Daily Wire Tip Nov. 18: Red Ruby Quartz

By on November 18, 2009
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip
November 18, 2009


Are Red Ruby Quartz just man made glass beads, and will they stain the clothes?


I am so glad you asked this question, as a few friends have emailed me with this same one: What is Red Ruby Quartz? Every year there is always at least one new sensation at the gem shows in Tucson which spreads across the continent and in the bead category this year we all fell instantly in love with those gorgeous red beads! Some of these ruby colored beads have even been irradiated so they appear to color change depending on the light. I remember several years ago when ‘strawberry quartz’ hit the markets and those of us involved with rocks and minerals know that there really is a ‘strawberry’ quartz, but also that it is a rare find and wondered how some much of it could appear at such low prices. Glass. Then came Pineapple and Cherry ‘quartz’. I am sorry to report that the latest ‘Red Ruby’ quartz is also glass.

As far as full disclosure goes, glass is made of silica which is a form of quartz and therefore foreign manufacturers can call such material ‘quartz’. This is a really great color though and as we know, true ‘red’ is difficult to come by in rocks and minerals.

Answer contributed by Dale `Cougar` Armstrong

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  1. avatar

    Jessie Adams

    November 19, 2009 at 1:54 am

    Everything goes in cycles. I have several strands from my mum’s estate that belonged to her mum that were actually dyed rock crystal. Considered costume back then (ah those were the days) I am hazarding a guess that they used the same technique that they use for Thunderegg aka agate slices and Geodes that are coming out of SA; ie they are taking the material and putting it into a dye vat under about two tons of pressure.
    If anyone has any more info about the process please speak up
    Have fun!
    J MacD. Adams

  2. avatar


    November 19, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    You did not answer the orignal question which was does ruby red quartz stain clothes

    • avatar


      November 21, 2009 at 11:10 am

      Oops! Sorry, and thanks for reminding me Harry. This material is colored glass, not a dyed natural ‘quartz’ stone. No the ruby red ‘quartz’ does not stain clothing or skin but I would caution my customers not to wear it in the shower, or in a chlorine situation such as a pool or hot tub, as chemicals can perform tricky reactions to many jewelry items.

  3. avatar


    November 20, 2009 at 9:15 am

    I have heard of others buying “dyed” glass beads and having the color come off on clothing and skin. Someone recommended giving the beads a bath in soapy water to see of any dye did in fact leech out of the beads. As for the ruby quartz, I have seen it as well, done in graduated faceted rondels and wow, it did pop under flourescent lighting, having the look of rich rubies. Didn’t buy any though, since, as Dale said, no such thing available. But if you need a red and don’t mind using glass, it definately is an eyecatcher.

  4. avatar

    maureen nolin

    November 20, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    thanks all~ I have had a Native American trading post for over 20-yrs. & got loving & carrying SO many stones,books,beads plus beaucoup Native American items & some artifacts & antiques.This question has always been on my mind & others ask me yet I could find no answers-well,here it all is-Thanks & Happy Thanksgiving-you are great!!!Blessings*** Moe & bryan

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