Ruby Stone - Colour, Characteristics & Properties - TJC


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Prized and treasured for its marvellous and engaging hues, here is a gem that has been popular since ages! The crimson delight finds its centre spot on countless designs of jewellery. Known to have the highest price per carat, it is also considered to be one of the most important gems of the market. In fact, this gemstone is counted among the cardinal stones, which also have diamonds, emeralds, amethysts, and sapphires. Here, you’ll find everything there is to know about the dazzling and hypnotizing gemstone. Ruby has been regarded as an incredibly powerful stone since times immemorial. Over the centuries, there has been a lot of speculation about the beautifully-hued gem. It was believed by ancient Hindus that whoever presented this gorgeous gemstone to Lord Krishna would be made an emperor in the next birth. History of the gem has also told us that some people wore it in the left hand, believing it would bring them power and fortune. Some people say that Ruby was considered to be the most powerful stone among the 12 gems that God created!

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Origin and Supply of Ruby

Name of this gem is originated from the Latin word “rubens,” which is for red. Known popularly with its mesmerizing and captivating crimson colour, this gem has been coveted by countless since it was discovered. It is also considered to be the stone of tales. Because of its deep colour, it has been associated with a lot of legends and mysteries, formed over the years. In fact, ruby birthstone is considered to be among the most important birthstones. They are also known for their different places of origin. Their colour and grade, too, change with their origin. Two most popular areas of origin are...

Burmese Ruby:- Mined and sourced from Myanmar, these stones hold an intense, rich, and highly prized deep red colour with hints of blue. These gems are considered to be rare and expensive. In fact, these are the among the finest quality of the stones ever found. The gorgeously hued and extraordinarily clear stones are rare and comparatively higher-priced, too. Their most expensive range is called Pigeon Blood Ruby, which has a hypnotizing crimson red colour.

African Ruby:- The main features of African rubies are their colour and transparency. These stones have a rich and deep red colour, which ruby is mainly known for. However, they come with opaque clarity and contain a lot of inclusions. They’re mostly used for cabochon cuts. The colour may vary from a dark red to darker pinks.

Thai Ruby:- When initially discovered, Thai Ruby was recognised with its deep and intense red colour, which is quite similar to the shade displayed by garnet. Over the years, heat treatment made the colours look richer and lighter, a process that exponentially increased the value of Thai Rubies! Now, these gems are reigning their market with the excellent clarity-and-colour combination.

How is Ruby mined?

Pit Mining:- This process is used in river deltas or areas that were deltas at one point. Here, the core carrying gem is placed, and strong irrigation process washes away the mother rock, sand, dirt, gravel, and other additions found around the stone, leaving only the strong and sturdy crystal. This process is used for the cores that are 3 to 24 metres deep.

Open-Trend Mining:- This is employed when mining for the gems is carried on the mountains. Strong pressure of water is applied on the slopes where the rocks are found. This pressure washes away all the sand, gravel, and mother rock, leaving only the glistening crystal behind. However, this process results in comparatively smaller stones as found in pit mining.

Cave System:- Small caves are dug in the ground to locate gravel containing the gem. Again, these rocks are cleaned with strong pressure of water to wash out the mother rock. It usually results in a higher yield; however, the caves collect water that needs to be pumped out. They are also usually abandoned during the monsoon season for the risks of flooding.

