This page offers all the essential information you need about rubies. What they are, where they come from and what to look for when buying rubies.
Rubies have been one of the most sought-after and valued gems in history. Called ratnaraj in ancient Sanskrit meaning the “king of precious stones” and mentioned by Pliny in his Natural History for their great hardness, they are a symbol of courage and thought to ward off misfortune and ill-health.
Rubies have adorned royalty around the world for centuries. Modern lore most associates rubies with expressions of love and passion, which maybe explains why rubies still command the highest per-carat price of any colored stone to this day. It is also why ruby engagement rings are a very popular alternative engagement ring to diamonds.
It is common for rubies to be heated to improve colour and remove impurities. Unheated rubies are the most scarce and fetch high premiums especially from Burma (Myanmar).
Ruby is the birthstone for July and the zodiac gemstone for Aries. They are also the recommended gem for couples celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary and a great alternative to diamonds for engagement rings.
As gemstone suppliers, Haruni Fine Gems aims to give accurate gemstone descriptions and all the gemstone knowledge you need to buy stones with confidence, as well as support you in the selling process. We offer free shipping worldwide and a money back guarantee.
The ruby is the red variety of the mineral corundum (aluminium oxide), with its red hues caused by the traces of chromium. It is the second hardest naturally occurring gem after diamonds. Rubies are generally treated and cut before they are mounted and sold, with heat treatments being the most common method used. However you must be comfortable and trusting of your supplier as synthetic enhancements are widespread. As a rule of thumb: if the price of a stone is too good to be true, get a second opinion.
Rubies are primarily graded on colour, cut, carat and origin.
Natural rubies have imperfections known as rutile crystals, which separate them from synthetic rubies. Although rubies have shading variations and underlying tones, the pigeons blood ruby red colour of Burma (Myanmar) is considered the most valuable. Mozambique rubies have also been found to have this quality in some cases, but whilst still valuable, are not as valuable as the Burma equivalent.
Rubies have traditionally been mined in Southeast Asia, especially Thailand, Burma, and Cambodia and more recently in central and eastern Africa, in Tanzania and Mozambique.
Colour: Red and bright red, also with secondary hues of pink, orange and violet and brown.
Pure red rubies, pigeons blood and red rubies with a purplish secondary hue are most desirable.
Flawless rubies are extremely rare. Small amounts of typical rutile inclusions can improve the colour of the stone by breaking up and scattering the light throughout the stone.
Eye visible inclusions are acceptable.
Heating to improve colour is very common and accepted.
Fracture, fission or cavity filling with artificial materials such as glass. This type of treatment is very common and it helps, but must be disclosed as a heat treatment.
AFRICA: Mozambique, Tanzania Madagascar
ASIA: Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, Sri Lanka
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