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Geosciences LibreTexts

16.14.06: Rubellite

  • Page ID
    4347
  • Rubellite Tourmaline
    Chemical composition Complex borosilicate
    Crystal system Trigonal
    Habit Prismatic
    Cleavage None
    Fracture Conchoidal
    Hardness 7.5
    Optic nature Uniaxial -
    Refractive index 1.62 - 1.64
    Birefringence 0.014 - 0.022
    Dispersion Low, 0.018
    Specific gravity 3.06
    Lustre Vitreous
    Pleochroism Weak to strong

    Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\): Rubellite
    Photo Courtesy of Precision Gem

    Rubellite is the pink to red color variety of tourmaline. The name can be applied to all species of the tourmaline group, but is generally elbaite.
    "Rubellite" is a tradename and in modern teaching this is depreciated, instead it should be named red (or pink) tourmaline accompanied with the species name if determined.

    Treatments

    Pink tourmaline is sometimes irradiated to enhance the color to a deeper red.