Ruby Gemstone


While ruby gemstones are universally accepted as red corundum, there are differing opinions on what constitutes a ruby versus a pink sapphire. Rubies receive their red colour from high levels of the trace element chromium just as a pink sapphire has traces of chromium. It is the saturation that defines the category in which the corundum falls. In some Asian markets, rubies with traces of pink are acceptable while within the European and North American markets, red and pink corundum is usually delegated into two separate colour categories. You might like carnelian gemstones and agate as well.

What would we suggest?

Colour is by far, the most important to consider when evaluating a Ruby, with transparency being the secondary concern. Objective colour determination has been difficult to achieve for rubies.

Ancient trade terms such as “pigeon’s blood,” “pomegranate,” “saffron,” and “China rose” have long been used to describe the colour of a ruby. However, these terms are not universally recognized and an objective system for evaluating rubies did not exist until recently.

The lines between the colour boundaries of pink and red are often blurred. In the case of rubies, the perfect colour may be a vivid, medium-dark red to slightly red with a medium to medium-dark tone and either strong or vivid saturation. Many fine rubies from Myanmar have a small purple secondary colour while Thai rubies are said to exhibit a “garnet red” colour thanks to their dark tone. 

If the ruby can fluoresce, that attribute can intensify the gemstone’s colour while rutile needles have the ability to reflect light and also heighten the colour.

A ruby’s unique ability to fluoresce is sometimes used in determining its origin as well as proving that a ruby is indeed a ruby. Burmese rubies, which are often formed in marble, tend to possess fluorescence while Thai and Cambodian rubies, which form within basaltic, (iron-rich rocks) don’t fluoresce.

Like sapphires, rubies are not subject to the same clarity expectations as diamonds. Natural rubies and sapphires are far rarer and are not graded at 10x magnification. Rather, they’re graded and viewed on eye level; a high clarity ruby would be considered “eye clean.”

The most famous ruby sources are Myanmar (Burma) and Sri Lanka (Ceylon). However, Vietnam and Thailand, in Afghanistan, Africa, Cambodia, India, Kashmir, Laos, Nepal, Pakistan, Tajikistan and the United States (North Carolina) are also notable resources.

Are ruby gems an honest choice for an engagement ring?

No pressure but choosing a ring is quite an enormous deal! An engagement ring is the ultimate statement piece, one that says, “I love you and want to spend the rest of my days with you” and, as such, the style of the ring and selection of stone should reflect just that. Diamonds, gemstones and birthstones are a well-liked choice for engagement rings seeing as many of them hold their own special meaning. If you take the time to study their respective meanings, you will be able to find the right stone to match your partner’s personality or the many feelings they invoke in you. Next to diamonds, the ruby has become the foremost popular stone for engagement rings and once you gain an understanding of its history and symbolism you’ll come to understand just why.

The ruby may be a crimson gem and gets its name from the Latin word for red, namely ruber. As we all know, the colour red is a symbol of love, so it comes as no surprise that this is a sought-after stone for engagement rings. 

The colour is also a great symbol of power and in countries like India, it is considered the king of precious stones, which is why many a royal figure can be seen wearing elaborate ruby jewels. It is also common in India to honour deities with gifts and it is said that those who bring Krishna rubies, will be reborn an emperor in their next life.

The ruby is very durable and after all – isn’t durability exactly what we’re looking for in marriage? They have a Mohs Hardness of 9.0 which is almost as a hard as a diamond, meaning they can be cleaned using standard home-supplies such as a damp cloth and a soft-bristled toothbrush. However, it is important to have the stone checked for fissures now and then, especially if you’re looking to have it professionally cleaned using ultrasonic cleaners as these could worsen any cracks.

Rubies are extremely rare therefore it’s considered incredibly romantic to be receiving one as an ring . By proposing to your partner with a ruby engagement ring, you are acknowledging the fact that a love like yours is far from easy to come by and this is a sentiment even the antiromantic will appreciate. Legend even has it, that this stone, which is said to bring peace and contentment, has the ability to bring distanced lovers back together. 

Although rubies became more popular as engagement rings, they still aren’t considered particularly traditional – not just like the diamond ring, for instance – so if you’re partner is one to dance to the beat of their own drum and likes to stand out with their fashion and style choices, you’ll definitely be doing them a favour by opting for such a unique and dramatic stone.

Frequently Asked Questions

Rubies are made of the same minerals as sapphire: corundum. Rubies are different from sapphires by their beautiful red colour.

Rubies are recognized by their deep red hue, although they can display a wide range of shades from red to pink to very dark red. They are sometimes mistaken for garnets, which is a totally different colour.

Rubies are graded according to their colour intensity, clarity and size. They are priced similar to sapphires but less than diamonds and emeralds.

No, although also made from the mineral corundum, just like sapphires, it is not a sapphire. The red colour sets a ruby apart from a sapphire. Only the red variety of corundum is called a ruby

That would be July. It speaks of wisdom and well-being.