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One of the most desirable of all tourmaline varieties, rubellite is the pink to red variety of elbaite tourmaline, but crystals may also include brownish, orangey or purplish hues. Stones that exhibit pure red or slightly purplish red color are considered the most valuable. With the exception of ruby and red spinel, rubellite is the only other gem known to occur in such a rich, dark red color. Incredibly scarce, with 'eye clean' material even rarer, rubellite is one of those special gems that demands a place in your gemstone collection!

Rubellite Polished
Rubellite Classification
Common Name Rubellite
Species Tourmaline
Rubellite Optical Properties
Transparency Transparent - Translucent
Dispersion Strength: Moderate Fire Value: 0.017
Refractive Index 1.624-1.644
Birefringence 0.018-0.02
Optic Character Uniaxial
Optic Sign Negative
Polariscope Reaction Doubly Refractive (DR)
Fluorescence SWUV: Inert to weak red to violet
LWUV: Inert to weak red to violet
Pleochroism Dichroic, medium to strong dark red and pinkish red
Rubellite Characteristic Physical Properties
Hardness 7-7.5
Streak White
Specific Gravity 3.000-3.260 Typical:3.060
Toughness Good
Inclusions Rubellite tourmaline is Type II clarity stone. Stones might contain liquid and gas inclusions that are long and thin, reflective gas-filled fractures and color zoning.
Luster Vitreous
Stability Very Good
Fracture Conchoidal, Uneven
Cleavage Poor, in two directions
Rubellite Chemistry & Crystallography
Chemical Name complex boro-silicate of Al, Mg and Fe
Chemical Formula Na(Li1.5Al1.5)Al6(Si6O18)(BO3)3(OH)3(OH)
Crystal System Trigonal
Chemistry Classification Silicate

Rubellite Colors

  • Red Rubellite Red
  • Pink Rubellite Pink
  • Pink Rubellite Pink

Countries of Origin

Afghanistan; Mozambique; Unknown; China; Russian Federation (the); Brazil; Madagascar; Zambia; Nigeria; Thailand; India


Untreated, heated or irradiated stones just need normal care. Avoid temperature changes, steaming, chemicals, and ultrasonic cleaners in dyed, oiled or resin filled stones.

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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.