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                           Mineral of the Month--July 2007


                                              Sodium, Lithium, Aluminum Borosilicate



                                               Rubellite Tourmaline Picfest!

                                              By Ken Casey

Chemistry & Science
Rubellite Picfest!
Members' Gallery
Article Contributors
Photo & Graphics Credits
Suggested Reading
Invitation to Members
Past Minerals of the Month
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Maine has them..


...the color of bubble gum!

(Top, left): Rubellite, Isaias Casanova 2007

(Top, right): Rubellite, Isaias Casanova 2007


     Now, it's July, and time to continue our annual Summer Picfest with Rubellite.  With
it's pink-red color, Rubellite is prized in both red and "bubble gum pink" colors.  So, get
ready for some more mineral eye candy with this month's favorite: Rubellite!  Let's go!



     Welcome to another annual Mineral Picfest! 

     Rubellite is our esteemed choice this month.  Essentially, it is Elbaite with a color
ranging from pink to red, and without the green typical of Elbaite.  Please have fun browsing
our virtual Rubellite museum this month, and visit a link or two.



Chemistry & Science

     Rubellite's name derives from the color red.   Striking examples of both mineral specimen
and faceted gem both delight and wow the connoisseur.  With it's characteristic color spectrum,
Rubellite may be distinguished from either garnet, ruby, and spinel by eye.

     Rubellite is part of the Elbaite Group.  Elbaite forms in three different series, the: Elbaite-
Dravite Series, Elbaite- Series, and Elbaite-Schorl Series.  All of these are part of the
Tourmaline Group.

     It's chemistry is that of Rubellite with it's chemical formula: Na(Li,Al)3Al6(BO3)3Si6O18(OH)4.  
Note that Rubellite is both Lithium-rich and Iron- and Magnesium-poor.

     Also found in pegmatites and gem pockets, the red variety seems to be more prized than
the green these days.  Of course, it's up to you, which you prefer.  I like both!

     There are about a handful of superior gem-quality known localities worldwide, according to
the database.  Of the eleven prime locales, three are in the western United States,
three in western Europe, and three are widely dispersed across Asia.  Two of my favorite are
western Maine and Minas Gerais, Brazil.


Rubellite Picfest!


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Cruzeiro Mine, S. Jose de Safira, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Rubellite (ex. Zinn Collection)
Alto Ligonha, Zambezia Province, Mozambique


Photos by and courtesy of Isaias Casanova 2007, IC Minerals
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Pedeneira Mine, Sao Jose de Safira, Brazil
Rubellite Necklace, Nigeria


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Pink Rubellite, Brazil


Rubellite, Brazil


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Pala, California


3-carat round Pink Rubellite Pendant
Gem from Maine by John Toth Gems
Setting by Henry Laskowski of Henry's Gems
Photo by Ken Casey
Photos of gemstone specimens and multi-stone necklace above courtesy of Roger Weller, Cochise College
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Oval cut Rubellite Pink-red oval cut Rubellite
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Trillion cut Rubellite Cushion cut Rubellite
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Cushion cut Rubellite Fancy cut Pink Rubellite Tourmaline
Loose Gem photos by Jewelry Television 2007


     Tourmaline has had two major uses: as a piezoelectric plate in instrumentation and as
a supreme gemstone.  Some of the gemmiest Rubellite comes from Maine, Brazil, Afghanistan,
Pakistan, and Nigeria.



Roger Weller's Mineral Photo Gallery at Cochise College


Members' Gallery

Here is where DMS Members can add their Rubellite photos to share with us.


Until Next Time

     We hope you have enjoyed our all too short visit to Rubellite.  Please join us next month,
for another article, and we shall journey together!
     Until then, stay safe, and happy collecting. hardhat2a.gif (5709 bytes)



Article Contributors

Photo & Graphics Credits

I would like to gratefully acknowledge the generous contributions of our fellow Rubellite
enthusiasts, collectors, authors, curators, professionals, and club members who made this
work possible. 

Isaias Casanova, I C Minerals

Roger Weller, Geology Instructor, Cochise College

Jewelry Television


2007  All contributions to this article are covered under the copyright protection of this article
and by separate and several copyright protection(s), and are to be used for the sole purposes of
enjoying this scholarly article.  They are used gratefully with express written permission of the
authors, save for generally-accepted scholarly quotes, short in nature, deemed legal to reference
with the appropriate citation and credit.  Reproduction of this article must be obtained by express
written permission of the author, Kenneth B. Casey, for his contributions, authoring, photos, and
graphics.  Use of all other credited materials requires permission of each contributor separately. 
Links and general contact information are included in the credits above, and throughout this article. 
The advice offered herein are only suggestions; it is the reader's charge to use the information
contained herein responsibly.  DMS is not responsible for misuse or accidents caused from this
article. All opinions, theories, proofs, and views expressed within this article, and in others on this
website, do not necessarily reflect the views of the Delaware Mineralogical Society.

