Marvelous specimen of honey Rutile sprays shooting straight up from metallic-black crystals of Hematite from Novo Horizonte, Bahia, Brazil.
The English name of this mineral is derived from the Latin rutilus, meaning “red”, this being a reference to its typical color. Rutile is the most abundant of the three naturally occurring forms of the chemical compound titanium oxide – the others are anatase and brookite.
All three of these minerals are important as ores of titanium, but rutile is the only member rhat is used as a gemstone. The finest crystals give off a greater fire (reflected light) than diamond, but this effect is often masked by the mineral’s body color. Such crystals are generally faceted into rectangles or mixed cuts to bring out their sparkle.
Rutile forms as an accessory mineral in igneous rocks and in metamorphic gneiss and schist. It may also form through the alteration of preexistent mica or sphene. It is often associated with barite, hematite, quartz and tourmaline.