THE MINERAL ELBAITE


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Elbaite belongs to the group of minerals known as the Tourmalines. It is the most colorful member of this group. Elbaite is often cut as a gemstone, sliced into colorful cross-sections or simply appreciated as natural specimens by millions of rock collectors. The many varied colors of Elbaite make it arguably the most colorful of the precious stones. Elbaite contains many variety names based on color. A beautiful blue variety is called indicolite (also known as indigolite), the pink to red variety is called rubellite, the green variety is known as verdelite, while the most famous variety is a pink and green combination called watermelon tourmaline. Often a specimen can have more than one color zone in the same crystal. These zones can alternate in color from the inside to the outside or from the top to bottom. Elbaite is strongly pleochroic which means that a transparent crystal will appear darker when viewed down the long axis of the crystal. A green or blue Elbaite can appear black when viewed from such an angle.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS:

  • Color is extremely variable with the most common colors being red, pink, green, blue, orange and yellow.
  • Luster is vitreous.
  • Transparency: Crystals are transparent to translucent.
  • Crystal System: Trigonal; 3 m
  • Crystal Habit is typically elongated three, and occasionally six, sided prisms. The terminations can be either a simple to complex trigonal pyramid or flat basal face. The prism faces are striated lengthwise. In cross section, all tourmalines will appear predominantly triangular in shape with some crystals showing a hexagon when three secondary prism faces are nearly as dominant as the three primary prism faces. Doubly terminated crystals are hemimorphic meaning that the two ends of the crystal are not exactly alike. The terminations on a doubly terminated crystal can have different slants to the pyramids on opposite ends. Acicular and massive forms can also be found.
  • Cleavage is absent although there is basal parting.
  • Fracture is uneven to conchoidal.
  • Hardness is 7 - 7.5
  • Specific Gravity is 3.0+ (average)
  • Streak is white.
  • Other Characteristics: Refractive indices = 1.62 and 1.68 .
  • Associated Minerals include those minerals associated with granitic pegmatites and metamorphic rocks such as micas, feldspars, quartz and even other gem minerals such as beryl, garnets, spodumene and topaz.
  • Notable Occurrences include the San Diego, California area; Brazil; Elba, Italy (where Elbaite gets its name); Sri Lanka; Pakistan; Maine, USA and Russia as well as many others.
  • Best Field Indicators are crystal habit, triangular cross-section, color and hardness.
For Tourmaline Jewelry, see --> TOURMALINE JEWELRY

