Published December 2014  •  Updated October 2022  •  Read Time: 8 minutes
Red Tourmaline is a fantastic stone for love and passion.  Red Tourmaline is always a type of Elbaite, a variety of Tourmaline that can appear in every shade of the rainbow.  Red Tourmaline is sometimes called Rubellite, especially in the fine jewelry industry to describe particularly vivid and dark gems.  It is typically mined underground and is often associated with Clear Quartz and Smoky Quartz.  It is sometimes polished together and is then called Red Tourmaline Quartz.  It is fantastic stone to work with for romantic and sexual relationships.  It is also a very good choice for trauma work and recovering from a breakup.

Red Tourmaline red tourmaline quartz meaning

Red Tourmaline Meaning

Spiritual Healing Properties

Red Tourmaline is an incredible stone for anyone who wants to deepen their ability to love.  Red Tourmaline connects the root chakra to the heart, creating a direct pathway for devotional practices that require one to be both grounded and firmly heart-centered.  It invites us to understand the true nature of Love, it all its complexity and glory.  It reminds us that we must love other people as well as ourselves, it cannot be just the one or the other.  For love is a flowing energy that must travel back and forth between hearts, it can’t simply go one direction or stay in one place.  Red Tourmaline sings of courage without aggression, for doing what is right, while still being tactful and flexible.  It helps us to achieve our goals, without creating new problems along the way.

Metaphysical Properties Red Tourmaline Quartz
Chakra Root and Heart
Element Water and Earth
Numerology 1, 2, 4, and 5
Zodiac Libra, Sagittarius and Scorpio

Emotional Healing Properties

Red Tourmaline has a dynamic and loving vibrational field which is very pleasant to be around.  It encourages us to follow it’s lead and to showcase our own friendly and charming nature.  Red Tourmaline inspires feelings of comfort and safety between people, putting everyone at ease and allowing for more emotional intimacy.  It can be used to deepen friendships as well as to inspire passionate and satisfying romances.  Red Tourmaline gives us courage to love for the first time and to love again after heartbreak.  It reminds us that sometimes a relationship is only meant to last for a little while, but that doesn’t mean it failed or that the love wasn’t real or important.  When we are in-love with someone,  Red Tourmaline adds a rich delight to every encounter.  It motivates to keep our relationship fresh and exciting, while simultaneously prioritizing comfort and stability.  It challenges us to celebrate every day and to seize every opportunity for love.   Anyone who feels  emotionally numb, isolated or traumatized by the past will benefit from the dynamic energy of Red Tourmaline which shines like a beacon, drawing us back into Love, Light and Life.

Mental Healing Properties

Red Tourmaline encourages us to see the world with more compassion and pragmaticism.  If we have a tendency to jump to conclusions and believe that other people are conspiring against us, Red Tourmaline helps us to calm down.  It reminds us that most people are just trying to get through the day and they might not even notice their impact on others.  Red Tourmaline inspires us to be magnanimous and to assume good or neutral intent until proven otherwise.  If someone harms us, Red Tourmaline helps us to forgive so that our own heart doesn’t harden and to give absolution if the situation warrants it.  This kind of merciful response is not a sign of weakness, but rather of power.  To be merciful, means we are in control of the situation and in control of ourselves as well.

Physical Healing Properties

Red Tourmaline is a strong advocate for preventative self-care and for taking immediate action whenever a physical problem develops.  Red Tourmaline reminds us that we are responsible for our body and health, and no one can help us if we don’t first help ourselves.  Red Tourmaline asks us to act sensibly in regards to food, exercise, stress levels, and anything else that has a daily impact on our health.  It also encourages us to get regular physical checkups, so that any problem is discovered early and can be treated immediately.  If we suffer from mental issues, Red Tourmaline reminds us that the mind is part of our brain, and the brain is part of the body.  Just like any body part, our mind can get injured or sick and may need expert help in order to heal.  Red Tourmaline helps us to not take mental health issues so personally, but rather to treat them pragmatically the same way we might deal with a broken leg or a tooth cavity.  Red Tourmaline is an especially good talisman for anything to do with the physical heart, circulatory systems and reproductive system.

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Red Tourmaline Mineralogy

Where does Red Tourmaline come from?

Tourmaline is found around the world.  Elbaite is one of the main varieties which can appear in a rainbow of colors, including red and pink.  Notable deposits for Red Tourmaline include Afghanistan, Brazil, Madagascar, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Russia, and the United States

Mining and Treatments

Tourmaline is a fairly common mineral, but gem quality crystals are relatively rare, and found almost exclusively in Pegmatite. Numerous mines exist whose primary purpose is finding gem-quality Tourmaline.

Opaque Tourmalines are natural, enhanced only by cutting and polishing. But transparent Tourmaline can be heat-treated to brighten the color.  For example a dark green Tourmaline might be  heat-treated to become a vivid emerald green.  Such treatments primarily occur in the fine gemstone jewelry industry. Lab-created Tourmaline also exists.  But it is typically used for research purposes and so is not readily available to the general public.

