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RUBELLITE, or “Ruby Like” is a red variety of tourmaline. It’s a gemstone with very good wearability having a hardness of 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale. The refractive index is 1.62 to 1.68 and the crystal system is trigonal.
Rubellites are not merely red tourmalines. They shine just as intensely in artificial light as they do in daylight. The color of most other pink or red tourmalines, by contrast, displays a more or less clearly visible tinge of brown in artificial light.
The majority of our tourmaline gemstones are mined in Brazil and Africa. It generally occurs crystallized on the walls of cavities in coarse granitic rocks, where it is often associated with a pink lithia-mica (Lepidolite). The most valued kinds are deep red; the color being probably due to the presence of manganese. Some of the finest Rubellite is found in Siberia, whence it is sometimes called Siberite, or passes under the misleading name of "Siberian ruby."
Burma is famous for Rubellite, but little was known as to the conditions of its occurrence there until after the British annexation, when the old workings were visited. The pits which yield Rubellite are dug in alluvial deposits in the Monglong valley, some miles to the S.E. of Mogok, the centre of the ruby country.
Very fine Rubellite is found in the United States, notably at Mount Mica, near Paris, Oxford Co., Maine, where the crystals are often red at one end and green at the other. Mount Rubellite, near Hebron, and Mount Apatite at Auburn, are other localities in the same state from which fine specimens are obtained. Chesterfield and Goshen, Mass., also yield red tourmaline, frequently associated with green in the same crystal. Pink tourmaline also occurs, with Lepidolite and Kunzite, in San Diego Co., California.
Tourmaline is believed to strengthen the body and spirit, especially the nervous system, blood, and lymph’s. It is also thought to inspire creativity and was used extensively as a talisman by artists and writers.
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