Rutile is a titanium oxide mineral (TiO2).  It's an important titanium ore mineral.  Its most common crystal form is long, striated needles (acicular crystals).  Rutile has an intense submetallic luster, a pale yellow to yellowish-brown to red to almost black color, and is fairly hard (H=6.5).  Many twinned crystals have a bent or kinked appearance ("elbow twins").


Rutile occurs in igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks.  Its most frequent occurrences are: 1) long, slender needles within quartz crystals (rutilated quartz); and 2) placer beach sands.


Rutile (~6.25 mm across at its widest) - a nice, dark reddish-colored elbow twin from Diamantina, Minas Gerais State, Brazil.



Rutile (pale needles) in quartz (rutilated quartz) (above & below; above: 4.9 cm across; below: field of view ~1.4 cm across).



Rutile from Graves Mountain, Lincoln County, Georgia, USA.



Photo gallery of rutile



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