Information on Rubies


Ruby Gemstone Information

The ruby is the undisputed king of gemstones. In ancient Sanskrit, ruby is called Ratnaraj which means king of precious stones. No gemstone is as spontaneously associated with passion, power, majesty and anger than ruby. Ruby has everything a gemstone should have: magnificent colour, excellent hardness and outstanding brilliance.

Madagascar RubiesSince thousands of years, ruby has been considered as one of the most valuable gemstones on earth. Perfect rubies with no inclusions are extremely rare and cost a fortune. They are unlikely to be seen in everyday fine jewelry. The less transparent rubies are more affordable, although still precious.

If you are looking out for a gemstone, but not sure which one to buy, look no further, get a ruby!

Sources of Ruby

The most famous source of fine rubies is Burma, now called Myanmar. It is believed that ruby mining here has been active for more than a thousand years, and this is the source of the rare “pigeon’s blood” ruby. While Mogok is by far the most famous location in Burma for fine rubies, most of the Burmese rubies found today actually come from a relatively new and important mining area in Burma known as Mong Hsu. This rich ruby deposit produces commercial quantities of commercial quality ruby, but also significant quantities of fine quality, particularly in sizes up to a carat.

Thai rubies come from Chanthaburi province, an area of eastern Thailand bordering Cambodia.

Two deposits in eastern Madagascar – Vatomandry and Andilamena – have had a significant impact on the world’s gemstone industry. Recently, a new and large deposit has been found in south Madagascar in the Tulear district.

Sri Lanka stones are often pinkish or violet in hue and many are pastel in tone. Some, however, resemble the vivid pinkish red hues from Burma.

Rubies from Kenya and Tanzania surprised the world when they were discovered in the sixties because their color rivals the world’s best. Unfortunately, most of the ruby production from these countries has many inclusions, tiny flaws which diminish transparency.

Rubies from the African and Indian mines are also very famous during recent times.

Occasionally a few fine top-quality rubies appear on the market from Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Pamir Mountains.

Ruby History

Throughout most of recorded history, ruby has been the world’s most valued gemstone. Even diamond was considered common in comparison to the supreme beauty and value of this glowing red gem. To the ancients, ruby was a representation of the sun. It represented integrity, devotion, happiness, healing, courage, romance, generosity, inspiration, and prosperity. According to legends, warriors implanted rubies under their skin to bring valor in battle.

1.80-Carat High-Grade Unheated Pigeon Blood Red RubyAs a talisman, ruby would warn its owner against danger and disaster. Ground to a fine powder and placed on the tongue, it was believed by some ancient cultures to cure blood diseases, stop bleeding, ensure good health, bring peace, and treat indigestion. In England, ruby was used for coronation rings and to this day enjoys popularity among royalty. Fergie, the Duchess of York received a ruby engagement ring from Prince Andrew.

Ruby Treatments & Synthetics

Most rubies are heated almost to 2,000 degrees in order to maximize the red and remove secondary colors of blue and brown. Some rubies are also heated to improve clarity. Many a times, cracks in rubies are filled using “lead” or other similar substances. This treatment is known as “glass filling” or “lead filling”

1.28-Carat Unheated Dark Red Oval-Cut Ruby from MozambiqueIf ruby shows no signs of heating, it is very rare. The stone’s natural color must be confirmed by a laboratory report if it is to command a premium. We recommend Natural & Untreated Rubies (especially if they are to be used for astrological purposes).

Judging Ruby Value

Color is by far the most important characteristic to evaluate a ruby and judge its value, more so than most other loose gemstones. The term “pigeon blood” color has been used in the gemstone trade to characterize a perfect, fiery luminescent red of a perfect ruby. An intense, uniform luminescent red color characterizes the most valuable rubies.

4.15-Carat Unheated Pinkish Red Ruby from Niassa, MozambiqueClarity is of a secondary importance, and a fine colored ruby with slight flaws is still highly valued. The quality of the cut of a ruby gemstone is also of secondary importance although a good cut will enhance the color and luminosity of the ruby to produce a vivid red color. Size is also an important consideration. Price per carat in fine gem rubies is not linear. The price per carat of a fine 5 carat gem will be exponentially higher than a fine 2 carat gem of equal quality.

Ruby in Astrology

The wearing of Ruby gem removes poverty, imparts prosperity, name and fame in political sphere and the son is born to the wearer. Ruby gem is beneficial to those who are aspirant to high office. Creative people, who want fame and good health, must wear Ruby gemstone. Ruby gemstone must be worn by those whose Zodiac sign is Leo or the sun’s positions in his horoscope is weak.

  • Day for wearing: Ruby should be worn on Sunday
  • Time for wearing: Ruby should be worn at Sunrise
  • Finger: Ruby should be worn in the Ring Finger (2nd last finger)

The ruby should be red in color and a minimum of 2 carats. It should be set in gold of 14 Karat or more.

Ruby Facts

  • No natural gem, except diamond, is harder than ruby. Ruby has a hardness of 9.0 on the Mohs Hardness Scale (Diamond has 10.0)
  • Ruby is a variety of Corundum (a group which includes sapphire)
  • Various shades of ruby are bright red, purplish-red, brownish-red, pinkish-red, dark red and pink
  • Ruby is the birthstone for the month of July & Sunsign Leo and is recommended for 15th and 40th anniversaries
  • Refractive index of ruby is 1.76 – 1.77
  • Rubies are faceted into various types of cuts but the most preferred ones are round brilliant, oval and step cut. Rubies are also as polished domed cabochons.
  • Transparent rubies of large sizes are even rarer than diamond!
  • Ruby is also know by the following names: Manek or Manik (Indian Name), Padmaraga, Red-lotus color gem, Shona-Ratna, Red jewel, Ravi-Ratna, Gem of the sun.

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