Jewelry Guide and Resources Directory

What is a Ruby?


Rubies are the most valuable members of the corundum family. Large gem quality rubies can be more valuable than comparably sized diamonds and are certainly rarer. Stones of Burmese origin generally command the highest prices. The gemstone ruby is one of the symbols of love. A ruby comes from the mineral Corundum like sapphire. The name ruby is reffered to shades of red which also technically includes the color pink. Most gem dealers would rather call a corundum gem a ruby rather than a pink sapphire.

The International Colored Gemstone Association passed a resolution that the light sades of the red hue be included in the category Ruby since it was too difficult to legislate where red ended and pink began. So, because of that reason pink shades are now known as either pink ruby or pink sapphire. The finest ruby has a slight purplish red to pure vibrant red hue. When the hue becomes more purplish or orangey, the ruby's quality moves down in the scale into good and commercial ranges. The rubies that have the highest quality have a vivid saturation.

Most people prefer getting a ruby that is either or in the middle of a medium tone to medium dark tones. If the ruby's tone is too light the stone is then considered a pink sapphire. The most valuable ruby colors are red to slightly purple, slightly red with medium, medium dark, tones and strong medium dark to vivid, tones and strong saturation. These are normally called cherry red to pigeon blood red colors. Ruby is one of the best choices for jewelry. Because a ruby's relative density is high, a one carat ruby will be smaller in millimeter dimensions than a one carat diamond would.

Ruby's facet grade stones are usually cut in the cushion or oval shapes. Native cutters take liberties with the cutting of the pavilions or back side of rubies to produce larger stones by lifting out dark inclusions. These minor cuts are not noticeable when the stones are mounted onto a ring or a pendent and they do not affect the price of the ruby. Over 99 percent of all ruby on the market is heat treated to stabilize or enhance the color or clarity. This heat treatment process is a permanent process that does not adversely affect the gemstone in any way. The lower temperature wood blow heat method typically heat enhances procedure performed.

African ruby's usually refers to the high temperature furnace fired method. These two methods are allowed in trade practice. These heat treatments are permanent on the ruby, and it does not affect the performance on ruby. There are some places that feature non-heated natural rubies. Rubies are normally safe to clean in ultrasonic cleaners but be sure not to use a steamer, that could be risky. Rubies are one of the most valuable and they are rare than any top quality colorless diamonds.




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