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Ruby red oval cut Rubellite

Bright Rubellite rough
Rubellite Gemstones at The Ross Jewelry Company in Atlanta, Georgia.

Rubellite is the lustrous, remarkable reddish to pink and purple color variety of Tourmaline. With the exception of Ruby and Red Spinel, Rubellite is the only other gemstone that occurs in such a rich, dark-red color. It has taken the industry by storm in recent years when a deposit of fine specimens was discovered in western Nigeria.

Tourmaline is the most varicolored of all gemstones. While it is most commonly seen in shades of green, Tourmaline also occurs in virtually every known gemstone color (with more than 120 distinct hues reported). Multicolored Tourmaline is quite common and this is with a seemingly unlimited amount of color combinations. The most famous multicolored variety is a pink and green combination called Watermelon Tourmaline.

Rubellite that exhibits a deep ruby red color is rather rare and is by far the most valuable form of Tourmaline. Like Emerald, inclusions in Rubellite are common. The chemical impurities that color Rubellite red or pink actually cause a growing crystal to become internally flawed or cracked. The more the impurity is present, the darker the red color, and the more imperfect the final crystal. It is therefore extremely rare to find dark violet, pink or red Rubellite that is 'clean' internally.

Like any other color of Tourmaline, Rubellite displays pleochroism meaning that its color changes when viewed at different angles. However, this can vary from specimen to specimen. In some, this effect is hardly noticeable, while in others it is strongly apparent. Gemstone cutters must take this into account when cutting a Rubellite to bring out its best color.

Rubellite has a rather high hardness of 7 to 7.5 on the Moh's Scale.

Cut Style
It is faceted into gems for jewelry as well as carved into ornamental figures and carvings. Specimens from some localities contain tiny, parallel inclusions, causing them to display a strong cat's eye effect when polished. Such stones are often cut as cabochons.

Technical Characteristics

Chemical Composition: Complex Aluminium Borosilicate
Hardness: 7.0 - 7.5
Specific Gravity: 3.02 - 3.26
Refractive Index (R.I.): 1.616 - 1.634 to 1.630 - 1.652
Bi-refringence: 0.014 to 0.021
Optic Sign: Negative
Optical Character: Uniaxial
Crystal Structure: Trigonal

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The Ross Jewelry Company - 3490 Piedmont Road NE (One Securities Centre), Suite 120 - Atlanta, Georgia 30305 - (404) 495-3720
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