Ruby derived its name from the Latin word "ruber", which translates into modern English as "red." Popularly known as the "King of Gems" in Sanskrit texts. This exquisite gemstone comes in various red shades, ranging from pinkish to bluish red. Natural Ruby, like sapphire, is a variety of corundum and is one of the world's hardest minerals. Since the dawn of civilization, rubies have been treasured possessions of many rulers (Kings and Queens). The gemstone was prized by European royals and aristocrats more than any other gemstone during the Middle Ages.
Burma (Myanmar) has been a major source of exquisite natural rubies for centuries. Today many deposits in Mozambique, Thailand, Sri Lanka, China, Tanzania, Afghanistan, Australia, Brazil, India, Cambodia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Nepal, Pakistan, Zimbabwe, Tajikistan, the United States, and Vietnam also produce natural rubies. The Montepuez ruby deposit, found in 2009 in Mozambique, is the world's largest known ruby mine.
Ruby deposits are extremely rare, making the stone genuinely valuable. This gemstone's hardness, durability, luster, and rarity make it even more desirable. The most widely known and most pricey rubies are those that range from bright red to reddish-brown. Natural Ruby rings, pendants, earrings, and bracelets exude idyllic splendor and are a must-have in any woman's jewelry collection.
Red is a color that is affiliated with passion and love. This may be one of the reasons why this precious stone is one of the most popular engagement ring options. Ruby is the birthstone for July and is said to bring happiness to those who wear it. It is also appropriately named "the ruby jubilee stone" for the commemoration of the 40th anniversary.
Rubies have been prized for their vibrant red color since antiquity. Medieval Europeans wore natural Rubies to symbolize health, riches, wisdom, and love. This remarkable gemstone was once thought to be the most potent precious gem in ancient cultures. It is one of the 12 stones mentioned in the Bible and is affiliated with beauty and wisdom. Ruby's long and illustrious history adds to its trend and relevance.
Ruby was also believed to have the power to shield the wearer from all harm and aid in promoting peace. It was also used as a charm to keep sadness and negative thoughts at bay and sometimes also promote mental clarity and focus.
The color Red has always been affiliated with passion and love, so is Ruby. This may be one of the reasons why this precious stone is one of the most popular engagement ring options. Ruby is the perfect birthstone for July and brings happiness to those who wear it. It is also appropriately named "the ruby jubilee stone" for the commemoration of the 40th anniversary.
Hardness and Strength
Rubies are a red variety of the mineral corundum that gleams and exudes pure brilliance and luster. Aluminum and oxygen make up the majority of corundum. Other elements such as iron, chromium, and titanium are also present in trace amounts. Rubies are the second hardest substance on the planet after diamonds, with a Mohs hardness rating of 9.
Natural Rubies are commonly heat-treated (meaning they are exposed to high heat to improve their color). This process produces a long-lasting result and is stable. Other treatment methods such as glass filling are used on Rubies with large fractures and display a lot of inclusions. This treatment method improves clarity and transparency, making these gemstones not termed "Natural" when applied. Glass-filled rubies have a much lower value than their "Natural" counterparts.
Rubies are one of the world's most valuable precious stones and command the highest market prices among colored gemstones. Many factors determine the quality and price of a ruby.
One of the essential characteristics that make a ruby gemstone valuable is its color. Color differences of a few shades can make a big difference in value and pricing. Pure, vibrant Red with a hint of blue is the most desired color in the trade. If a ruby's color is too light, the stone is classified as a pink sapphire (pink corundum). The ruby's quality decreases as the shade becomes more orange or purple.
Rubies with no inclusions are nearly impossible to find. The visibility of these inclusions plays an essential role in determining the price and value of the ruby. Noticeable inclusions and those that reduce the stone's transparency or brightness will also decrease the gem's value. Thin mineral inclusions known as needles are typical in natural rubies. Silk is the name these needles give when they form intersecting groups within the gem. Ruby inclusions can take the form of tiny crystals, color patches, or fingerprint-like patterns.
The shape of a ruby crystal determines its suitability for various cuts. A flat tabular hexagonal shape is the most popular shape for rubies. Rubies are generally cut into oval and cushion shapes, with brilliant-cut crowns and step-cut pavilions. Rubies in round, triangular, emerald, pear, and marquise shapes are also available, but larger sizes are uncommon.
All of these factors result in different quality levels. These grades are the only standardization available when purchasing rubies and ruby jewelry, even though they're not universally acknowledged.
The price of a ruby per carat increases exponentially as the size of the stone increases. Natural rubies over one carat in fine quality are extremely rare, making them extremely valuable. Rubies of commercial quality are widely available in a variety of sizes.
These are the top 1% of all Natural Rubies on the market in terms of quality. These gemstones display a deep, rich red color known as "pigeon blood," slightly included, and have a high brilliance.
The top ten percent of natural rubies are included in this grade. They have a distinctive medium dark red color with few inclusions.
Rubies in this grade are the top 10% of natural rubies. These rubies display a significant medium-dark red color with moderate inclusions.
Natural Rubies in this grade are among the 50 - 70% of all-natural rubies on the market. They display an acceptable shade of Red ranging from medium to the lightest tone of Red. They show a heavy amount of moderate to hefty amount of inclusions.
Like any other gemstone, a natural ruby is susceptible to chipping or cracking when subjected to high impact, especially when set in jewelry. Foreign particles are also likely to accumulate on the surface of this brilliant gem, dulling it over time.
Here are some helpful tips for extending the life of your gleaming rubies:
- When doing everyday chores, it is essential to take off your ruby ring or ruby bracelet except when it's your wedding ring.
- To avoid surface cloudiness, wear your ruby jewelry only after applying perfume, lotion, and hairspray.
- Use a soft cotton cloth to gently wipe away skin oil and make-up after wearing your jewelry.
- Consult your jewelry store if your ruby jewelry has been subjected to a significant impact and check for cracks or loose stones.
- To prevent scratches from harder stones and to keep your ruby from scratching softer stones, store them separately by wrapping them in pouches or in jewelry safety boxes with separated chambers.
- When cleaning your ruby jewelry, use a soft toothbrush, mild liquid soap water, and gently clean. Rinse with warm water right away and dry with a lint-free cloth.
- Ruby jewelry can also be cleaned with ultrasonic and steam cleaners, but make sure they are compatible with the metal your ruby is set in.
Follow these guidelines to keep your Natural Ruby jewelry gleaming for the coming years.