Eudialyte OR Rubelite

Eudialyte OR Rubelite

We have had a flurry of emails in relation to our Eudialyte polished products. We are completely aware that EVERYONE across the globe interprets this rock as being matrix rubelite, but at Toprock we have to respectfully agree to disagree. Below is the most recent reply to our client explaining my reasoning (Alex). This is merely food for thought!
IF ANYONE HAS ACTUALLY TESTED A SAMPLE PLEASE SEND US RESULTS.
Email Extract
First Eudialyte has been reported from Madagascar. However the local sellers of this product referred to it as Rubelite (and price it accordingly). The unfortunate reality is that the locals do not know Eudialyte and perhaps more importantly and something which has the greatest impact on global perception is that there if no export permit for Eudialyte in Madagascar (again due to the unknown nature of the product). Therefore even if the suppliers/locals believed it to be Eudialyte it would be exported as rubelite for sheer logistical and bureaucratic reasons. 
Our own research on this topic is quite extensive. Mindat has a image of matrix eudialyte which is the only comparative thing I have ever seen for the material you are referring to and no comparative material has ever come to light for "matrix Rubelite". Therefore, one of the largest mineral database are in support of our informed decision. Secondly, the vast majority of people only ever see the polished product and only a half full of these at best. However in the hundreds of kilograms we have imported and sold (which I personally inspect every single piece) I have not yet found a single discernible crystal which is representative of the classic tourmaline shape. Earlier this month I also had the first opportunity to inspect close to 200 kilograms of rough / raw material. Again not a single tourmaline like structure was visible even on the raw material. Purely based on logical deduction and supported by a personal knowledge and passion for tourmaline I would thus infer that it is in fact Eudialyte and not Rubelite. 
In terms of pricing, we sell Eudialyte based on the pricing we pay for it, and this is comparative to the pricing you may expect to pay for rubelite. However, based purely on the rarity of Eudialyte it should be comparatively more expensive however our costing models do not operate on perceptual value. We have very fixed pricing models. It would be our opinion that Eudialyte should sell in fact for more than rubelite purely based on extreme rarity. However, we charge relative to cost and has nothing to do with opinion. Most recently we have been tempted to put this scenario to bed by sending a sample of raw material away for analysis. This is truly the only real way of knowing.
One last thing to mention, Eudialyte is not at all well known even by collectors. It perhaps has a lack of appeal in this regards as it may be rare and its not very flashy. However, Rubelite has the opposite effects in terms of the perception of value created due to it being pink tourmaline. I think this also affects market decisions in relation to naming standards and interpretation. If Eudialyte sits on the shelves and doesn't sell, perhaps its an economic convenience to rename it Rubelite to give the product more appeal to the consumers. Despite no scientific reasoning or hypothesis to support the rubelite deduction.
Regards
Alex P

21 comments

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Alex P

Alex P

Thanks Bob! That is the most useful information i have ever received on the topic! Much appreciated.

Tim Jokela Jr

Tim Jokela Jr

I’ve been curious about this material. I’d like to buy some rough, and I’ll get it analyzed. Email me a price for a few kg. (I’ve collected eudialyte-group minerals at several localities in Canada; have sold Russian crystals, and have faceted some.) Tim Jokela Jr. tjokela@execulink.com

Bob Truppe

Bob Truppe

Eudialyte and Rubellite crystal structures are similar to a degree. An analysis at a gem show/society is never conclusive. Even bringing minerals to the Royal Ontario Museum to have their resident expert identify a sample has resulted in an erroneous identification. Having samples tested requires one pound of pulp which is not feasible for mineral samples that we purchase and sell. Both minerals have similar specific gravity value around 3.0, but Eudialyte is softer by as much as 2 points on the MOHS scale. Eudialyte can be scratched by Tourmaline, the reverse is not true. A good set of mineral hardness picks can be used to distinguish Eudialyte from Rubellite, a Mohs pick of six will not scratch Rubellite but will scratch Eudialyte most of the time and a seven will scratch Eudialyte with ease compared to Rubellite. Just my 2 cents worth.

Alex P

Alex P

Thank you Monica! I hope to have someone do XRF on the specimens to test the various lines of thought. I love healthy debates! :-P

Moni's Crystals

Moni's Crystals

I am sorry but I still think it is Rubellite :D.  I have Rubellite palmstones that are identical.  I took my sphere and one of the hearts to our local gem society.  They inspected it as well and agree they are Rubellite.  Unless there is an expert doing an actual test we will always agree to disagree.

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