This mineral, but little known, is so called from rubeus, which signifies red, and λίθος, a stone.
It is however called sibarite, because found chiefly in Siberia.
rubellite has all the properties of the tourmaline, and its colour
varies from hyacinth to pink ; sometimes, when shaded from the light,
it seems blue.
rubellite is found in the United States of America as well as in
Siberia. Feuchtwangor speaks of one of these stones found there whose
form is a perfect prism, dark red on one side, and dark green on the
other; it was found in 1850, and exhibited at New York in 1853.
Such stones are also found at Chesterfield, in Massachusetts.
Siberian rubellite cuts smooth and has often a milky-white iridized
light. When transparent it is quite clear, acquires a beautiful polish,
and may be called rather a valuable gem.
A rubellite, when pure and of a perfect colour, may be worth as much as 7,000 lire.
Those found in Maine are rare.
It has been thought by some that the rubellite is the lyncurium of the ancients, but their properties are not similar.
We have rubellite« which are certainly antique, but none of them are found engraved.