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Facts About Ruby

  • There are so many fun and interesting facts about the stone that you will have a lot of fun knowing. Here are mentioned the more important and relevant ones
  • The name of ruby is originated from the Latin word “rubens,” which translates into red. It is for the colour most popularly found of ruby.
  • The light pink-hued variants of the stone are called pink sapphires. This is because their origin is more or less the same and the hue matches that of pink sapphires more....
  • The highest grade of ruby has intense red shades. And the variants with deep crimson hues with a hint of blue are exceptionally popular; they’re mined from Myanmar and are usually high-priced, too.
  • Ruby is considered to be among the 4 premium gemstones. Other ones are diamonds, sapphires, and emeralds.
  • Rubies are stones believed to be full of power and strength. This is the reason that they were worn as talismans. They were considered to protect warriors in their battles.
  • Rubies are associated with love and devotion, all because of their brilliant red and exotic hues.
  • Ruby Birthstone is considered to bring joy and happiness for the people who are born in July. They can also be ideal gifts for 15th or 40th anniversaries.
  • Almost all rubies you’ll come across will hold some inclusions or flaws. These inclusions are considered to be natural. The stones without any imperfections are extremely rare and are extremely high-priced.
  • It is extremely rare and treasured to find the stone that weighs more than a carat. The price of these gems increases directly in proportion with their carat weight.
  • Rubies rank 9th on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, which makes them stand next to diamonds, which are strongest gems in all. Due to the presence of chromium, they get their known red colour. Pigeon blood ruby is considered to be the best hue. Others vary from dark red to pink tones.

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Properties of Ruby

The beautiful gemstone is primarily identified on the basis of its exceptional colour paired with brilliant clarity. It is a variety of mineral corundum. Its deep and inviting red hues are due to the presence of chromium. Considered to be among the costliest crystals, these gems’ values shoot up with their intensity of colour and carat weight. In fact, ruby is among the stones whose price is directly related with the carat weight. Higher carats always mean higher-priced gems. Here are the 4 most important determining features that will help you identify the quality of your stone ...

1. Colour: The most important feature of a ruby is its colour. Known for its gorgeous and darling reds, it has been loved worldwide for its intensity. The highest-grade stones will have a rich, dark, and indulgent red with hints of blue in it – this shade is called “Pigeon’s Blood Ruby.” Other grades offer you different shades of red. The lightest shade, which margins on pink, is usually called “pink sapphire” instead of a ruby. If you wish to identify your precious stone from an imitation, know that the real one will glow.

2. Cut: The sparkling gem can be found in several cuts and facets. It is a gemstone known for its brilliant vitreous nature and can be chiselled in various cuts just to flaunt that. The cuts popular in smaller stones are round, oval, asscher, trillion, marquise, and emerald-cut, among others. However, the bigger-sized varieties will usually be found in oval or cushion cuts, as these cuts preserve rough weight.

3. Clarity: Ruby, along with its colour, is also known for its exceptionally beautiful clarity. The stone has a crystalline make, promising visibility through it. That said, small inclusions and fractures in the gem are considered absolutely natural. But, if these inclusions are reducing the transparency of the gem, they will reduce its value. That said, it is increasingly rarer to find large stones with no inclusions.

3. Carat: Ruby is counted among the few stones whose value increases with its carat weight. This is because finding a stone above the weight of a carat is considered to be rare. This is primarily the reason why the prices of ruby go up as their carat weight increase. Rarer gems command higher prices, always.

Ruby Gemstone Treatment:- Most of these gemstones undergo some or the other kind of treatment. Among the most popular is the heat treatment, which is used to enhance its colour. The fractured rubies are also filled with lead glass. After faceting, your stone might have also been oiled or dyed at some point. However, it is very important for you to ask your jeweller for proof and information of all the treatments used. You must also remember that almost all the gemstones have been through some or the other enhancement or treatment.

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What to Remember While Buying Ruby?

