Make way for a little red round that shouts Rubellite.#504

Rich. saturated, red round of Rubellite. This small .35 carat with dark flash driven color is a Rubellite. Its tone level would be too dark for a bigger round. It is a great addition to the collection and a droplet of color for sure even if it is smaller.

It is my opinion that Rubellite (varietal name for red tourmaline) should be used with the reddest most intense color that tourmaline is capable of producing.  Not pinks or reds that desaturate to brownish off color gemstones.  Smaller gemstone usually do not have the degree of tone value needed to push the Rubellite zone, even if they have an excellent saturation (color purity).

Well this singularly unique .35 carat standard round brilliant breaks all the rules. Its tone level is so high that a bigger gemstone would be a disadvantage.  The flash driven color is of a fine ruby or pyrope garnet.  Now you might ask how do I know that this is a tourmaline.  First I cut and polished it and I know it is not a ruby from that.  It is possible that cutting and polishing this gemstone would not eliminate a pyrope garnet.  (I found a bigger red tourmaline that turned out to be a Rhodolite in my collection).  But I used my spectrometer to check this red gem out.  It passed the test with flying colors, while it easily caught the Rhodolite garnet faker.  Now there is one possible gemstone that I can not eliminate.  (I don’t mean spinel that I just thought of)  It would actually be great if it was… red Dravite.  Dravite is used as a varietal name for brownish tourmaline and it is also a distinct mineral in the tourmaline group.  The species is best known as chrome tourmaline, though East Africa produces other very interesting gem quality varieties of Dravites.  I even have first hand experience with a couple of dark red Dravites that I recut for a jeweler years ago.  It was as close to the red of garnet or ruby in tone value and saturation, as I had ever seen in a tourmaline.  I wish that I had bought one, but I was still hoping to get rough, which never worked out.

So now that I have finished carrying on about this gemstone, which weighs just .35 carats, the droplets of color have move in to spirit the little guy away.  He maybe little, but up front and personal, it carries a pretty big punch, regard less of which tourmaline species he maybe.



About Bruce Fry

I was born in Summit, NJ in 1947 and graduated from Summit High School in 1966. I graduated from the Colorado School of Mines in 1970 and after spending another year in graduate school, I left to see the world of Brazil. After spending some more time discovering myself, I ended up working for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for 32 years as an Air Quality Engineer in the Department of Environmental Protection. I retired in 2007 and took up faceting gemstones again after a long hiatus that reached back to my twenties. I had started cutting cabochons when I was 13 and bought my first faceting machine when I was 15, but ran out of money and time until I retired. My great love in gemology is tourmaline and the collection presented here represents my effort to get as much beauty and variety in the colors of tourmaline as I can. I was particularly lucky in being able to get unheated cuprian tourmaline before copper was discovered in gem grade tourmaline from Mozambique.
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