Ruby in fuchsite, or ruby fuchsite (pronounced FOOK-site), is the natural combination of both fuchsite and ruby in a single specimen. Ruby-in-fuchsite can vary tremendously in color, pattern and hardness depending on its exact composition and how it was cut. Fuchsite gives the colorful stone its blue-green to emerald-green color, while ruby inclusions provide attractive pink and red highlights. Interestingly, both red ruby and green fuchsite are colored by traces of chromium. Ruby-in-fuchsite is sometimes confused with ruby-in-zoisite, since both gemstones are green and interspersed with pink to purplish-red ruby.
Ruby is the red variety of corundum that is considered one of the most valuable gemstones available today. Corundum, which includes both sapphire and ruby, has a hardness of 9 on the Mohs scale, making it the second hardest natural substance on earth. Fine precious ruby is most desirable in its transparent form, but the ruby included in fuchsite is typically opaque.
Fuchsite is the green-blue to emerald-green chromium-rich variety of muscovite. It is sometimes known as ‘chrome mica’ since muscovite is a type of mica. Muscovite is a common rock-forming mica found in many varieties of igneous and metamorphic rock. The most famous or well-known muscovite in the gem trade is verdite, a popular trade name for an impure variety of green fuchsite, which is mostly found in South Africa. However, some ruby-in-fuchsite specimens are known to come from Ethiopia.
Ruby-in-fuchsite is an extremely challenging material for gem cutters because of tremendous differences in hardness between its chief constituents, as well as the fact that muscovite has a variable hardness, similar to that of kyanite. Usually, cutters will try to emphasize the portions of red ruby whilst attempting to achieve interesting color contrasts of red and green. Ruby-in-fuchsite is a popular ornamental gemstone that is often used in gemstone carvings. It may also be found in cabochons and nicely polished slices. Crystal slices are very attractive, especially for making fine pendants. Although it is not pure precious ruby, ruby-in-fuchsite is colorful, attractive and a unique combination of minerals that make it an affordable ornamental gemstone, even in large sizes.
- First Published: June-16-2014
- Last Updated: August-29-2017
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