Ruby - The Stone of Passion

Ruby Stone

Ruby is the red variety of the mineral species corundum; all other colors of corundum are called sapphire. Officially designated as the birthstone for July, rubies are traditionally given to celebrate the 15th and 40th anniversaries.

In ancient times rubies were revered as the “Lord of Gems”. Their rich red color represented passion, power and majesty! Also known as the “Lover’s Stone”, rubies have often been used by Europeans in engagement rings. With a hardness of 9 on the Mohs scale (second only to diamonds) and excellent toughness, rubies are indeed a very good choice for rings which are going to be worn every day.

Why are rubies so expensive?

Very fine rubies are scarce and one of the rarest of all colored gemstones. In top qualities, there are fewer rubies than diamonds, thus the price of a fine ruby may exceed that of a fine diamond. In addition, the per carat price for the best rubies increases quite dramatically as they increase in size.

What is the best color for a ruby?

Ruby Necklace
As with most colored stones, the most significant factor affecting the price of a ruby is its color. The most prized color is a medium to medium-dark, pure red or slightly purplish red and historically referred to as “pigeon’s blood”. If the stone is considered be less than 50% red, it will be classified as a fancy color pink, orange or purple sapphire depending on the dominant hue.

Are all rubies treated?

Rubies are commonly heated to deepen the color and improve the clarity. The results are permanent and are accepted in the trade. Fine, unheated rubies command much higher prices and should be documented to justify the premium value. There are various other treatments being used on rubies today, many of which are not stable. As always, if you are shopping for a ruby, you will be best served by a knowledgeable, trustworthy jeweler with the highest professional credentials.

What is the best way to clean a ruby?

Good quality rubies can withstand ultrasonic and steam cleaning, but using warm, soapy water and a soft brush is the safest way to clean a ruby.

Sharon S. Axelson
Graduate Gemologist, Gemological Institute of America
Certified Gemologist Appraiser, American Gem Society

Browse beautiful ruby jewelry in the Jessop’s collection...
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