Rutilated Quartz Gemstones - Gemstone with inclusions
Unlike most other gemstones, whose value increases proportionately with clarity, Rutilated Quartz is the complete opposite; the value of this gemstone increases as the number of inclusions increase. Generally, this is a rock crystal which is colorless, but it has many golden needles made of rutile inclusions embedded as varying patterns within the body of the crystal. Just like fingerprints, there are no two specimens of Rutilated Quartz which have the same type of patterns of these rutile inclusions. The inclusions of this gemstone are sometimes called Venus Hair.
The followers of crystal healing claim that Rutilated Quartz has the ability to help the wearer focus better mentally. It also helps in the rectification of food disorders and increases the ability of the body to protect itself from infections. It also re-energizes the wearer after being fatigued. This is a gemstone associate with the chakra at the Solar Plexus, and is a link between the crown and root chakras.
The formation of the rutile inclusions, which have a red or golden color is very striking. In some gemstone they are arranged as parallel inclusions and in some others the distribution and orientation is quite random. There is a rare variety which will have the rutile inclusions radiating from the center of the crystal, out wards, which gives them the shape of a star. These are the ones that are highly priced by buyers, connoisseurs and collectors alike.
A little more about Rutilated Quartz
Rutilated Quartz is also known by the name of Sagenic Quartz and has rutile inclusions of varying colors. The main colors are golden, red and greenish needle-like inclusions.
The key separations of Rutilated Quartz are the refractive index, birefringence, appearance optic figure and optic color. One of the determinative features of all quartz gemstones is an optic figure that appears as a bull’s eye; there is a single spot of color, which is surrounded by a straw-colored or clear band. The gemstone may also have Brazil-law twinning when viewed under crossed polarizing filter. The gemstone may also exhibit Airy’s spiral optic figure.
This is a gemstone with a clarity that ranges from transparent to opaque and has a refractive index of 1.544 to1.553, and a very constant tolerance. It has a birefringence of about 0.009. It displays a uniaxial optic character and has a positive optic sign. The gemstone is doubly refractive when viewed under the polariscope or may be AGG depending on how transparent the gemstone is. It has a generally inert florescence when it is viewed under long or short wave ultraviolet light. The gemstone does not have any pleochroic nature and has a weak dispersion with a fire value of 0.013.
Like all other gemstone in the quartz family, Rutilated Quartz is chemically referred to as a silicate mineral. It has a Trigonal crystal system, a hardness value of 7 on the Mohs scale and a white streak. The gemstone has a specific gravity ranging between 2.64 and 2.69, but is typically at 2.66. The gemstone is quite tough. The inclusions of this gemstone are rutile and may have some liquid, two-phase and three-phase inclusions. There are also some negative crystals, needles, minerals and particles of iron. It has a vitreous luster and is quite stable. Rutilated Quartz has a conchoidal fracture and no cleavage, but when present, the cleavage is very poor.
A profile of Rutilated Quartz gemstones
An American cutter based in Brazil who goes by the name of David Stanley Epstein started recently to make carvings out of Rutilated Quartz in his workshop based in Toefilo Otoni, Brazil. He, on the other hand, is not convinced that there will be great returns from his creations that will allow him to explore his experimental use of the abundant mineral much further. The costs of the rough material is much higher than it was before, and this makes him price his creations quite high; he believes that customers will not readily part with the prices that he is asking for. He says that many people believe that all quartz pieces should be cheap. If this is the notion, then this is something that will soon come to pass due to the popularity of Rutilated Quartz.
The rough for Rutilated Quartz is rarer in the United States of America, and this makes the prices to be much higher than they are in Brazil. Carvers like Kevin Lane Smith and Michael Dyber, are able to put a price of hundreds of dollars for creations which are wholly or partially made out of this gemstone. According to smith, there is quite an abundance of the gemstone, but there is very little with a large size that can be made into a carving.
Smith goes on to say that there is a very little amount of Rutilated Quartz in America, and it is not as much as people tend to think. In fact, he says that he is aware that some designs end up importing the rough in order to make their pieces. He and other designers have to do with waiting for the annual sale of the gemstone which happens in Tucson, which usually takes place in February, and they can add to their existing dwindling stocks.
However the American Public is becoming aware of the sculptures that are being made out of gemstones, and it is crucial that the designers go for long distances in order to get enough stock to cover the increasing demand for these carvings. Rutilated Quartz will soon be a gemstone that most carvers will be working with. There are very few gemstones which are suited to making carvings, and Rutilated Quartz makes it possible for sculptors to take advantage of the need for carvings that are made out of gemstones.
