An Exclusive Guide on Ruby Gemstone

Bloody red or cherry pops... the rubies are exclusively available in red varieties only. Made of corundum, the ruby gemstone exudes a bright red shade owing to the presence of chromium. Considered as the gem of Love, rubies are worn on fingers, arms and around neck to derive protection and strength against evils. Together with sapphire, emerald and diamond, rubies form the formidable quartet of precious gemstones.

Why are they called Rubies?

Rubies have been used since centuries as items of ornament and healing. They derive the name from Latin word for red, “Ruber”. Prices of ruby differ significantly depending on the intensity of the colour. The following colours are available in the market:

  • Blood red
  • Light red
  • Pigeon blood red
  • Cherry red
  • Purple
  • Burnt wood

Ruby gemstone is hard, and comparable to diamond in terms of structural hardness and clarity. Brightest red rubies have rutile inclusions that often signify that it could have been previously artificially treated. The bright rubies are rare in natural form, but still not an exception.

Factors that decide price of a ruby:

Rubies are one of the most consistent gemstones in the stone market owing to their hardness, colour and availability. The factors that command the prices of a ruby are:

  • Clarity of the stone
  • Cut made on the stone
  • Weight, in terms of carat
  • Degree of refraction

A naturally bright, inclusion free gemstone weighing 3 carat and more will easily gather a price tag of USD 20000 and more. Heavier stones are split into smaller parts and then auctioned off.

Popular ruby varieties:

Ruby is the birthstone for July. Most rubies are compared in properties and appeal with the world’s costliest ruby, Sunrise Ruby. Nonetheless, there are many controversies regarding the differentiation of a ruby from a sapphire. Some lapidartist dealers call the rubies as Pink Sapphire.

Popular ruby varieties that you can consider for gifting and personal use are:

  • Indian Rubies: Mined from the quarries in Orissa, Mysore, Golconda and Vijaywada, Indian rubies had a commanding position in the stone market. In fact, Indian ruby gemstones were considered more valuable than diamonds of same size and cut.
  • Burma Ruby: There are two varieties of Burmese gemstones. They are:
  • Old world Burmese ruby
  • New Burmese ruby

The old Burmese rubies are dark similar to pigeon’s blood. New Burmese rubies are lighter in shade and have small blemish, making it easier to differentiate the Old from new.

  • Tanzanian Ruby

Clean, clear and least flawed in the natural ruby family. Larger sized gemstones have darker shade while smaller ones tend to be less bright. They are the cheapest varieties in the ruby family.

  • Thai Ruby

Dark and dual toned rubies are rare. Thai rubies have iron and copper oxides in addition to chromium giving them a dual tone appeal. They have a brilliant play of colour when exposed to natural sunlight. Brown, green and blue tinge streaks are visible in Thai rubies.
Other varieties of ruby are Madagascar ruby, Ruby fuschite, Ruby zoisite and star rubies.