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Rhyolite is a volcanic rock similar in its chemistry to granite. Most rhyolites are porphyritic, with larger crystals in a fine-grained matrix of crystals too small to been seen with the naked eye. Rhyolite is silica-rich, giving it a light range of color, often found with banding throughout. This beautiful stone is often used in ornamentation.

Rhyolite Polished
Rhyolite Classification
Common Name Rhyolite
Species Rock
Rhyolite Optical Properties
Transparency Opaque
Optic Character NA
Optic Sign NA
Pleochroism None
Rhyolite Characteristic Physical Properties
Hardness 6.5-7
Inclusions Rhyolite might show banding or spherical growth. If stones are viewed in cross-section using magnification they typically show crystalline growth and may show radiating needle patterns.
Luster Dull
Cleavage None
Rhyolite Chemistry & Crystallography
Chemical Name silicon dioxide + potassium Oxide
Chemical Formula SiO2+K2O
Crystal System NA
Chemistry Classification Rock

Rhyolite Colors

  • Brown Rhyolite Brown
  • Red Rhyolite Red
  • Multi-color Rhyolite Multi-color
  • Green Rhyolite Green
  • Bi-color Rhyolite Bi-color
  • Orange Rhyolite Orange

Alternate Names

Hickoryite, Rainbow Hickoryite, Spiderweb Rhyolite, Birds Eye Rhyolite, Mushroom Rhyolite, Wonderstone

Countries of Origin

Tanzania, United Republic Of; United States of America (the); Brazil; Mexico; South Africa; Australia


Normal care

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Wonderstone is a banded variety of Rhyolite that comes from Wonderstone Mountain, Churchill Co., Nevada, USA. Wonderstone is off white to cream, gray, maroon, and yellow-brown and is colored by iron oxide.

Wonderstone Rhyolite
Wonderstone Classification
Common Name Wonderstone


Hickoryite is a banded variety of Rhyolite the comes from Rodeo, State of Durango, Mexico.

Hickoryite Rhyolite
Hickoryite Classification
Common Name Hickoryite


Bixbite In Rhyolite

As many gem collectors know, bixbite, or red beryl, is one of the rarest gems on the planet. With few faceted gems trickling from its single source in the Wah Wah Mountains of Utah, USA, bixbite in rhyolite is a much more obtainable form of this beautiful gem. Bixbite in rhyolite is the perfect stone marriage, combining one of the rarest gems on the planet with an igneous rock long used as an ornamental stone. While there is precious crystalline bixbite present throughout the rhyolite matrix, cutting to retrieve only the bixbite would yield extremely small stones, with much of this vibrant gemgoing to waste. Leaving the bixbite in the rhyolite matrix preserves so much more of the material and provides a pleasing contrast of colors - and portrays precisely how these two materials united in nature millions of years ago.

Bixbite In Rhyolite Rhyolite
Bixbite In Rhyolite Classification
Common Name Bixbite In Rhyolite
Tim Matthews


Tim Matthews

Tim Matthews is President and Chief Executive Officer of Jewelry Television® (JTV), as well as a member of the company's Board of Directors. He oversees and leads all aspects of the company's powerful omni-digital retail platform that uniquely specializes in fine jewelry and gemstones. His passion for business and gemstones has led him to become a recognized expert in the field of gemology. He is a life member of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A) and has earned Gem-A's highest degrees, the Gemmology (FGA) and Diamond (DGA) diplomas. He is also a Graduate Gemologist (GG) of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and has also completed GIA's Graduate Diplomas in Diamonds, Colored Stones and Pearls. Under his leadership, JTV has become the leader in the sourcing and selling of color gemstones and jewelry.

This page was created on June 27, 2014.

This page was last edited on October 24, 2019.