocks, overall ruby fuchsite can be a lovely material to work into wire jewelry designs.

Over these past two weeks, I have offered you a bit more information on two different “gem-rocks” that each may host an actual”gemstone.” The gemstone profile for next week will feature that gemstone, corundum, and its wonderful variations.


Book Resources:

  • Minerals of the World by Walter Schumann,
    ISBN 0-8069-8570-4
  • Gem and Lapidary Materials by June Culp Zeitne, ISBN 945005-24-5

Internet Resources:

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  1. avatar

    Rachel Ison

    May 28, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    Great article! Can’t wait for the next one! Thanks.

  2. avatar

    Susan Neri

    December 1, 2011 at 12:48 am

    I love Ruby zoisite. I saw some very nice pieces at a gem show a couple of years ago. Of course I could not afford them. Has this beautiful stone become more affordable?

    • avatar


      December 2, 2011 at 4:19 pm

      Really Susan, it depends on where you shop for stones. Often a rock/lapidary shop will be more affordable than a bead store and gem shows usually have better prices than bead shows.