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Elbaite Gemstone

Like many gem families, Tourmalines are split into several sub-species. Most gem quality Tourmalines fall into the Elbaite group. Its name is derived from the small island of Elba, Italy, where the first gem was discovered in 1913.

Chances  are  that  if  you  own  a  colourful Tourmaline, then it is a member of the Elbaite subspecies.  As  it  will  most  likely  have  been  formed from a three or six sided elongated crystal structure, the shape of your gem is more likely to be an elongated baguette or oval rather than a  round shape. All Elbaites are strongly pleochroic (different  colours  can  be  seen  when  viewing the gem from different angles) and its members include  Rubellite  which  is  Red,  Achroite  - colourless, Siberite - lilac to violet, Paraiba - neon  blue to green and Indicolite - blue.

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Most gem-quality Tourmaline is from the Elbaite group.