Rice Museum

A geology museum in Oregon

Rutile quartz

A glowing orange sphere with long dark spines (rutiles) trapped within. They look like tufts of fur.

Photo by Stephanie Reed

Rutile quartz is quartz that contains rutile inclusions. Rutile is made of titanium dioxide and usually forms long, thin needles. It is most commonly found in quartz, though it can also be found in sapphires. The inclusions are usually gold in color and can be seen in dense parallel fibers or as scattered needles. You can see both in this specimen.

This rutilated quartz sphere is smoky quartz with rutile inclusions from Minas Gerais, Brazil. It is on display at the Rice Museum in Hillsboro, Oregon near Portland, Oregon. If you are in the area, we highly recommend this museum.

Fossil Sweet Gum

A big slab of petrified wood that is green

Photo by Stephanie Reed

This is a cross-section of a fossilized sweet gum tree from the Hampton Butte in Crook County, Oregon. We saw it at the Rice Museum in Hillsboro, Oregon where it is in the petrified wood room. I hardly ever see petrified wood that is green like this; usually it’s red, orange, or brown. Anybody know what makes it green?