Tourmaline Jewelry - Hover over an item for more information
Round Red Garnet Sterling Silver Ring with Pink Tourmaline & Red Garnet - Venus Band
Scalloped shells form a fluted pattern on each side of this feminine tapered band, carefully handcrafted in your choice of gems and metals.Only $205.00 at Gemvara
no photoRound Red Garnet Sterling Silver Ring with Pink Tourmaline & Red Garnet - Venus Band
$205.00
Gemvara
14K Yellow Gold Bracelet with Pink Tourmaline - Gemstones By The Yard Star Of David Bracelet
A layerable essential, handcrafted in your choice of gems and metals, featuring a Star of David in pave-set gemstones. Adjustable 7-7.5 chain."Only $520.00 at Gemvara
no photo14K Yellow Gold Bracelet with Pink Tourmaline - Gemstones By The Yard Star Of David Bracelet
$520.00
Gemvara
Round Green Tourmaline Sterling Silver Ring with Citrine & Fire Opal - Venus Band
Scalloped shells form a fluted pattern on each side of this feminine tapered band, carefully handcrafted in your choice of gems and metals.Only $205.00 at Gemvara
no photoRound Green Tourmaline Sterling Silver Ring with Citrine & Fire Opal - Venus Band
$205.00
Gemvara
Round Pink Tourmaline Sterling Silver Ring with London Blue Topaz & Citrine - Venus Band
Scalloped shells form a fluted pattern on each side of this feminine tapered band, carefully handcrafted in your choice of gems and metals.Only $205.00 at Gemvara
no photoRound Pink Tourmaline Sterling Silver Ring with London Blue Topaz & Citrine - Venus Band
$205.00
Gemvara
Sphere Pink Cultured Pearl Sterling Silver Necklace with Pink Tourmaline - Europa Pendant
Opposites attract in this timeless pendant design: the soft luster of the pearl perfectly complements the brilliance of the gem.Only $160.00 at Gemvara
no photoSphere Pink Cultured Pearl Sterling Silver Necklace with Pink Tourmaline - Europa Pendant
$160.00
Gemvara
Round Amethyst Sterling Silver Ring with Pink Tourmaline - Written in the Stars Ring
Two glittering gemstones and numerous star etchings rest atop the hollowed upper band of this gleaming ring, designed for the stargazers among us.Only $215.00 at Gemvara
no photoRound Amethyst Sterling Silver Ring with Pink Tourmaline - Written in the Stars Ring
$215.00
Gemvara
Round Green Tourmaline Sterling Silver Ring with Green Tourmaline - Written in the Stars Ring
Two glittering gemstones and numerous star etchings rest atop the hollowed upper band of this gleaming ring, designed for the stargazers among us.Only $225.00 at Gemvara
no photoRound Green Tourmaline Sterling Silver Ring with Green Tourmaline - Written in the Stars Ring
$225.00
Gemvara
Round Pink Tourmaline Sterling Silver Ring with Emerald & Peridot - Liana Ring with Three Gems
This lovely leafy vine ring twines across the finger while brilliant gems bloom among the leaves.Only $225.00 at Gemvara
no photoRound Pink Tourmaline Sterling Silver Ring with Emerald & Peridot - Liana Ring with Three Gems
$225.00
Gemvara
Round Pink Tourmaline Sterling Silver Ring with Rhodolite Garnet & Diamond - Venus Band
Scalloped shells form a fluted pattern on each side of this feminine tapered band, carefully handcrafted in your choice of gems and metals.Only $220.00 at Gemvara
no photoRound Pink Tourmaline Sterling Silver Ring with Rhodolite Garnet & Diamond - Venus Band
$220.00
Gemvara
Round Aquamarine Sterling Silver Ring with Pink Tourmaline - Written in the Stars Ring
Two glittering gemstones and numerous star etchings rest atop the hollowed upper band of this gleaming ring, designed for the stargazers among us.Only $220.00 at Gemvara
no photoRound Aquamarine Sterling Silver Ring with Pink Tourmaline - Written in the Stars Ring
$220.00
Gemvara
Round Iolite Sterling Silver Ring with Pink Tourmaline & Amethyst - Venus Band
Scalloped shells form a fluted pattern on each side of this feminine tapered band, carefully handcrafted in your choice of gems and metals.Only $205.00 at Gemvara
no photoRound Iolite Sterling Silver Ring with Pink Tourmaline & Amethyst - Venus Band
$205.00
Gemvara
4.00ct t.w. Multicolored Tourmaline J-Hoop Earrings Over Sterling
These J-hoop earrings have playful color and style. Soft hues of 4.00 ct. t.w. multicolored baguette tourmaline come together in channel settings. Clip/post, 14kt yellow gold over sterling silver earrings.Only $192.50 at Ross-Simons
no photo4.00ct t.w. Multicolored Tourmaline J-Hoop Earrings Over Sterling
$192.50
Ross-Simons
Round Peridot Sterling Silver Ring with Alexandrite & Green Tourmaline - Venus Band
Scalloped shells form a fluted pattern on each side of this feminine tapered band, carefully handcrafted in your choice of gems and metals.Only $225.00 at Gemvara
no photoRound Peridot Sterling Silver Ring with Alexandrite & Green Tourmaline - Venus Band
$225.00
Gemvara
Round Blue Topaz Sterling Silver Necklace with Pink Tourmaline - Inner Circle Pendant
Two brilliant gems are embraced by a spiraling circle within a circle. Choose the gems to represent your life or those you love.Only $185.00 at Gemvara
no photoRound Blue Topaz Sterling Silver Necklace with Pink Tourmaline - Inner Circle Pendant
$185.00
Gemvara
Round Green Tourmaline Sterling Silver Ring with Emerald & Rock Crystal - Venus Band
Scalloped shells form a fluted pattern on each side of this feminine tapered band, carefully handcrafted in your choice of gems and metals.Only $215.00 at Gemvara
no photoRound Green Tourmaline Sterling Silver Ring with Emerald & Rock Crystal - Venus Band
$215.00
Gemvara

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Available ELBAITE specimens:
see this List of ALL specimens including SOLD ones
 

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