When shimmering rutile makes a home within the crystal structure of quartz, a beautiful and storied material results. Rutilated quartz, as it is called, displays intricate needle-like inclusions of rutile, or titanium dioxide, which occur in radiating patterns, like a firework at the moment of explosion. The effect is dramatic and each example of rutilated quartz holds a distinct and unique pattern.
Rutile is also responsible for the star-like light interaction, called asterism, which occurs in star sapphires and star rubies. Quartz is the harder of the pair of minerals, a 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness, as compared to the softer rutile with a hardness of 6. This discrepancy results in many examples of rutilated quartz with pitted and irregular surfaces. For this reason, examples of smooth, uniform quartz are especially desirable.
Folklore holds that rutilated quartz enhances creativity and individuality, improves interpersonal relationships, and slows the aging process. It has been found in many places around the globe including Brazil, Australia, Kazakhstan, Norway, Madagascar, Pakistan, and the United States.