Rubellite is a treasured variety of tourmaline named for its ruby-like tones. This rare gemstone displays lustrous pink-red and violet tones.
Rubellite is not only rare among gemstones, but it is also the rarest variety of tourmaline next to the coveted Paraiba gem. With the exception of ruby, rubellite is the only gemstone that forms in such a rich, dark red color. Like precious ruby, rubellite derives its name from the Latin word "rubellus," meaning red. Like emeralds, inclusions in rubellite are a common occurrence. Manganese, the chemical element that gives rubellite its rich red tones, causes internal flaws to form in a growing crystal. Typically gemstones with higher concentrations of manganese have a deeper red color and more imperfections in the final crystal. It is extremely rare to find a richly-colored rubellite that is internally clean. Rubellite also tends to have more natural inclusions because it is formed near the center of the crystal pocket. It therefore receives more stress and pressure during its formation. Regardless, rubellite is a durable gemstone, well suited for everyday jewelry. Tourmaline, when heated or rubbed, creates an electrical charge becoming a magnet that attracts lightweight materials.
Major rubellite finds in Brazil date back to the 19th century. The finest stones came from Ouro Fino deposit, in the Minas Gerais district of Brazil. Discovered in 1983, the Ouro Fino deposit was exhausted by 1985. Ouro Fino rubellite has acquired legendary status in the gem world, and we have been lucky enough to acquire some of the old rough lots, which are no longer available on the open market.