Other than green or yellow tourmaline it has earned its own brand just like red sapphire can be called ruby, but green sapphire and yellow sapphire are just green or yellow sapphire.
Also, Rubellite is not ‘Ruby-light’. I overheard a dealer use this sale’s pitch on a young couple in Tokyo. Nice try, but they didn’t fall for it. The word Rubellite derives from Latin for ‘red’; as does the word ‘ruby’ but Rubellite is not Ruby with zero calories.
Ruby and Rubellite do share a part of the color spectrum but no other significant gemological similarities. However, they raise the same discussion as pink sapphire and ruby: Where does pink tourmaline end and Rubellite begin? On principle, we follow the gem laboratory’s report. It’s difficult to be 100% objective when classifying your own gems. As a rule, the redder a tourmaline gets, the better it is and the closer it gets to be called Rubellite. Personally, I do not think a lavender pink tourmaline is less precious than a Rubellite, but there is a difference in market value and thus expectation. Baby pink tourmaline can be extra charming but does not qualify as Rubellite. However, I do not hesitate to show such a pink gem also in this section because many people are not aware of all these name-definitions and might be seeking the right stone in the wrong section.
Remark: we do show certain gems in, strictly spoken, gemologically incorrect sections to give them more exposure. We may display a Dravite under 'yellow tourmalines' because many casual buyers do not know the difference and might simply think there are no brown tourmalines, or worse that we don't carry them. The same may happen to, say, a deep orange-red sapphire. It is not a ruby, but we might display it with our rubies to show our customers that there are alternatives or border-line cases that might be exactly what somebody seeks for his budget, or wants for his taste.
Back to Rubellite. Clean, well cut vivid red or neon pink Rubellites beat most other tourmalines in price, except the noble Paraiba clan, the copper colored kings and queens. Chrome tourmalines also are rare and expensive but in such low supply and small sizes that they have been excluded from main stream jewelry. Rubellite, on the other hand, is in steady supply in all sizes and you can find them in high-end designer pieces as well as in mass productions, though then mostly irradiated to standardize and deepen the color.
As all tourmalines, Rubellite displays strong pleochroism, meaning color and shade or tone may change depending on the direction the gem is viewed from. Note: this is not 'color change' or 'color zoning', though both phenomena are found in Rubellite, as is chatoyancy (cat’s eye tourmaline). Extreme and abrupt color zoning in tourmaline produces, amongst others, the famous ‘watermelon tourmalines’, with one side red and one side green, one side Rubellite and the other ‘only’ green tourmaline.
Infinite variations promise a lifetime of collector fun.