Ruby Buying Guide - Choosing the Perfect Ruby – Al Joher

Choosing the Perfect Ruby: A Buyer's Guide

Choosing the Perfect Ruby

Rubies have historically been the most coveted among coloured gemstone and continue to be a top choice for jewelry, artwork and religious artifacts. When choosing the perfect ruby, whether for an heirloom or a stylish addition to your collection, its important to understand the gemstones properties. 

This buyer's guide offers comprehensive information to assist you in making an informed decision, including where can I find ruby from different sources.

Ruby Buying Guide - Definition

Derived from the Latin word 'rubeusr', meaning red, the term "ruby" aptly describes the gemstone's rich and intense color. Formed deep underground, rubies are produced when the mineral corundum undergoes the influence of chromium oxide at exceptionally high temperatures. This July birthstone is associated with passion, love, and vitality.

This buyer's guide offers comprehensive information to assist you in making an informed decision, including where can I find ruby from different sources.

Pure corundum lacks coloration, and the vibrant red hue of rubies is due to the trace amounts of the element chromium (Cr). Similar to other precious stones, obtaining facet-quality ruby material typically comes from sifting through tons of rock before discovering rough, uncut crystals that meet the criteria.

The primary sources of rubies are Myanmar (formerly Burma) Thailand, Australia, Afghanistan, Mozambique and Madagascar Burmese rubies hold the standard for the gem due to Myanmar's historical association with ruby production. Mozambique rubies exhibit a distinct appearance, often darker and clearer.

While other regions can yield ruby material with similar color and quality, each source may have specific characteristics.


Ruby Basics & Background

Discovered around 2500 B.C., ruby-encrusted stone age tools were found at the Mogok site, formerly known as Burma, shedding light on the intriguing discovery and history of this fiery red gemstone.

 Throughout various Asian cultures, the ruby was revered as a talisman for luck and fortune, believed to ward off malevolent energies. In ancient Chinese traditions, the act of gifting rubies symbolized the depth of one’s love, rendering it a cherished gemstone among romantic partners and close friends.

 In the first century A.D., the erudite Roman scholar Pliny recorded observations on rubies in his timeless work, “Natural History”, extolling their exceptional durability and striking color. Describing the hue of a ruby as a ‘subdued blaze’ within his literary compositions, these exceptionally unique stones boast a rating of 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness


Factors to Look for When Shopping for Rubies 

When evaluating which ruby is the best quality, four key factors should be considered: color, clarity, cut, and carat weight.

Ruby Color

First let’s talk about the contentious distinction between "pink sapphire" and "ruby" within the gem industry. Each stone presents a unique amalgamation of colors, with what qualifies as a pink sapphire in America potentially being categorized as a ruby elsewhere in the world.

 Ruby color encompasses a spectrum, ranging from pinkish red and purplish red to orangish red and pure red. It's essential to consider three primary components: hue, tone, and saturation. 

  1. Hue – The actual color, such as red, blue, or yellow, is often accompanied by modifying tones like purplish red or orangish red.
  2. Tone – Reflecting the lightness or darkness of the stone, excluding light tones in rubies.
  3. Saturation – indicates the intensity of the color and it ranges from low, medium to vivid saturation. Low saturation of color in a ruby results in a pink sapphire

The most superior rubies showcase an intense vivid red saturation with a medium tone often referred to in the trade as ‘pigeon blood’ colour. Lesser ones may exhibit light pink tones, overtones of orange, or purple tinge. Ideal rubies maintain a medium tone throughout the stone without noticeable, dark or pale colour bands.

 Ruby Clarity

Transparent and flawless crystal looking rubies, with minimal inclusions are are extremely rare. The clarity of rubies significantly influences their price. The type location, number, and size of inclusions, play a substantial role in determining their overall value.

The presence of inclusions can serve as indicators of whether a ruby has undergone heat treatment. Most rubies, and sapphires have been subjected to heat treatment to enhance clarity and color, impacting their market value, a practice widely accepted in the gemstone trade with proper disclosure.

 Ruby Cuts

Gemstones boast a variety of cuts, ranging from classic to unique, such as the exquisite ruby cut showcased on the right.

Among the more typical cuts are round, oval , cushion, oval, emerald,  marquise and trillion. Each gemstone's cut is distinct, influenced by factors like potential inclusions, pleochroic color, rough quality, and the cutter's skill in navigating these variables.

 Ruby Carat

It might surprise you, but rubies are actually denser than diamonds. If you were to compare a 1 carat ruby with a 1 carat diamond, the ruby would be slightly smaller despite having the same weight as the diamond. To avoid misunderstandings about size, jewellers often specify carat weight alongside millimeter dimensions. Despite their higher weight, rubies are priced lower than diamonds, allowing buyers to acquire larger-sized rubies on a reasonably comfortable budget.


Final Choice of Rubies

Although several factors determine the market value of rubies, the primary consideration for where to find a ruby is whether you are content with the stone. Each individual possesses unique preferences, and not all preferences align with the industry-defined "ideal ruby."


How do I choose a good quality ruby
Choosing which ruby is the best quality involves considering several factors such as color, clarity, cut, and carat weight. Look for deep red to slightly purplish-red hues, with minimal visible inclusions and a well-executed cut. Rubies from reputable sources with proper certifications are generally a safer bet.

Which are the best rubies to buy?
The best rubies to buy are those that exhibit a rich, intense red color with excellent clarity and a well-proportioned cut. It's advisable to purchase from reputable and trusted gemstone dealers or jewelers who can provide authenticity certificates.

What color ruby is most valuable?
The most valuable color for rubies is a vivid red to slightly purplish-red hue, often referred to as "pigeon's blood" red. These rubies command the highest prices in the market due to their rarity and exceptional color saturation.

What is the rarest color ruby?
The rarest color for rubies is the highly coveted "pigeon's blood" red, characterized by its intense and vivid red hue with a slight hint of blue or purple undertones. Rubies of this color are exceptionally rare and command premium prices in the market.

How can you tell if a ruby is good quality?
To determine which ruby is the best quality, assess its color, clarity, cut, and carat weight. Look for a deep red to slightly purplish-red hue, minimal visible inclusions, a well-executed cut that maximizes brilliance, and a substantial carat weight.

Do real rubies break?
Real rubies are durable gemstones and generally do not break easily under normal wear and care. However, they can chip or break if subjected to significant impact or pressure. It's essential to handle rubies with care and avoid exposing them to harsh chemicals or extreme temperatures to maintain their beauty and integrity over time.

Previous post Next post

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published