Gem Profile- Ruby Fuchsite
by 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
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.


Nuggets of Ruby Fuchsite. Notice the blue-green halo around the fuchsia rubies. Private Collection - Dale Armstrong and Blades of Kyanite in their natural colors of green and blue. Private Collection - Dale Armstrong.
Dale Armstrong's Gem Profile- Ruby Fuchsite - , General Education, , Nuggets of Ruby Fuchsite.
Dale Armstrong's Gem Profile- Ruby Fuchsite - , General Education, , Blades of Kyanite in their natural colors of green and blue.
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 from Russia, showing kyanite inclusions. Private Collection - Dale Armstrong.
Dale Armstrong's Gem Profile- Ruby Fuchsite - , General Education, , Fuchsite cabochons from Russia, showing kyanite inclusions
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!


Left to right: Ruby Fuchsite, Ruby Zoisite, and Smaragdite from Chunky Gal Mountain, N.C. Private Collection - Dale Armstrong.
Dale Armstrong's Gem Profile- Ruby Fuchsite - , General Education, , Ruby Fuchsite, Ruby Zoisite, and Smaragdite from Chunky Gal Mountain, N.C.
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.


A Ruby Fuchsite Necklace made with Antique Brass and Rose colored craft wire by Tracey McKenzie
Dale Armstrong's Gem Profile- Ruby Fuchsite - , General Education, , Colorful Ruby in Fuchsite Necklace
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



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

Dale Armstrong's Gem Profile- Ruby Fuchsite - , General Education, , A Ruby Fuchsite Cabochon wrapped with Argentium Silver Wire
Resources

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:

www.wikipedia.org

Materials

Wire
Shop Now
Beads
Shop Now
Cabochons
Shop Now
Add All Items to Cart

Tools

WireJewelry - Ultimate Wire-Pliers Jewelry Pliers with Case, Set of 5
G15-20
  • G15-20
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $170.72
  • Gold Club Price: $128.04
Add to Bag
Bench Tools
Shop Now
Add All Items to Cart
  • Category: General Education
  • Technique(s): General Education