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History & Introduction


Ruby tends to be the highest valued colored gemstones, in fact, large rubies can bring higher prices as compared to equivalently sized diamonds. Ruby is a variety of corundum obtaining the red color from chromium.

According to the Indian language of Sanskrit, ruby is called "ratnaraj" that means as "king of precious stones". According to the ancient Sanskrit texts, Bible or other historical writings link ruby as a precious gem, showing the rich history and abiding appreciation of ruby gemstones. The English name "ruby" comes from the Latin word "ruber", meaning red. The most desirable ruby color is a rich deep red with a hint of blue that is known as "pigeon's blood". In Thailand, ruby is known as "tabtim", which means "pomegranate". The reason is that the shining red gems gives a look of edible seed coats found inside a ripe pomegranate. Ruby is the birthstone for July.

Ancient Hindus believed that when ruby is offered to Krishna, rebirth as an emperor was certain. According to Burmese warriors rubies would make them invincible, and also inserted rubies under their skin for this purpose. The Romans & Greeks used rubies for their healing abilities. According to the story of Marco Polo, Kublai Khan gave the King of Ceylon a city in exchange for a large ruby. As per the Medieval Europeans the rubies gives good health, prosperity, wisdom and a successful love life.

Ruby is famed for its bright red color, being the most popular and fabled red gemstone. Near its bright color, it is a most desirable gem due to its hardness, durability, luster, and rarity. Rubies that are transparent and large in size are even rarer than Diamonds.

Recognize - Ruby can be identified by its hardness of 9 on the Mohs scale, and vibrant color. Natural ruby can be distinguished from synthetic ruby by its inclusions; natural ruby typically shows the additions, whereas synthetic ruby tends to be eye clean.

Availability - The most important sources of ruby are Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Tanzania and Sri Lanka Other sources are Afghanistan, Australia, Mozambique, Brazil, India, Kenya, Pakistan,Madagascar, Cambodia, Tajikistan, Malawi, Nepal, Zimbabwe, , the USA and Vietnam.

Usages - Ruby is one of the most famous precious stones, and is used especially in Jewelry. Ruby is used in all forms of jewelry, including necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and rings, and. It is used both as centerpiece gemstone in rings and pendants, as well as a secondary stone to complement other gemstones such as Diamonds. Star Ruby is made extremely valuable when polished as cabochons, and, if clear then its value increases.

Buying Guide

Color - The color of ruby is its most important feature linked to quality. The most sought after color is a strong pure red to red with a clue of blue. "Pigeon's blood", is the vivacious red hue. When the color of ruby is too light, it is known as pink sapphire, however the line between pinkish-red ruby and pink sapphire varies by region. There are mining that get pink ruby and consider it as ruby. The strong red fluorescence of ruby is defined as the glowing color of ruby.

Clarity and Lustre - Naturally, Ruby typically displays inclusions and these are tolerated as part of the nature of the stone. But, with the inclusions minimize transparency or brilliance, it lowers the value. Ruby that is free from eye visible inclusions is available, but, huge eye clean gemstones are rare and extremely valuable.

Cut and Shape - Frequently ruby is mixed-cut, with brilliant-cut crowns along with step-cut pavilions. A wide variety of cutting styles and shapes are even used for crafting the ruby that is raw into a gemstone. In general the shapes used are ovals and cushions. There are different cuts available too, such as round, emerald cut, triangular, pear and marquise cuts. Yet as the forms are difficult to determine in larger sizes because they avoid the cushions to reserve gross weight and ovals. Rarely available are over one carat ruby, therefore, the price shoots greatly according to size. Ruby showing asterismo (the star effect) is normally cut cabochon, showing the optical phenomenon. Rubies with rutile inclusions (such as star rubies) exhibit a silky sheen, while the transparent rubies mostly have a vitreous luster. Lapidarists in general targets to minimize raw ruby red orange pleochroism, as long as this does not cause too much of a loss of carat weight.

Treatment - Exposed to a heat treatment in order to improve the color. This is considered to be a stable and permanent enhancement. Intact rutile inclusions (also known as "silk") provide proof that a ruby gemstone has not been heat treated. Ruby is also treated with diffusion to improve the color and irradiated. Other enhancements are the fracture filling with lead glass that is conducted to render heavily included gemstones fit for jewelry use. Sometimes, ruby is oiled or dyed. In spite of all of the treatments that is provided to ruby, natural ruby gemstones are available and all reputable gemstone sellers declare any treatments or enhancements.

Gemological Characteristics:

Chemical Formula Al2O3, Aluminum oxide
Crystal Structure Trigonal, tables or hexagonal prisms, rhombohedrons
Color Different shades of reds
Hardness 9
Refractive Index 1.762 - 1.778
Density 3.97 - 4.05
Cleavage Not available
Transparency From transparent to opaque
Double Refraction or Birefringence -0.008
Lustre From Vitreous to silky
Fluorescence Strong: carmine red
Crystal System Hexagonal
SG 3.9 - 4.1
Mineral Class Corundum

Classification:

  • Burmese Ruby
  • Mozambique Ruby
  • Star Ruby
  • Ruby Glass filled