The name Rutile comes from the Latin RUTILUS which means Red. It was known as Veneris Crinis (the Hair of Venus), a name first given to Rutile Quartz. This is because rutile quartzes display a beautiful hair-like effect in them.

Rutile Quartz was also known as the Net of Thetis and the Hair of Thetis. The French called Rutile Quartz the Arrows of Love or Fleches d'Amour.

Rutile is titanium dioxide and has a much higher refractive index than that of a diamond.

Limonite, on the other hand is composed of a varying mixture of minerals such as goethite and lepidocrocite. Limonite is usually yellow-brown in color and has been used as a pigment ochre.

Because Rutile Topaz (which is in fact Limonite Topaz) looked very similar to Rutile Quartz, it was named as such.

Rutile Quartz is a clear quartz with Rutile inclusions. Each Rutile Quartz in one-of-a-kind.

At one time it was assumed that since these inclusions which also appear in Rutile Topaz look so very similar, that both the inclusions in Rutile Topaz and Rutile Quartz were made from the same material, that is, Rutile. However, in 1987 the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) conducted an investigation of "rutile topaz" and discovered that these inclusions were in fact stains due to Limonite. Limonite as I have written above, is a yellow or brown iron ore which was used in ancient times as a paint pigment. One such famous product derived from Limonite is the yellow ochre from Cyprus. Therefore, GIA suggested that Rutile Topaz should be called Limonite Topaz but the name Rutile Topaz continue to be use and we are stuck with it.

Limonite inclusions also occur in Chalcedony Quartz. However, in Chalcedony Quartz, these inclusions appear as flecks of gold instead of golden threads.

Though they look very similar, Rutile Topaz is more valuable than Rutile Quartz. Therefore, it is important to be able to distinguish between them.

Rutile Topaz has a hardness of 8 on the Mohs scale, whereas Rutile Quartz is softer at 7; Rutile Topaz displays a perfect cleavage meaning it can fracture easily, whereas Rutile Quartz has no cleavage. Rutile Quartz has more densely occurring needles than Rutile Topaz which tend to have sparser inclusions.

Rutile Topaz is usually colorless and its needle-like inclusions range from golden yellow or brownish-yellow in color. In some rare cases the inclusion can appear silver and even rainbow-colored. This is due to the Limonite forming with other minerals. Rutile Topaz can also come in the same colors of Topaz: colors such as orange, pink, pale blue, pale green and even violet, but for the most part, Rutile Topaz is colorless.

Rutile Topaz is transparent to translucent exhibiting high clarity with few needle-like inclusions. It is sought after for its brilliance and glass-like luster. Though other gemstones are prized for its "eye-clean" clarity with no inclusions and imperfections, in the case of Rutile Topaz and Rutile Quartz, these "flaws" are highly valued.

Under long wavelength UV, white and blue Rutile Topaz shows a weak yellow or greenish fluorescence; brown, pink and yellow Rutile Topaz shows a strong orange-yellow fluorescence; and red Rutile Topaz shows a weak yellow-brown fluorescence.

Though Topaz is usually color-enhanced, Limonite included colorless Topaz is natural occurring.

Limonite is a healer of the mind. It assists in grounding and stability. It gives you a center and a focus. It restores youthfulness and strengthens your character and self-esteem.

Topaz has been used as a gemstone since ancient times by the great civilisations of Hindus, Greeks and the Egyptians.

Topaz was believed to cure insanity. Till today, it is used as a powerful amulet of protection against any type of danger. It is said to protect the wearer from epidemics, wild passions, witchcraft and the envious look of the Evil Eye. Ancient Egyptian and Roman associated topaz with the Sun God.

The topaz was called the Stone of Power, because it was thought to give sexual potency and strength. In each full and new moon, this power manifested itself into its highest potential.

On the other hand, Rutile Quartz was used as a charm by the ancient people to help develop strong healthy hair, and as a gemstone that gave foreknowledge.

Rutile Topaz can be found in Brazil, Afghanistan, Australia, Myanmar (Burma), China, Germany, Japan, Madagascar, Mexico, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, Ukraine and the USA, Northern Ireland and the UK, and Massive topaz crystals have been discovered in Minas Gerais (Brazil) and Ukraine.