Rubellite Buying and The Four Cs

With a hardness of 7 to 7.5 and no cleavage, tourmalines of all types have good durability. However, watch out for stones with flaws or poor clarity. These may be weaker.


Sellers often misrepresent rubellite color. True rubellite colors range from a medium to dark saturated red/red, red/purple, to red/purple/very slight peach. Think raspberry, like the fruit.

Personally, I would grade a red/purple/very slight peach stone as a little less valuable. However, some people really like the peach tone. I think it’s OK but just not a top rubellite color.

Ideally, look for a pure red/purple/pink to red/red/purple/pink stone with minimal color shift (peach). At some point, hot pink/red/purple becomes intense enough to qualify as rubellite. You can have difficulties judging this often borderline color.

Generally, I think the stone should be intense and more red/purple then pink/purple. I’ll often grade a stone hot pink/rubellite when I think it’s borderline.

Keep in mind that natural, untreated rubellites have a very slight to strong peach shift in incandescent light. Depending on the amount of shift, I would grade a stone a little lower as it becomes more peach. (Again, this is my…