Renowned for its beautiful red colouring, Rubellite is one of the most desirable varieties of Tourmaline. While these stones frequently boast a pinkish-red hue, crystals may also include orange, purplish, or brownish tints. However, stones that exhibit a pure red colour are typically the most valuable. Besides Ruby and Red Spinel, Rubellite is the only gemstone known to naturally occur with a deep red colouring; this, combined with the incredible rarity of the stone, is what makes rubellite hold such high value. In this article, we explore the gemstone in more detail.
For many years, the exact properties that set Rubellite apart from other varieties of Tourmaline have been debated. Today, there seem to be two different views on the matter. One opinion is represented by Walter Schumann, an experienced mineralogist. Schumann suggests that the term ‘Rubellite’ is purely one of the trade names used in the gemstone business to refer to deep red Tourmaline. Trade names for other colours include terms such as verdelite (green), dravite (brown), and achroite (clear). So according to Schumann, any pink-red specimen of Tourmaline can be identified as Rubellite.
In contrast, the International Coloured Gemstone Association claim that very few specimens of red Tourmaline should be classed as Rubellite, stating “there are red and pink Tourmalines in many nuances, which include a tender pink, a fine shocking pink, an intense violet and a bold ruby-red. However, only a few of these are entitled to call themselves ‘Rubellites’.” The International Coloured Gemstone Associa-tion believe that there is a specific test to identify genuine Rubellite. Apparently, only a specimen that boasts the same vibrant lustre in artificial light as it does in natural daylight can be identified as Rubellite. Red Tourmaline, however, will exhibit a brownish tint under artificial light.
Rubellite can also be identified by its hardness rating of 7-7.5 on the Mohs scale. Additionally, the vitreous lustre of the stone is doubly refractive and its cleavage is precisely on the basal plane.
Although the main colour of Rubellite is always red, some varieties of the gemstone exhibit an additional coloured tint. For instance, specimens are often found with an orange, brown, or purple tint; although this colour is noticeable, the main colour of the crystal remains a rich red.
Like many gemstones, Rubellite can be heated treated to improve its colouring. However, unlike other stones, this treatment is almost impossible to detect in Rubellite. If detected, the process will almost al-ways negatively impact the value of the stone. In addition to enhancing the colouring of the specimen, heat treatment can often improve the clarity, too.
Although Rubellite has been found in various locations worldwide, good-quality crystals are considered rare and can carry a hefty price-tag. The popularity of the stone increased after a specimen of green Tourmaline was sold to the famous Tiffany and Co. in New York. Soon after, the desirability of various types of Tourmaline spread – Rubellite being one of them. Today, the stone is a favourite of metaphysical practitioners and collectors because of it’s vibrant lustre and versatile energy properties.
Some of the finest pieces of Rubellite can be found in igneous rock pegmatite dykes and alluvial deposits in Brazil. Most notably, these deposits have occurred in Virgem da Lapa in Minas Gerais. Although the stones are initially deposited in a single area, the current of rivers often causes stones to be scattered throughout the surrounding area.
As well as Brazil, top-quality Rubellite has also been found in the USA. Since the first discovery in 1822, the state of Maine has been producing pinky-red Rubellite. California has also been a large producer of the stone since the early 1900s.
Rubellite boasts an array of positive benefits when used within crystal healing. Often referred to as ‘Red Tourmaline’, the stone is regarded as being one of the perfected heart – one that is full of passion, love, kindness, and strength. The colour combination of vibrant pink and rich red is thought to create a vibra-tional energy that cleanses the heart chakra. In addition to linking to the heart of the beholder, the gem-stone is thought to link to the heart of Earth; this link opens the beholder to love that goes far deeper than typical human relationships.
When used in the home or workplace, Rubellite is believed to neutralise the harmful effects of comput-ers, microwaves, and a variety of other electronic appliances. Its positive effect on dignity, diplomacy, and authority are thought to prevent fights and disagreements – making the stone ideal for placing in a busy office.
Physically, Rubellite is used for treating disorders of the digestive system such as Crohn’s, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Additionally, the gemstone aids issues associated with the lungs, pancreas, liver, and spleen. Supporting and healing the reproductive system, a piece of Rubellite gemstone jewellery can be beneficial for those trying to conceive.
Top-quality Rubellite is a rare and valuable gemstone. Today, rich red specimens are only found in Brazil and certain areas in the US. Renowned for its vibrant lustre, natural and heat-enhanced stones are often used in designer jewellery. Whether you’re looking for a beautiful new addition to your jewellery collec-tion or you’re hoping to use the stone for its benefits within crystal healing, purchase a good-quality piece of Rubellite to reap the benefits.