Suggested Reading



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   About the Author:  Ken is current webmaster of the Delaware Mineralogical Society.  He has a diploma in Jewelry Repair, Fabrication & Stonesetting from the Bowman Technical School, Lancaster, PA, and worked as jeweler.  He has also studied geology at the University of Delaware.  And, he is currently a member of the Delaware Mineralogical Society and the Franklin-Ogdensburg Mineralogical Society.  E-mail:

Invitation to Members


Want to see your name in print?  Want to co-author, contribute, or author a whole Mineral of the Month article?  Well, this the forum for you!

And Members, if you have pictures, or a story you would like to share, please feel free to offer.  We'd like to post them for our mutual enjoyment.   Of course, you get full photo and author credit, and a chance to reach other collectors, hobbyists, and scientists.  We only ask that you check your facts, give credit where it is due, keep it wholesome for our Junior Members watching, and keep on topic regarding rockhounding.

You don't even have to be experienced in making a webpage.  We can work together to publish your story.  A handwritten short story with a Polaroid will do.  If you do fancier, a text document with a digital photo will suit, as well.   Sharing is the groundwork from which we can get your story out there.

Our club's webpages can reach any person surfing the net in the world, and even on the International Space Station, if they have a mind to view our website!

We are hoping for a possible tie-in to other informative programs upon which our fellow members might want to collaborate.  Contact any officer or board member with your suggestions.

Our next MOTM will be a surprise.  For 2007-8, we are waiting for your suggestions.  What mineral do you want to know more about?

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Most of the Mineral of the Month selections have come from most recent club fieldtrips and March Show Themes, and from inspriring world locales. thus far.  If you have a suggestion for a future Mineral of the Month, please e-mail me at:, or tell me at our next meeting.



Past Minerals of the Month
June 2007 Mineral of the Month: Elbaite
May 2007 Mineral of the Month: Delaware Feldspar, Part 2
April 2007 Mineral of the Month: Delaware Feldspar: Plagioclase
March 2007 Mineral of the Month: "The Colors of Fluorite"
February 2007 Mineral of the Month: Pennsylvania Fluorite
January 2007 Mineral of the Month: Sillimanite
December 2006 Mineral of the Month: Hedenbergite by Karissa Hendershot
November 2006 Mineral of the Month: Brandywine Blue Gneiss
October 2006 Mineral of the Month: Spessartite by Karissa Hendershot
September 2006 Mineral of the Month: Native Silver
August 2006 Mineral of the Month: Kryptonite
August 2006 Mineral of the Month: Kryptonite
July 2006 Mineral of the Month: Azurite
June 2006 Mineral of the Month: Pyromorphite
May 2006 Mineral of the Month: Tsavorite by Karissa Hendershot
April 2006 Mineral of the Month: Variscite
March 2006 Mineral of the Month: Petrified Wood, Part II
February 2006 Mineral of the Month: Petrified Wood, Part I
January 2006 Mineral of the Month: Strontianite by Karissa Hendershot
December Mineral of the Month: Clinozoisite
November Mineral of the Month: Bismuth
October Mineral of the Month: Wulfenite by Karissa Hendershot
September Mineral of the Month: Turquoise
August Mineral of the Month: Peridot
July Mineral of the Month: Ruby
June Mineral of the Month: Antarctic Fluorite
May Mineral of the Month: Dolomite, Part 2
April Mineral of the Month: Dolomite, Part 1
March Mineral of the Month: Calcite
February Mineral of the Month: Agate
January Mineral of the Month: Fluorite
December Mineral of the Month: Pyrite
November Mineral of the Month: Stilbite  
October Mineral of the Month: Celestite   

This page last updated:  February 19, 2011 10:14:45 AM




Next Meeting

April Program, Monday, April 8, 2013:

"Destruction of the Fossil Exposures in the Chesapeake Bay Area" presented by Dr. Lauck Ward

General Club Meeting:
April 8, 2013

We are meeting at
Greenbank Mill

Special Meetings:

*Show Committee Meeting, April or May, 2013

*New Home/Lapidary Committee, 2013

*Board Meeting,  April, 2013

Next Field Trips


Past Fieldtrips

Next Show
DMS March Show
March 1-2, 2014 at DelTech Stanton


Our 2013 Show Theme was:
"All That Glitters is as Good as Gold!"

March Show 2013 Report






Fossil Forum

"Dinny, the Dino"

"Belemnites are coming"


MOTM June also commemorates our 50th Show!

It's shiny, yellow, and is a symbol of 50 Years!Can you guess?


Collecting Adventure Stories:

"Sunny Brook Crick Goethite" by Joe Dunleavy