Rubellite is a member of the tourmaline family. It takes its name from the Latin word for "reddish".

Pink to red, often with a hint of purple, the ruby color is the most prized.

The name tourmaline comes from an old Sinhalese word, "touramalli" meaning "stones of mixed colors".

Tourmaline can be any color of the rainbow or a combination of two or three colors. For example, red/pink tourmaline is called Rubellite (highly sought after) and bright blue Paraiba tourmaline (rare and very expensive). There are also multi-colored crystals that appear with a different color on each side of the crystal. There are also crystals with one color on the inside of the crystal covered by another color on the outside, these with a pink inside and green outside are called watermelon tourmalines.

Tourmaline has the ability to resemble other gemstones and this has sometimes produced some confusion. Many of the red stones found in 17th century Russian crown jewels, once thought to be rubies, are actually tourmalines. The main mines for tourmalines are in North America and Brazil.