Rubellite is a red-colored gemstone differing from rubies in several ways: it is more rare than ruby; it is less dense; it is not as fiery or brilliant; and it is not as hard as a ruby. The beautiful red color of rubellite makes it desirable for jewelry, like ruby, but it is actually a tourmaline. Because it is less desirable for most buyers, rubellite is also much less expensive.Continue Reading
Rubellite has been mistaken for actual rubies for centuries because to the eye they look identical. It is only with the development of modern testing technique that a scientific approach for distinguishing between them has become possible.
Ruby rates a 9 on the Mohs scale, which measures hardness of gemstones. A rubellite measures a 7.5 on that scale. Ruby measures between 3.90 to 4.10 in relative density while Rubellite measures only between 3.03 to 3.10.
One characteristic of rubellite is that it is pyroelectric. This means when the gem is heated, it becomes electrically charged. Rubellite also has pleochroism, which means that it appears to be different colors when looked at from different angles. Another red gem that is often mistaken for ruby is the red spinel, which is often mined alongside rubies.Learn more about Precious Metals & Gems
Spinel gems are brightly colored gemstones that are often mistaken for rubies or sapphires, according to Geology.com. Spinel gems appear as crystals in limestone, as grains in igneous rock and as pebbles in alluvial deposits.Full Answer >
The four precious gemstones -- diamonds, rubies, emeralds and sapphires -- symbolize power, strength, and prosperity. Semi-precious gemstones such as aquamarines and citrine vary in their symbolism, but are typically associated with positive energies.Full Answer >
The Gemological Institute of America reports that rubies originated in Burma (modern-day Myanmar), based on historical references dating back to the 6th century during the Shan dynasty. The Mogok ruby mines were taken over by Burma's king in 1597.Full Answer >
Raw gemstones are sold through online marketplaces, to local gemstone and jewelry stores, and at gem show exhibitions. Rough and cut stones are auctioned on eBay, Gem Rock Auctions and the Gemology Marketplace. Contact local sellers and gem societies to find out how to become an official seller.Full Answer >