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Rutilated quartz is quartz stone with rutile enclosures. Rutile is a mineral that is made up mostly of titanium dioxide, or TiO2. As a mineral, it's very high on the refractive index and disperses more than almost any other mineral. This means that, when it appears in other minerals, it almost always appears in long, thin shots of color. Rutilus is, in fact, the Latin word for red, and the mineral gained its name because some specimens are a lovely deep red color. It can also appear in brown and gray tones.
Quartz is one of the most common mineral on Earth, and it makes up over 10% of the planet's crust. Furthermore, quartz is quite widespread and can be found in almost every geographical environment. It is understandable that such an abundant mineral comes in a number of variations. These include rose quartz, smoky quartz, and rutilated quartz. Members of quartz family can be found as far apart as Brazil, Madagascar, Australia, Norway, Kazakhstan, and Pakistan. It can also be found in the United States, where many mountain ranges contain large deposits.
When rutile appears within quartz, it often appears as needles of included color. In some examples, the stones look as if they are filled with gold fibers. The rutile inclusions in many pieces are all on the same axis. Because of this, each individual rutile strand is visible, and the effect is often considered to be uniquely beautiful. Venus hair stone, Fleches d’amour, and Cupid’s darts are names associated with this type of stone.
Rutile and quartz have different levels of hardness on the Mohs scale, so rutilated quartz can be difficult to smooth properly so that it can be set in jewelry. For this reason, some specimens are pitted on the surface. Prized examples of this stone often include complete rutiles that are entirely encased in quartz. In these stones, the rutile does not extend past the barrier of the quartz edge, and can therefore be properly polished.
Some earth-based faiths believe that gemstones contain certain spiritual and healing properties. In this arena, rutilated quartz is believed to bring forth a person's personal strengths, empower originality, and help individuals to relate to others. It is also believed to relieve feelings of loneliness and depression.