Rubellite tourmaline or red beryl, as it is commonly called in the gemstone market, is a big name in the rarity segment. It is hard to identify the red beryl from its emerald varieties. Owing to its red and pink colour, there is a high risk involved in its market. Most red beryls available in the market are either flawed or artificially treated using heat treatments that won’t last a lifetime.
Here are 6 tips on choosing a red beryl gemstone that is worth your time, effort and money.
A true rubellite is a dark saturated raspberry pink gemstones, with clear lustre and consistent pink shade. It could have darker shades of purple and violet, but the pink one remains most elusive stone in the market. Rubellite gemstone in darker shaded should be avoided as they are mostly likely to be treated with artificial resins and dyes.
High clarity gemstones in the red beryl segment are not rare anymore. Low clarity gemstones, of course, are priced much lower than the clearer ones. High IF to VVS clarity ratio are available only with lab-standard gemstone sellers who decide the pricing of the red beryl based on the carat size, facets visible and the degree of pleochroism.
Red beryl gemstones do undergo the certain degree of enhancement, in the form of heat treatment and irradiation. The Rubellite market is full of irradiated gemstones, which directly affects their optical properties. Ionising the crystal lattice alters its optical properties resulting in uniform colouration and stable lustre. Colourless and pink beryls turn into brilliant blue gemstones on irradiation with Cobalt-60.
4. How to spot treatments:
Red beryls are hard to test in terms of quality and enhancements were done. Impossible to detect under naked eyes, they can be tested only under Fourier Series IR Spectroscope. Natural, untreated gemstone doesn’t cause any colour shift. There are possibilities of finding intrusions and tunnels inside the tunnel, which suggest that the gemstone has undergone heat treatment or irradiation of some sorts.
5. Durability test:
Red beryl can withstand the significant amount of impact force, owing to its hardness of 7.5 on Mohs scale. It does not shatter or break away like glass. If it does, it is silica or quartz, not red beryl. Another point to be noted is its lack of cleavage. Low clarity red beryls have slight cleavage, which could be labelled as weakness or flaws.
6. Sizes and cuts:
Red tourmaline gemstone or red beryl is available in size less than standard 3-carat gemstone. Most common size for red beryl is 0.9 carat. Bigger stones run the risk of poor clarity and lustre and require extensive polishing in the long run.
Red beryls are often cut in Princess-Cut, Brilliants and Emerald-cut, highlighting their alluring brilliance matching the contemporary commercial market standards.
If you are shopping for a red beryl engagement ring, ensure that the seller has in-house gem cutting unit. Never buy a red beryl from retailers who are mostly end-sellers. High-quality rubellites have high resale value, only if they are traded from the certified gemstone sellers.
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