There was a time when rubies ruled the market. Despite their fault lines and flaws, the rubies old like hot buns. But today, if you are looking for clear brilliantly cut rubies, you would be disappointed, especially if you are planning to buy from a staple street-side market. Ever since the hybrid rubies have come into the market, the demands for artificial glass-filled gemstones have drastically fallen.
Why is that so? Well, the major reason behind the success of the hybrid rubies is its proximity in character to the naturally mined rubies and sapphire gemstone. Minus the flaws and add the durability- that is what hybrid ruby gemstones are all about.
If you are searching for rubies in the gemstone market, here is how you can make a distinct and informed choice on hybrid rubies and the real ones.
Do all rubies require hybrid processing?
No, all rubies don’t require hybrid processing. Despite the fact that only 1 in 100 naturally mined gemstones is ranked as the perfect stone, it is still considered as a healthy ratio. In order to save on the cost of commercial mining, the remaining 99 percent rubies are treated artificially with heat treatments, glass lead filling and other low-cost procedures.
Is hybrid ruby a misrepresentation in the gemstone industry?
There is still a lot of confusion surrounding the status of hybrid rubies. Many organizations consider the hybrid/ composite rubies as the corrected versions of natural gemstones. For them, the only difference in the two varieties lie in the way fractures and flaws appear under the microscope!
If you take into account the degree of stability and the cleaning process, the hybrid gemstones can’t match up to what natural gemstones deliver. Of course, the fragile gems like lapis lazuli, onyx and opal are distinct exceptions to these misrepresentations.
As per the latest rulings by international bodies regulating the gemstone quality, hybrid rubies are not same as the natural ones. They are not even an extension of the real ones.
Why are they in so much demand?
First, the cost of hybrid rubies is nowhere close to what real ones are demanding. But even if you consider the cost of manufacturing a one carat hybrid ruby, it is an economical affair, with numerous profit channels. Big industries like jewellery makers, fashion apparels, art decors dealers and trophy makers rely heavily on the supply of such beautiful and sparkling hybrid gems, creating a steady flow of demand for these rocks.
Even at 40% lead-glass composition, these hybrid gemstones easily rake in a price tag of USD 50-75 per carat.
The good and the bad of hybrid rubies
Hybrid rubies look delightful and can be almost passed off as a real ruby set. Even under the microscope, they look just as authentic as the natural stones. Only with regular use can one identify the tangible worth of these gemstones. Fragile, susceptible to scratches and chipping at ends make hybrid gemstones a short term romance.
Even compared to the traditionally treat rubies, these hybrid gemstones start losing their sheen after a few years. But for imitation jewellery makers and fashion designers, these cheap hybrid rubies are perfect accessories.