R for Ruby

R for Ruby

Ruby 1.34 ct

Roses, flames, love, passion or anger? What do you  imagine thinking about the color red?

Meanwhile, red is the color of rubies – the most expensive and desired coloured gems in the world. 


Ruby is one variety of the corundum mineral species, which also includes sapphire. 

They are one of the most important gems in the coloured stone market, since they command the highest per-carat price of any coloured stone. 

Initially the mineral corundum is colorless – there are special trace elements that cause variations in its color. Chromium is the trace element that causes ruby’s red, which ranges from an orangy red to a purplish red. That’s why the strength of ruby’s red depends on the amount of chromium: the more chromium, the stronger the red color. Chromium can also cause fluorescence, which adds to the intensity of the red color.

The most renowned rubies, like those from Myanmar, the Himalayas, and northern Vietnam, typically form in marble. Since marble has low iron content, the rubies that originate in marble lack iron. Because of this, many have an intense red color.

In other locations, rubies can be found in basalt rocks. Rubies from these sources can have higher iron content, which can make the rubies darker and less intense in color.

Mineral: corundum
Color: red
Mosh Hardness: 9
Origin: Burma, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Pakistan, Laos, Nepal, Afghanistan, Kenya, Tanzania
Superpower: holds the power of life
Birthstone: July
Anniversary: 15th and 40th wedding anniversaries


In ancient Sanskrit ruby is called «ratnaraj», or «king of precious stones». Early cultures believed that rubies possess special powers. For instance:

🌹 Ancient Hindus believed that those who offered fine rubies to the god Krishna were later reborn as emperors;

🌹 Warriors from Burma (a ruby source since at least 600 AD—now called Myanmar) thought that rubies to made them invincible in a battle;

🌹 People in India believed that rubies enabled their owners to live in peace with their enemies.

Rubies are even mentioned 4 times in the Bible – in association with attributes like beauty and wisdom.

The first rubies were discovered in Burma, a country in Southeast Asia. For centuries, this country was the only source of rubies, specifically the Mogok region, which is famously referred to as the “valley of rubies”. Even after rubies were discovered in other countries, Burmese rubies remain the standard by which the worldwide output of rubies is judged. 

Today, the desire for ruby is just as great as it always has been. Just remember: in 1968 Richard Burton presented Elizabeth Taylor a magnificent ring by Van Cleef & Arpels set with an 8.24 carat ruby. While being sold at the auction, it caused such a fuss that the bidding was only closed at $4.2 million.

Elizabeth Taylor wearing her Van Cleef & Arpels Ruby ring

Nowadays, rubies, the symbol of prestige, power and love, are increasingly popular for outstanding engagement and cocktail rings or luxurious jewellery sets. 

Lucky charm

“The ruby has the strength of a lion, the fearlessness of an eagle and the wisdom of a snake,” –  the Eastern proverb.

For a long time, the ruby has been considered a gem that protects love and symbolizes passion. It brings good luck to the conquerors of hearts and protects them from unrequited love.

Ruby was also used to save from the torments of love – especially in cases when a person was grieving over the death of a loved one.

Faidee Red Emperor necklace with Rubies & Diamonds

As a lucky charm, the ruby brings good luck to those who are used to making their own way in life – it gives additional strength to such people. in

The ruby ring is recommended to be worn by researchers, scientists and managers of large enterprises – everyone who, by the nature of their activity, must constantly maintain clarity of thinking and keep in mind a lot of disparate facts.

Quality factors


Color is the factor affecting a ruby’s value the most. The finest ruby has a pure, vibrant red to slightly purplish red color. Pure red colors command the highest prices, while ruby with overtones of orange and purple are less valued. 

The color must be neither too dark nor too light to match the finest quality. If the color is too dark, it has a negative effect on the stone’s brightness. If the color is too light, the stone may be considered to be a pink sapphire. 

Burmese rubies are considered the finest – today they are extremely rare, creating a fuss in auction rooms. They have a specific and saturated color, caused by a high chromium content in the ground where rubies are extracted. Moreover, they have natural fluorescence, which makes the stones «alive» and internally illuminated.

Bachruch Ruby & Diamond brooch


Inclusion-free rubies are practically nonexistent. However, obvious inclusions, or inclusions that reduce transparency or brightness, lower a ruby’s value dramatically.

Typical ruby’s inclusion is thin mineral needles. When the mineral is rutile and needles are present in intersecting groups, it is called silk.

Sometimes rutile needles can actually contribute positively to a gem’s appearance. The presence of rutile silk causes light to scatter across facets that might otherwise be too dark. This adds softness to the color and spreads the color more evenly across the ruby’s crown.

Moreover, such intersecting needles can also cause the star effect, called asterism.


Rough ruby is very expensive, so many cutters try to save as much weight as possible. Firstly, a ruby’s crystal shape dictates its suitability for certain cuts: the most common are hexagonal shapes, ovals, cushions and step-cut pavilions with concentric rows of rectangular or square facets. Round, triangular, emerald-cut, pear, and marquise rubies are also available. However, these shapes are rare in larger sizes and higher qualities.

Secondly, pleochroism — the appearance of different colors in different crystal directions — also influences cut. In ruby it typically appears as red to purplish red in one crystal direction and orangy red in the other.

Carat weight

Fine-quality rubies over 1 ct are very rare, but commercial-quality rubies are commonly available in a wide range of sizes. The price per carat goes up significantly for ruby as it increases in size.

Reuven’s comment

“If you were looking for the best gemstone for investment, congratulations! You’ve found it – it is a Ruby!

Unheated Burmese Ruby – which costs crazy money – is the dream of any collector. The price of this Ruby is growing from year to year since its reserves are thinning.

Almost all Rubies contain inclusions. A pure red gemstone is a huge treasure and rarity, costing of a small island”.

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