  • There are several tips and tricks that you ought to keep in mind, when buying ruby. Some of these more important advises are mentioned below:
  • Know the 4C’s. Determining your stone’s quality involves the study of 4C’s and they are: colour, carat, cut, and clarity. The highest-grade stone will have intense and deep red colour, will weigh around a carat, chiselled into oval or cushion cut, and will have minimum inclusions or clouding.
  • Several jewellers claim that the stone they’re offering hasn’t been treated. However, this isn’t true at all. Almost every gemstone undergoes some or the other enhancement or treatment process. You need to find out which one it is....
  • Another feature that affects the grade of this gem is its origin. Burmese Rubies and Madagascar Rubies are counted among the costliest varieties of the gem, owing to their fabulously rich colour and bespoke clarity. Stone of other origins are comparatively lower priced.
  • If you’re out to buy this gem, you must know that the price of it rises with its carat weight. So, when you’re making your budget, you need to factor in the price per carat, too. If you’re looking for affordable rubies, then aim for carat weight below 1.
  • It needs to be known that inclusions, clouding, and fractures in the crystal are considered to be natural. However, if these are affecting the transparency, the price of ruby goes way down. Hold your stone against light to observe these inclusions. If its near to clear, it’ll be more expensive.
  • Rubies are rarer than diamonds or sapphires and are, hence, higher priced. Know this before you invest in a pricey jewellery piece.
  • Know that no authentic jeweller will offer you slashed down prices of ruby that cuts its value by a lot. These stones are as prized as they’re rare. They cannot be sold on big discounts. If you’re finding an unbelievably low amount, beware.
  • The most popular imitations used in the current market are garnet and red glass. However, they can be placed apart just by colour. The colours of both these gems are brighter and more vivid than a ruby.
  • Ruby ranks 9 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, which makes it a pretty strong and durable gem. It cannot be easily broken, as opposed to its counterparts.
  • When shopping for ruby, be sure to ask for certificate of authenticity if you’re purchasing a higher-priced gemstone.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Ruby

1. How Do You Know A Ruby Is Genuine?

The best way of finding out if your stone is genuine is by studying its colour. It is a known feature that a real ruby has an almost glowing red shade. The imitations have bright and synthetic red, much unlike luxurious and deeper tones of ruby.

2. What is The Different Between Pink Sapphire and Ruby?

The difference has everything to do with how much red is present in this stone. Both the gems are variants of same family and are varieties of aluminium oxide. However, the amount of chromium sets them apart. In fact, beryl with lighter tones of pink are called pink sapphires.

3. Which Ruby is The Best Quality?

The grade of rubies usually depends on the 4C’s, which are cut, carat, colour, and clarity. However, origin plays a very important role. The highest-grade stones are called Burmese Rubies and they’re mined in Myanmar. They boast of deep red colour with a tinge blue.

4. What Are the Benefits of Wearing Ruby?

If astrological medicine is to be believed, ruby has lots of physical benefits. Wearing the stone may improve eyesight as well as blood circulation. It is also believed that it gives the wearer strength and confidence for a long time.

5. What Is A Natural Ruby?

As opposed to the lab-created rubies, natural stones are minimally treated. They are found with stunning intense red colour with impressive clarity. These features, however, do increase the per-carat price of the stone.

6. What Colour Ruby Is Most Valuable?

Variants of the stone boasting dark and deep red colour, with tinges of blue in them, are supposed to the best grades. Even the stones with purple-red hues are higher-priced. However, as the colour washes down, the grade of the stone also falls down along with the prices.

7. Is Ruby A Birthstone?

Yes, ruby birthstone is considered important for all the people who are born during the month of July. It is also considered to be the best present for 15th or 40th anniversaries.

8. Can You Scratch A Real Ruby?

Ruby ranks 9 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, which makes it a pretty strong stone. That said, it isn’t as hard as diamonds. It is not easy to scratch the stone. However, if you wish to identify your stone from a fake, you may scratch the base using a coin. If you’re easily able t scratch it, the gem in hand is fake.

9. What Does Ruby Symbolize?

The intense red colour is associated with strength and passion. The stone, for a long time, was known to indicate love and togetherness. It is still considered to be among the stones best for symbolizing power as well as powerful feelings.

10. Why Are Rubies Rare?

Ruby is a variety of aluminium oxide. It gets its red colour from the presence of chromium. Smaller-sized gems are abundantly found in the market, and they aren’t as expensive either. However, it is seemingly difficult to source these stones above the weight of a carat. This makes them rare, and hence, higher priced, too.