The unusual beauty of Rutilated Quartz gemstone
Quartz, or silicon dioxide, as it is commonly referred to, is one of the most common minerals on earth and it is found in almost all geological areas and in varying sizes. One can find it in the grains that line the beaches of the world, and also as massive crystals hidden in the crevasses of rock formations. This is quite a large family of minerals and is composed of two major groups. There are those that are termed as crystalline and the others are crypto-crystalline. In other words, the crystalline ones are quite clear and are suited to being cut into faceted stones, while the crypto-crystalline one are so opaque that they are only suited for being turned into cabochons or slabs. The most popular varieties of crystalline quartz are Citrine and Amethyst and the most popular crypto-crystalline quartz varieties are Carnelian and Black Onyx.
Pure Crystalline Quartz is clear and colorless and the Ancient romans used to turn these into beakers for their kitchens and also lenses for the correction of eyesight. There is one interesting fact about this family of gemstone, the word crystal, comes from the Greek word for ice, “Krystallos.” These people used to pit these gemstones on their skin on hot days in order to cool off, since they are cold to the touch. There is a possibility that the gemstones that they used were not necessarily the clear ones. Crystalline quartz, due to its ubiquity, is able to form many other types of minerals, and it can also form the casing for some of these minerals. Joel Arem the writer of the book, ‘Color Encyclopedia of gemstone,’ says that there are more than 40 different types of minerals which have been found lying as inclusions in crystalline quartz. The most common mineral that is found as an inclusion in crystalline quartz is actinolate, which occurs as needles of green moss-like fibers made of asbestos and large pieces of pyrite, otherwise known as fool’s gold. The most common inclusion found in crystal quartz is rutile, as in the case of the Rutilated Quartz.
Rutile is naturally found in the form of red-brown or golden crystals that have a thickness that ranges from the width of a hair to that of a needle. When the rutile forms fibers that tend to look like hair, then it is called Venus Hair or Angel’s Hair. The ones that have a thickness close to that of a needle are the most popular, and the inclusions look like pieces of straw that have been blown around by the wind, or sheaves that are arranged in dense clusters. The rutile, in itself, becomes a truly attractive feature in its own, when they are found in huge numbers and fantastic patters within the crystal. In such cases, the cutter insist, the rutile can have an in-born aesthetic appeal, which makes it to be seen as more than just an inclusions; technically, the rutile is just an inclusion in an otherwise clear gemstone. There is no uncertainty about the fact that the way the rutile is arranged, also referred to as the spray, which is kept inert within the crystal, is what makes the gemstone carvers love this stone for making their creations.
Flaws can be beautiful
Apart from amber, another gemstone that is also loved for perfectly preserving fossils of insects and other organic material, there are few other gems that are loved for having inclusions. For most gemstones, inclusions are used as a fingerprint and are used in helping dealers and jewelers to determine where the gemstones may have come from, or declaring them to have come from a particular geographic region; such is the case for the Burmese ruby.
Inclusions serve as an indicator of the origin of a gemstone, and it is for this reason that some of the inclusions found in gemstones are prized, and they may require to be viewed through a microscope. For example, the occurrence of byssolite fibers, or horse tail, which is usually found in the Demantoid Garnet, is an indicator and proof that the particular stone must have come from Russia, and it is for this reason that these inclusions are highly valued, even if they are visible to the naked eye. Other inclusions are usually seen as a blot on the beauty of a gemstone. This can be understood since it is very possible that you would be disgusted when you set your eyes on the emeralds that have several wisps and veils in their crystal structure.
However, one can imagine the beauty of seeing arrays of rutile needles that seem to be just floating in the crystal quartz, and this will definitely feel attractive. These rutile needles do not hinder the beauty of the gemstone but instead enhance it, in an eerie way.
It is an art, in itself, in getting the right piece of Rutilated Quartz for any creation, whether carving or jewelry pieces. A gem sculptor by the name of Dyber says that there is a lot that can go wrong. First of all you have to find material that is quite clear, and then make sure that the rutile is present in the right amount.
Dyber and Smith both agree that they do inspect a lot of Rutilated Quartz and they end up rejecting up to 90 percent of the specimens that they see. There is quite a lack of the necessary transparency for carving. And when they do get one that is quite clear they find that it does not have the right amount of rutile inclusions; either it is sparse or too dense. The pieces that are ideal for carving usually have sprays of the rutile inclusions which have colors of gold, silver or red-brown; the most precious is deep red, which has not been seen for several decades.
Rutilated Quartz is a gemstone that is quite highly priced, especially by the people who are familiar with it. Although most of the large specimens will end up being turned into carvings and sculptures, there are some which end up in jewelry, which is captivating and pocket friendly. The rutile inclusions make for a fascinating display of light when they are on a rings and dazzle the viewer every time the wearer moves the fingers or the hands.