DIRK WIERSMA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DIRK WIERSMA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Rubellite is a variety of elbaite, which is one of six members of the tourmaline group. Elbaite is a high-temperature and pressure mineral that can occur in many colours, with rubellite being the "red variety", ranging in colour from light pink to deep red. Rubellite commonly occurs in hexagonal, prismatic crystals, often slender, with vertical striations. It is very hard (7 â 7.5) and heavy, with a conchoidal fracture and opaque to transparent with a vitreous lustre. It is strongly piezoelectric and pyroelectric and can be charged electrically by heating and cooling. Rubellite may contain varying quantities of sodium, calcium, magnesium, lithium, aluminium and iron but with a constant structure and content of boron, aluminium, silica and the volatiles B2O3 and Li2O. Popular as a gemstone, but also has wide appeal as a healing stone. From Coronel Murta, Minas Gerais in Brazil.
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