Ruby, a variety of corundum species is a bright red gemstone that is so often used in jewelries ranging from engagement rings to pendants to bracelets to tiaras and more. Containing traces of chromium, this rich red gemstone is next to the likes of diamonds and rubies in terms of preciousness. Coming from the same family as sapphires, rubies differ from pink sapphires by just the virtues of color temperature and saturation. Having a historical connection with the Indian civilization, rubies were once referred to as “Ratnaraj”, which in Sanskrit means “the king of gemstones”.
If diamonds are the priciest gemstones available to us, then rubies are the same in colored gems. The top quality rubies can reach the highest per-carat price in the category of colored gemstones. It is because of its steep value that rubies rank as one of the most important stones in the colored gems category. The highest price a ruby has fetched ever for its sellers is $32.4 million. The sale was made in the May of 2015, when a 25.59 carat ruby ring was sold at $1,266,901 a carat. This, by far, is the highest known sales price of ruby.
The Color of a Ruby
Now not all rubies bear the same red color. The presence of trace elements in rubies make the minerals lighter or darker in color, and on that depends the price of a ruby. As for the primary red color, that is lent to the crystals by a mineral called chromium.
Best Things about Rubies
Rubies emit an intense red glow, a phenomenon that emits from exposure to sunlight. This happens because of the red fluorescence of the stone that dials up the intensity of its natural red color. The first laser that was ever invented was in 1960, and that was created using the red fluorescence of a ruby Gemologists call chromium that red color causing mineral in rubies the “rock star” of all the trace elements detected in mineral crystals. So, if you thought rubies were loved just for their rich red color, then that’s not the whole story. There is much more that we are thankful to the stone for.
Rubies are getting sold for lofty prices more than ever now. Every sale is making a new record, and that is happening so often that rubies are now deemed nearly equal in value to some of diamond counterparts. In the matter of grading rubies, GIA and other boards rely on the same formula of 4Cs. For rubies, color stand as the chief element that determines the quality and thereby, the value of rubies. How you want your rubies to be is vibrant red to purplish red. Prefer to remain within the darker side of the scale than going over to the lighter shade. Remember that it only takes a ruby to be pink enough to be categorized as pink sapphire.
Rubies, like emeralds have substantial inclusions. Although they are mostly transparent and brilliant, they do carry some flaws internally. So, while that is not altogether avoidable, your aim should be to find a ruby that is transparent and brilliant enough to pass as eye-clean. On a flip side, you may have to pay a little extra for a clearer and brighter stone than one which has visible inclusions or a cloudy inside.
As for cuts, there is a plenty of choices in rubies. Although most of times rubies are fashioned in mixed cuts, they are also available in round, emerald and other such popular cuts. Mostly, rubies have a brilliant-cut crown and a set of distinct step-cut pavilions.
One thing that is true about rubies more than other stones is the carat to price ratio. For rubies, the prices go significantly higher with their carat weight. It is owing to its astronomical prices that fine quality rubies are rarely cut into sizes larger than a carat. Even for engagement rings, rubies are mostly available in under a carat weight.
Some Famous Rubies
There are some iconic rubies that took the world by storm. We have for you, the names of some of these famous rubies, if you are interested in that sort of things.
- The Rosser Reeves Star Ruby is a 138.72 bright red ruby from Sri Lanka. A property of a private collector who claimed to have carried it for good luck, this one is now owed by the Smithsonian Institution.
- Burmese rubies are popular around the world for their intense colors and high quality. However, this 23.10 carat Carmen Lucia Ruby is one of the world’s finest rubies in the large category.
- The Richard Burton ruby is an 8.24 carat intense red gemstone that studs a ring encircled with diamonds. Once worn by the screen icon Elizabeth Taylor, the artefact was sold in 2011 for $4.2 million.
- If you thought these rubies hit the highest level of opulence, then wait for this one. In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the phenomenal Wizard of Oz, the Hollywood’s favorite jeweler Harry Winston designed a pair of ruby slipper with 4,600 rubies.
Ruby is the gemstone for the month of July. This luminous red stone makes the anniversary gem for 15th and 40th years of marriage. So, if you are approaching either of these numbers, its time you get your wife a lovely ruby jewel. Good news is rubies are a common feature in all kinds of jewelries. So, you have the full freedom to pick anything your heart desires and still have rubies in them. Also, rubies make a great gift for a partner or a family member who is born in July.
The best quality rubies are sourced from Myanmar, which is recognized around the world is the pot of gold for ruby miners. The legendary valley of red stones is where the most fabulous rubies are mined from. So, if you are looking buy a good quality ruby, look for Burmese rubies. Mozambique rubies come next in quality to the Burmese varieties.