Of the group of minerals known as the Tourmalines, Elbaite is the most well-known, colorful and valuable member. It is commonly green, red to pink, blue, orange, yellow, colorless and multicolored, with a vitreous luster. All of the colors, especially multicolored, are cut into all forms and styles for the gem/jewelry trade. Its stunning crystals and crystal clusters are highly sought after by collectors.
The crystal system for Elbaite is hexagonal, typically forming elongated prismatic crystals and short, stubby prismatic crystals, both with striations and rounded, triangular cross-sections. Crystal clusters can be columnar, radiating and in compact masses. Other forms include acicular and massive.
Quality specimens of Elbaite are found in several locations, including Afghanistan, Brazil, Italy, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan and the USA (California, Maine, Connecticut).