All The Brilliants

The Skinny on Ruby

Ruby! Ruby! Ruby! More rare than diamonds, this special stone has significance in several of our great civilizations. In India, it enabled peace with enemies. The Bible references beauty and wisdom. Rubies made Burmese warriors invincible (if embedded into their skin).

Whatever it may symbolize for you today, we've outlined points to help you understand value and what to ask to make an informed decision on the Ruby you will LOVE!


 
the skinny on Ruby
 

 
Ruby Ideal - Gemstone from Nash James

A special thank you to Nash James who shared this 3.06 carat natural ruby with me for the purpose of education. It is not heat treated from Mozambique.

Ruby! Ruby! Ruby! More rare than diamonds, this special stone has significance in several of our great civilizations. In India, it enabled peace with enemies. The Bible references beauty and wisdom. Rubies made Burmese warriors invincible (if embedded into their skin).

Whatever it may symbolize for you today, we've outlined points to help you understand value and what to ask to make an informed decision on the ruby you will LOVE!

 

 

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MAYA SELWAY 

Inspired by the gentle beauty of well-loved jewels, @MayaSelway's incredible ‘Worn’ collection is beautifully scattered with ruby! Her chandelier earrings shimmer from naturally colored red rubies to pink sapphires to white diamonds. The spaces circled in gold whisper of lost stones remembered - honoring the human touch and the passing of time.

 

Ruby Education - the ideal

The most prized rubies have a vivid, vibrant red color (not too dark or too light) with slight purplish hints. There is an historical term “pigeon’s blood” that describes this. Swing too far purple, or shift into more orange territory, the less valuable it is.

Both rubies and sapphires are of the mineral "species" corundum. Chromium in the mineral is what gives the ruby its red color. If the hue is not saturated enough and appears more pink, it may be classified as a pink sapphire.

They can rival diamonds as the most expensive colored gemstone per-carat in the market and fine quality rubies over one carat are rare.

As is the case for most gemstones when it comes to clarity, fewer inclusions are better.

Any stone can be manmade, but natural, untreated Rubies will always be more valuable.

Ruby Education - location location location

The most prized rubies are from the Mogok Valley in Myanmar (of Burmese ruby legend). To name just a few other countries rubies are found: Mozambique, Tanzania, Greenland, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Madagascar, Thailand, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and even the Republic of Macedonia.

Ruby Education - is it heated

Sometimes natural gemstones have been "treated" to enhance the stone. This is commonplace, but it is an important question to ask, as this impacts the value. Any stone that has been heat treated will cost less than a stone whose color is natural. Specific to ruby, surface fractures can be filled with (molten lead) glass to improve the transparency of the stone. They can also be subject to dyeing. Again, knowledge is power, as this impacts value.

Ruby Education - Mohs Scale of Hardness

The Mohs scale of hardness is important to consider when choosing a particular stone for a particular kind of wear. Mohs scale is the degree of mineral "hardness", measured by the resistance which a smooth surface offers to abrasion: 1 (soft) to 10 (hard). For example, a 9 will scratch a gemstone that is an 8 or below. Simply put, the softer the stone, the more careful you need to be about wearing that stone in jewelry that may be exposed to more wear, such as a ring.

Ruby is a "9", just behind diamond, which is the hardest at "10". A diamond would leave a scratch on a ruby, but not the other way around. 

Ruby Education - wear and care

A few jewelry care basics can keep your pieces looking their best, avoid damage and loss of gemstones.

WEAR: When dressing for day or night, jewelry should be the last thing on and the first thing off. Contact with chemicals such as fragrance, hairspray, nail polish remover, household cleaners and chlorine can harm jewelry. Remove jewelry when swimming, cleaning, gardening or playing sports, as active wear can damage or loosen settings - resulting in the loss of stones.

CHECK SETTINGS AND STONES: Inspect jewelry before wearing it to check if stone is chipped, loose or rattles in settings.

CLEANING: All precious metals, gemstones and pearls should be cleaned regularly, but require different care. For example, ultrasonic cleaners can shatter pearls or diminish the appearance of emeralds. For gemstones on the Mohs scale at 7 or above, a simple cleaning solution is warm water with mild soap and soft toothbrush. For those at 6 or below, replace the toothbrush with a soft cloth. Be sure the jewel is thoroughly rinsed and dry prior to storage. A soft polishing cloth will keep any precious metal looking its best. 

STORAGE: Keep jewelry individually stored in a pouch or box to avoid dents, scratching and tangles. Chemicals, humidity and excessive hot/cold conditions can tarnish some metals (apart from high karat gold) and damage gemstones and pearls. 

INSURANCE: For any jewelry of significant value, be sure to have it appraised, file any provenance and gemstone certifications in a secure place and be sure to have it insured.