When you find a red rock, crystal, or stone, it can be hard to identify what kind it is.
Here are 12 red rocks you should know.
12 Types of Rocks That Are Red
There are many rocks that are red, though they may or may not be valuable as a result.
It is common to see veins of red mixed in with basalt, for example.
The following is a list of red rocks that are considered more valuable.
Andesine is a sparkly gemstone that ranges from a light pinkish-red to an almost brown color that comes from copper inclusions.
It is a feldspar stone, similar to labradorite and moonstone in that it has beautiful, holographic optical effects.
It is a gorgeous stone and extremely rare, which makes it very valuable.
It is most often found in the Congo in Africa and used in jewelry.
Color-changing opal is found in many colors, but one of the most intense and striking is the fire opal.
Thanks to iron oxide, it has stunning displays of red, orange, and yellow plays of color.
It is one of the most popular stones in the world for jewelry, but it is a soft stone and can be damaged fairly easily.
It is considered a mineraloid instead of a mineral, due to its lack of crystalline structure, no defined chemical composition, and high level of water.
It is usually found in Mexico, British Columbia, and Oregon.
While a dark crimson color is usually associated with garnet, the term ‘garnet’ is actually an umbrella for several different types of stone.
There are a few varieties that are typically red, such as almandine, pyrope, and rhodolite; however, they can be found all over the world.
While they all have red in their hues, the shade of red varies with each stone.
However, all garnets have a vitreous luster and are translucent.
- Almandine: This stone has a deep burgundy color. It is the oldest known type of garnet and was typically used by ancient people for protection.
- Pyrope: this type of garnet is known to have a red tone similar to that of pomegranate. It is a pure red color, the hue of pomegranate. Its name comes from the Greek for ‘fire’ and ‘eye’, due to its unvarying red color.
- Rhodolite: This is the lightest-colored of the garnets. It tends towards a rosy pinkish-red; in fact, its name is derived from the Greek, meaning ‘rose-like’.
Lake Superior Agate
Agate is a translucent, banded quartz, and it comes in a wide array of colors.
Lake Superior agate is known for its alternating red and white banding and is found, predictably, in and around Lake Superior.
Iron oxide is what gives it its bright red coloring.
Agate is typically used for decorative pieces, although it can also be found in jewelry.
It is known for its unique translucency, and gives a breathtaking display of color when illuminated by light.
Apatite is an interesting stone, as it has been frequently mis-classified as other stones throughout history; in fact, its name means ‘to deceive’.
It is usually composed primarily of calcium phosphate, but it actually is found containing different chemical compositions, which is primarily what makes apatite so hard to classify.
However, iron inclusions are what makes apatite red, and it can be found all over the world.
It is a translucent gemstone with a beautiful luster, and it is popular for jewelry.
Incredibly rare and intensely beautiful, red beryl has been found in few places, and only in North America; New Mexico, Utah, and Mexico, primarily.
Manganese, combined with perfect geothermal conditions, gives red beryl its characteristic fuchsia color.
It is a very hard stone, which makes it desirable for jewelry.
It also has a sparkly luster and an attractive translucency. It is a rare and very valuable gemstone.
Carnelian is a red-orange to red-brown chalcedony with white agate streaks found mostly in India, but also in many other places all over the world.
Its red hue comes from iron inclusions, which also makes the stone slightly magnetic.
It is a relatively hard semi-precious gemstone, making it great for jewelry and decorative pieces.
As its name implies, red coral comes from marine coral.
Because it is a sea creature, it is composed of a calcium carbonate exoskeleton, with the red coloring created by carotenoid pigments.
Its color is incredibly vibrant; plus, it’s a surprisingly hard and durable stone, which makes it ideal for jewelry.
Although it can be found near any ocean, the most sought-after red coral comes from Italy, which is considered to be the most precious in quality of all the coral varieties.
Jasper is one of the most abundant stones on Earth.
It has been used throughout history for decorative carvings, bow drills, and other tools, due to its hardness and durability.
It is a clear stone, without many inclusions, if any.
The hue is similar to that of a rusty red, sometimes with a light colored band through it.
It is completely opaque with a glass-like luster.
‘Tourmaline’ refers to a wide range of boron silicate minerals with a crystalline structure found all over the world, especially abundantly in Brazil.
It is a very unique crystal due to its color zoning, creating multi-colored crystals in the same cluster.
Red tourmaline is colored with vanadanite, a reddish-brown mineral that comes from vanadium. It is commonly used for jewelry.
Zircon is a highly prized gemstone found in South Asia, with clarity, sparkle, and color that rivals that of diamonds.
It comes in many colors, and one such color is red.
It achieves this color because zircon contains an amount of radiation, which turns the crystal red with heat from under the earth.
Sometimes the stone receives additional heat-treating to bring out its color more vibrantly, but it is a beautiful gemstone, used for centuries for jewelry.
Rubies are the classic red gemstone found in Asia, Africa, and the U.S.
Its color is a very vibrant red due to the chromium in its chemical composition.
It is a very sought-after and valuable gemstone because of how hard it is (almost as hard as a diamond!) and its extremely sparkly luster.
However, this stone gets its attractive qualities from very rough conditions, such as subterranean intense pressure and heat.
What Makes Rocks Red?
While the chemical composition of red specimens varies, the likely reason why the rock you are holding in your hand is red is that it contains an iron oxide.
The Beauty of Red
Valuable red stones are not only rare, but they’re incredibly beautiful.
They’re like a good bottle of wine; more expensive stones aren’t necessarily better.
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