Old Virginia Gem Co. supplies exceptionally rare gems, gem rough, estate jewelry, antiquities, and art to museums, jewelers and collectors worldwide.

Rubellite Tourmaline

Rubellite is one of the most desirable varieties of Tourmaline; in fact, there are only four significant deposits of Tourmaline in the entire world. Brazil’s first Tourmaline mine, the historic Cruzeiro mine located in São José da Safira, in Minas Gerais. This was an important deposit in the late 70s and early 80s, but it was Nigeria from 1998 onwards that really turned heads.The renowned Tourmaline deposits, unearthed in farming areas about 40 kilometers from the city of Ibadan in Nigeria’s Oyo, state near the border with Benin (West Africa), were virtually mined out within two years and today this source is largely depleted. Nigeria is noted for yielding extremely fine Rubellite. Deposits near the town of Betafo, located in Madagascar’s central highlands, which were discovered around 2005.The most recent, albeit short-lived discovery is Tourmaline from Shimoyo (also spelled Chimoio) in Mozambique's Manica Province. Only in operation from around January to April 2008, this deposit’s Rubellite is characterized by an unusually high ‘eye-clean’ clarity and a ‘classic’ color, with very little secondary brownish tints.

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