Rutile is oxide group mineral with formula: titanium dioxide (TiO2). It often appears as pale golden, needlelike crystals inside quartz. When not enclosed in quartz, it is usually yellowish or reddish brown, dark brown, or black. Crystals are generally prismatic but can also be slender and needlelike. Multiple twinning is common and is either knee-shaped, net- or latticelike, or radiating, forming wheel-like twins. Rutile may also radiate in starlike sprays from hematite crystals. Rutile often occurs as a minor constituent of granites, gneisses, and schists, and also in hydrothermal veins and in some clastic sediments. It commonly forms microscopic, oriented inclusions in other minerals, producing an asterism effect.

Rutile has one of the highest refractive indices at the real wavelengths of all known crystals, and also has very high birefringence and high dispersion. With these properties, it is possible to produce certain optical elements, especially polarized optics, for infrared and infrared wavelengths longer than about 4.5.

Natural Rutile can contain up to 10% iron and large amounts of niobium and tantalum. Ruthyl was first described in 1803 by Abraham Gottlob Werner.

Name: From the Latin rutilus, red, in allusion to the color

Association: Anatase, brookite, hematite, ilmenite, apatite, adularia, albite, titanite, chlorite, pyrophyllite, calcite, quartz

Polymorphism & Series: Trimorphous with anatase and brookite

Mineral Group: Rutile group.

Diagnostic Features: Characterized by its peculiar adamantine luster and red color. Lower specific gravity distinguishes it from cassiterite.

Composition: Titanium dioxide, Ti02. Ti = 60 per cent, 0 = 40 per cent. A little iron is usually present and may amount to 10 per cent.

Crystallography: Tetragonal; ditetragonal-dipyramidal. Prismatic crystals with dipyramid terminations common (Fig. 315). Vertically striated. Frequently in elbow twins, often repeated (Figs. 316 and 317). Twinning plane is dipyramid of second order {Oil}. Crystals frequently slender acicular. Also compact massive.

Chemical Properties

Chemical Classification Oxide minerals
Formula TiO2
Common Impurities Fe,Ta,Nb,Cr,V,Sn,W,Sb

Rutile Physical Properties

Color Blood red, brownish yellow, brown-red, yellow, greyish-black, black, brown, bluish or violet
Streak Greyish black, pale brown, light yellow
Luster Adamantine, Metallic
Cleavage Distinct/Good {110} distinct, {100} less distinct; and, {111} in traces.
Diaphaneity Transparent
Mohs Hardness 6 – 6,5
Crystal System Tetragonal
Tenacity Brittle
Density 4.23(2) g/cm3 (Measured)    4.25 g/cm3 (Calculated)
Fracture Irregular/Uneven, Conchoidal, Sub-Conchoidal
Parting On {092} due to twin gliding; also on {011}.
Other characteristics Strongly anisotropic
Crystal habit Acicular to Prismatic crystals, elongated and striated parallel to [001]

Rutile Optical Properties

Type Anisotropic
Anisotropism Strong
Color / Pleochroism Distinct; red, brown, yellow, green.
RI values: nω = 2.605 – 2.613 nε = 2.899 – 2.901
Twinning Common on {011}, or {031}; as contact twins with two, six, or eight individuals, cyclic, polysynthetic
Optic Sign Uniaxial (+)
Birefringence δ = 0.294
Relief Very High
Dispersion: Strong

Occurrence of Rutile

A common high-temperature, high-pressure accessory mineral in metamorphic rocks, igneous rocks, anorthosite, and granite pegmatite; in hydrothermally-altered rocks; in gneiss, schist, contact metamorphosed limestone; in clays, shales; a common detrital mineral.

Rutile is found in granite, granite pegmatites, gneiss, mica schist, metamorphic limestone, and dolomite. It may be present as an accessory mineral in the rock, or in quartz veins traversing it. Often occurs as slender crystals penetrating quartz. Is found in considerable quantities in black sands associated with magnetite, zircon, and monazite.

Inside the molten condition, rutile is a typical accossory mineral in plutonic volcanic rocks, however it is likewise found every so often in extrusive volcanic rocks, especially those, for example, kimberlites and lamproites that have profound mantle sources. Anatase and brookite are found in the volcanic condition especially as results of autogenic change during the cooling of plutonic rocks; anatase is likewise found in placer stores sourced from essential rutile.

