Object of the Month

Celine, a work experience student from King Edward School for Girls in Edgbaston, describes her choice of Lapworth Museum Object of the Month
Video transcript here

Rutile in Quartz - TiO2 in SiO2

Location unknown

This mineral shows quartz with needle-like rutile embedded in it. Most rutilated quartz is formed by hydrothermal processes, and as the high temperatures cool and the pressure eases, rutile crystals become trapped inside the quartz crystals.

Of any known mineral, rutile has the highest refractive index and also exhibits high dispersion. This means that, when it appears in other minerals, it almost always appears in long, thin shots of colour. Rutilis is, in fact, the Latin word for red, and the mineral gained its name because some specimens are a deep red colour. It can also appear in brown and grey tones like this specimen.

Rutilated quartz is deemed uniquely attractive because of its fine detail and consequently is often used as a semi-precious stone. It is believed to bring forth strength, empower originality, and revive feelings of loneliness.