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Red Tourmaline

Mineral Family

Tourmaline is a generic term which refers to 11 varieties of borosilicate minerals that can be any color of the rainbow.  Silicates are minerals which contain the elements Silicon (a light gray shiny metal) and Oxygen (a colorless gas). Together, these two elements form a tetrahedra – a shape similar to a pyramid – with a Silicon atom in the center and Oxygen atoms at each of the three corners. These tetrahedras connect with other chemical structures, in six different ways, to form various minerals and rocks. There are six main groups of Silicate minerals, and these main groups are further subdivided into a variety of secondary subdivisions, such as Quartz and Feldspar. Tourmaline belongs to the cyclosilicate family.  Cyclo means circle and all the minerals in this family form closed rings of tetrahedras.  All Tourmalines are borosilicats, which are cyclosilicates that contain the element boron.   Elbaite is a type of Tourmaline that comes in every shade of the rainbow, including red and pink.

Red Tourmaline’s energy works well with its family – other Cyclosilicate minerals.  Try it in combination with AquamarineDioptaseEmeraldEudialyteloliteMorganite, and Sugilite.  It also works well with other varieties of Tourmaline.  Try it with Dravite and Schorl.

Red Tourmaline Formation and Crystal Associates

Tourmaline is created when liquid magma from a volcanic explosion cools down and transforms into igneous rocks. During this cooling down period, borosilica acid shifts from being a gas/liquid into a solid compound, called Tourmaline. Most species of Tourmaline are found in Pegmatite, a type of ignenous rock which typically develops underwater

Red Tourmaline’s energy works well with its “friends” – crystal associates formed in the same geological environment.  Try it in combination with Black Tourmaline, Lepidolite, Quartz, and Smoky Quartz

Red vs Pink Tourmaline

The only difference between Red and Pink Tourmaline is the degree of the color saturation which is due to a high lithium content. In some cases, a crystal is very clearly “pink” or “red” but oftentimes the color is such that it could be reasonably called by either name.  If the crystal is particularly dark and vivid, it is sometimes called Rubellite.

Mineralogy Red Tourmaline
Chemical Formula NA (Mg, Fe, Li, Mn, Al )3Al6(BO3)3Si6O18(OH,F)4
Cleavage Indistinct
Color Red
Crystal System Hexagonal/triagonal
Form/Habit Prismatic, acicular
Fracture Uneven, small conchoidal, brittle
Hardness – Mohs Scale 7-7.5
Luminescence Blue (short wave)
Luster Vitreous
Mineral Family Cyclosilicates
Specific Gravity 2.82-3.32
Streak White
Transparency Transparent to opaque

History of Red Tourmaline

Tourmaline comes in every color making it difficult to trace in early lapidaries, texts which describe gemstones and their powers.  In antiquity, Red and Pink Tourmaline were most likely confused with other similarly-colored gemstones, such as Garnet, Ruby or Spinal.  Red, Pink and Purple Tourmaline are sometimes referred to as “Rubellite”.  This is a marketing name, rather than a scientific one, and should be used only for those stones that have a particularly dark and vivid warm hue.

Pliny the Elder (CE 23-79), a Roman author, naturalist and philosopher, may have described Red Tourmaline in his lapidary, The Natural History of Precious Gemstones.  Pliny the Elder described two stones from India (possibly Sri Lanka) which he called lychnis (probably a red Tourmaline) and iona (probably a purple Tourmaline). These two stones had an unusual quality when left to heat in the sun, or warmed by rubbing them vigorously, they would attract small pieces of paper or straw.  Tourmaline does in fact have a pyroelectric quality, meaning that when it is heated it gains a static charge which attracts small particles of dust, paper, lint etc.

The name “Tourmaline” reflects this multicolored splendor.  It comes from the Sri Lankan word turmali, which can be translated as “stone with mixed colors” or “gem pebbles.”  Sri Lanka is known for its beautiful Elbaite Tourmalines that come in every shade of the rainbow.  The Dutch East India Company first visited Sri Lanka in 1602, and then took control of the island’s coastline from 1640 until 1789.  Among the many imports that the Dutch East India Company brought back to Europe were sparkly gemstones.  The oldest record for Tourmaline’s healing powers is from a lapidary published in 1632 which calls Tourmaline, “the stone of wisdom, that is clear and resistant to all vagaries of fate.”

According to legend, when the Dutch East India Company introduced Elbaite Tourmalines to northern Europe, they were placed on display in Amsterdam.  Dutch children pointed out that the straw from the packaging material was magically attached to the stones. Soon after, Dutch scientists confirmed the unusual trait. While the legend is endearing, it is more likely that Tourmaline’s pyroelectric properties were discovered by Dutch jewelers, who commonly tested the durability of new gemstones by placing them in a fire. When heated, the Tourmaline would have attracted the ash from the fire. Indeed, Tourmaline was originally called aschentrekker, or “ash-attracter”. Later it was called the “electric stone.”