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Ruby-Zoisite Gemstone Information

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About Ruby-Zoisite - History and Introduction

Ruby-zoisite is the natural combination of both ruby and zoisite crystals in a single specimen. It is also known as 'anyolite', a name derived from the Masai word for 'green' (anyoli). Other name variations include "ruby-in-zoisite" and "Tanganyika artstone". Ruby-zoisite was discovered at the Longido mining district in northeast Tanzania by Tom Blevins, an English prospector. To this day, Tanzania remains the only source for ruby-zoisite. Blevins had initially thought that he had found vast ruby deposits in 1949, but it later turned out to be a green zoisite matrix with large inclusions of mostly opaque ruby. Ruby-zoisite is also heavily included with black hornblende minerals.

Depending on its primary constituents, ruby-in-zoisite can vary tremendously in color, pattern and hardness. Zoisite provides an earthy green color, while ruby inclusions give it pink and red highlights. Zoisite's hardness ranges from 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale, whereas ruby has a hardness of 9. Although ruby-zoisite is not fine ruby, it eventually found a purpose in carvings and cabochons. Today, it is one of the most colorful ornamental gemstones available, and the abundance of gemstone material makes it very affordable even in larger sizes.

Ruby-Zoisite Gemstone
Identifying Ruby-Zoisite Back to Top

Ruby-zoisite can often be identified by its distinctive mottled colors and appearance. Rocks are primarily composed of green zoisite and large inclusions of black hornblende and red ruby, which create interesting patterns with its matrix rock. It has a hardness of 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale. Like tanzanite, ruby-zoisite is only found in Tanzania, thus origin can often be a clear distinguishing factor. It can sometimes be confused with chloromelanite (jade-albite or maw-sit-sit from Burma) but ruby-zoisite tends to exhibit more red and pink colors.

Ruby-Zoisite; Origin and Sources Back to Top

Ruby-zoisite was first discovered in 1954 in the Longido mining district of Tanzania. To this day, it is still the world's only source for ruby-in-zoisite.

Buying Ruby-Zoisite and Determining Value Back to Top

Ruby-Zoisite Color

Ruby-zoisite typically exhibits three different colors: green, black and pink to red. The green is owed to its zoisite composition; pink and red hues are owed to the presence of ruby (corundum) and hornblende is the cause of its black colors. Cutters will generally try to achieve more red colors by maximizing ruby portions, but in many cases, gem materials are cut to simply show the most attractive color contrasts.

Ruby-Zoisite Clarity and Luster

Owing to the large presence of inclusions, ruby-zoisite is an opaque stone. When polished, top-grade material exhibits a vitreous luster.

Ruby-Zoisite Cut and Shape

Ruby-zoisite is typically cut en cabochon. Large stones are rather affordable. Ruby-zoisite is also very popular as an ornamental stone, which is often carved into animals and other ornate decorative objects. On rare occasion, fine materials may be faceted. Tumbled and drilled ruby-zoisite beads are quite popular. Large oval shapes are most popular.

Ruby-Zoisite Treatment

Ruby-zoisite is not known to be treated or enhanced in any way.

Ruby-Zoisite Gemological Properties: Back to Top
Chemical Formula: Ca2Al3(Sio4)3(OH) Calcium aluminum silicate
Crystal Structure: Orthorhombic, multifaced prisms, mostly striated
Color: Green with black and opaque ruby inclusions
Hardness: 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale
Refractive Index: 1.691 to 1.700
Density: 3.35
Cleavage: Perfect
Transparency: Opaque
Double Refraction or Birefringence: 0.009
Luster: Vitreous
Fluorescence: None

Please refer to our Gemstone Glossary for details of gemology-related terms.

Ruby-Zoisite: Related or Similar Gemstones Back to Top
Ruby Cabochon
Ruby Cabochon

Ruby-zoisite is mixture of zoisite, corundum and hornblende. The gemstone varieties of zoisite, include violet-blue tanzanite and thulite, an opaque pink zoisite.

Varieties of corundum include red ruby and white, blue and fancy-colored sapphire. Most related materials are almost always faceted, although some rare rubies and sapphire stones may be cut en cabochon, particularly star ruby and star sapphire.

Ruby-Zoisite Mythology, Metaphysical and Crystal Healing Powers Back to Top

Ruby-zoisite is a gemstone which combines the properties of hornblende, ruby and zoisite. Rubies are symbolic of fire, while zoisite is an earthly crystal. Thus, ruby-in-zoisite is an ideal gemstone for balancing the fire and earth elements and energies. Ruby-zoisite is thought to enhance psychic ability and spirituality. It is sometimes used to help deal with issues related to patience and mood-swings. Physically, ruby-in-zoisite is thought to be helpful for healing bacterial infections. It is also used to help enhance fertility for both men and women. Ruby-zoisite is associated with the crown and heart chakras. It is also used as an astrological gemstone for both the signs of Aries and Aquarius.

Disclaimer: Metaphysical and Alternative Crystal Healing Powers and Properties are not to be taken as confirmed advice. Traditional, Ceremonial and Mythological Gemstone Lore is collected from various resources and does not represent the sole opinion of SETT Co., Ltd. This information is not to replace the advice of your doctor. Should you have any medical conditions, please see a licensed medical practitioner. GemSelect does not guarantee any claims or statements of healing or astrological birthstone powers and cannot be held liable under any circumstances.
Ruby-Zoisite Gemstone and Jewelry Design Ideas Back to Top

Ruby-zoisite has a hardness of 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale, and is thus moderately hard and suitable for most types of jewelry. It is a popular ornamental material that is often carved into figures such as birds and other animals. Large cabochons are available, which are ideal for use as pendants. Rings are also suitable for ruby-zoisite, but care should be taken while wearing them.

Note: Buy colored gemstones by size and not by carat weight. Colored stones vary in size-to-weight ratio. Some stones are larger and others are smaller than diamonds by weight in comparison.

Ruby-Zoisite Gemstone Jewelry Care and Cleaning Back to Top

How to clean your gemstonesRuby-zoisite exhibits perfect cleavage, so gemstones and jewellery should be protected from hard knocks or blows that can cause stones to split and fracture. It is a relatively hard material, but it is still much softer than many other 'more popular' jewelry gemstones, including sapphire, spinel and topaz. Avoid prolonged exposure to strong heat, direct light or sudden temperature changes. Ruby-zoisite should not be exposed to acid, bleach or other harsh chemicals and cleaners. Avoid the use of ultrasonic and steam cleaners. The best way to clean ruby-zoisite is by using plain soapy water and a soft cloth. Be sure to rinse well to remove any soapy residue.

Always remove ruby-zoisite gemstones before exercising, playing sports or when engaging in vigorous household chores such as dishwashing. Store ruby-zoisite away from other gemstones to avoid scratches. It is best to wrap stones using a soft cloth or place them inside a fabric-lined jewelry box.

  • First Published: October-30-2006
  • Last Updated: November-08-2018
  • © 2005-2019 GemSelect.com all rights reserved.
    Reproduction (text or graphics) without the express written consent of GemSelect.com (SETT Company Ltd.) is strictly prohibited.
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