What is Rutile?
The first mineral we're looking at is Rutile. From the profile last week, we learned the rutile creates chatoyancy within a stone and is responsible for the stars, or asterism, in stones as well. Rutile is composed of titanium dioxide which is a main component of refractory ceramics, titanium metal, and the bright white pigment used in plastics and other items that are bright white in color. Interestingly enough, it is also used in sunscreen due to its ability to absorb ultraviolet (UV) light. So, rutile has a base of titanium, but when associated with other minerals, can be different colors and create different effects within a stone. We will talk about golden rutile a little later in this post.
Synthetic rutile has been around since the late 1940's and has even been used as a diamond substitute called "Titania," but at only 6 on the Mohs scale, it's not as durable as a diamond and is not used much now in jewelry. Rutile, whether natural or synthetic is still a 6 on the Mohs scale and is found in various areas of the world generally associated with volcanic regions and quartz. Though rutile forms at lower temperatures and pressures than quartz, it's also found inside quartz crystal. When the rutile grows within quartz, it takes on the name; rutilated quartz.
Adrien De Ruyck created this lovely ring with a rectangular clear quartz with reddish brown and black rutiles.