The event of enormous example gems is most regular in pegmatites, skarns, and rock greisens. Rutile is found as an embellishment mineral in some adjusted volcanic rocks, and in specific gneisses and schists. In gatherings of acicular precious stones it is as often as possible considered infiltrating to be as in the fléches d’amour from Graubünden, Switzerland. In 2005 the Republic of Sierra Leone in West Africa had a generation limit of 23% of the world’s yearly rutile supply, which rose to roughly 30% in 2008.

Rutile Uses Area

Wellspring of titanium. Titanium is utilized to a little degree in steel and cast iron; for cathodes in curve lights; to give a yellow shading to porcelain and false teeth. Titanium oxide is utilized as a paint color.

In huge enough amounts in shoreline sands, rutile frames a significant constituent of overwhelming minerals and metal stores. Excavators concentrate and separate the important minerals – e.g., rutile, zircon, and ilmenite. The primary uses for rutile are the assembling of stubborn artistic, as a color, and for the generation of titanium metal.

Finely powdered rutile is a splendid white shade and is utilized in paints, plastics, paper, sustenances, and different applications that require a brilliant white shading. Titanium dioxide shade is the single most noteworthy utilization of titanium around the world. Nanoscale particles of rutile are straightforward to noticeable light yet are exceptionally successful in the retention of bright radiation. The UV assimilation of nano-sized rutile particles is blue-moved contrasted with mass rutile, so higher-vitality UV light is consumed by the nanoparticles. Subsequently, they are utilized in sunscreens to ensure against UV-actuated skin harm.

Little rutile needles present in pearls are in charge of an optical marvel known as asterism. Asteriated diamonds are known as “star” pearls. Star sapphires, star rubies, and other “star” pearls are very looked for after and are commonly more important than their ordinary partners.

Rutile is broadly utilized as a welding cathode covering. It is likewise utilized as a piece of the ZTR record, which characterizes exceptionally endured dregs.

Rutile, as an enormous band-hole semiconductor, has in late decades been the subject of critical research towards applications as a practical oxide for applications in photocatalysis and weaken attraction. Research endeavors normally use little amounts of manufactured rutile as opposed to mineral-store inferred materials.

Synthetic Rutile

Synthetic rutile was first created in 1948 and sold under different names. Titanium mineral can be delivered by ilmenite by the Becher procedure. Pure manufactured rutile is straightforward and practically dull, marginally yellow in enormous parts. Engineered rutile doping should be possible in different hues. High refractive list gives utterly unyielding sparkle and solid refraction prompting precious stone like appearance. The drab precious stone substitute is sold as “Titania”, the out-dated compound name of this oxide. Nonetheless, rutile is once in a while utilized in jewelery on the grounds that it isn’t hard (scratch safe), which is just around 6 on the Mohs hardness scale.


Many localities; a few for fine crystals include:

  • in Switzerland, at Cavradi, Tavetsch, Gra¨ubunden, and Lodrino, Tessin.
  • From the Pfitschtal, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy.
  • On the Saualpe, and at Herzogberg, near Modriach, Styria, Austria.
  • From Kassoi Brod, Ural Mountains, Russia.
  • In the USA, at Magnet Cove, Hot Spring Co., Arkansas; on Graves Mountain, Washington, Lincoln Co., Georgia; at Stony Point, Alexander Co., North Carolina; from Parkesburg and elsewhere, Chester Co., Pennsylvania; in the Champion mine, White Mountains, Mono Co., California.
  • In Brazil, large crystals from Conquista, and at Ibitiara, Bahia.
  • At the Giftkuppe mine, Omaruru, Namibia.


  • Bonewitz, R. (2012). Rocks and minerals. 2nd ed. London: DK Publishing.
  • Dana, J. D. (1864). Manual of Mineralogy… Wiley.
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  • (2019): Mineral information, data and localities.. [online] Available at: [Accessed. 2019].
  • Wikipedia contributors. (2019, June 10). Rutile. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 22:06, June 30, 2019, from