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Color

Color Description; Occurrence

1 ct.

3 ct.

5 ct.

10 ct.

30 ct.

220 - medium slightly purplish Red; strong (Burma, heated)

Alternative name, occurrence category: Rare

2,756.61

6,075.83

9,395.05

No data

No data

211 - medium strongly purplish Red; strong (Burma, heated)

Alternative name, occurrence category: Rare

2,608.81

5,750.06

8,891.32

No data

No data

202 - medium reddish Purple; strong (Burma, heated)

Alternative name, occurrence category: Common

1,825.23

4,022.98

6,220.72

No data

No data

212 - medium strongly purplish Red; very slightly brownish (Burma, heated)

Alternative name, occurrence category: Common

1,377.13

3,035.33

4,693.53

No data

No data

218 - medium light slightly purplish Red; strong (Burma, heated)

Alternative name, occurrence category: Common

870.38

1,918.41

2,966.44

No data

No data

220 - medium slightly purplish Red; strong (Africa, heated)

Alternative name, occurrence category: Common

2,059.83

4,540.07

7,020.30

No data

No data

211 - medium strongly purplish Red; strong (Africa, heated)

Alternative name, occurrence category: Common

1,902.65

4,193.62

6,484.59

No data

No data

222 - medium dark slightly purplish Red; strong (Africa, heated)

Alternative name, occurrence category: Common

708.51

1,561.62

2,414.73

No data

No data

005 - medium light Reg; very slightly brownis (Africa, heated)

Alternative name, occurrence category: Common

678.01

1,494.40

2,310.78

No data

No data

220 - medium slightly purplish Red; strong (Thailand/Vietnam/Sri Lanka, heated)

Alternative name, occurrence category: Common

1,827.57

4,028.15

6,228.72

No data

No data

211 - medium strongly purplish Red; strong (Thailand/Vietnam/Sri Lanka, heated)

Alternative name, occurrence category: Common

1,644.58

3,624.82

5,605.05

No data

No data

221 - medium slightly purplish Red; very slightly brownish (Thailand/Vietnam/Sri Lanka, heated)

Alternative name, occurrence category: Common

1,069.80

2,357.94

3,646.08

No data

No data

212 - medium strongly purplish Red; very slightly brownish (Thailand/Vietnam/Sri Lanka, heated)

Alternative name, occurrence category: Common

952.50

2,099.39

3,246.29

No data

No data

218 - medium light slightly purplish Red; strong (Thailand/Vietnam/Sri Lanka, heated)

Alternative name, occurrence category: Common

659.24

1,453.03

2,246.82

No data

No data

220 - medium slightly purplish Red; strong (Burma, unheated)

Alternative name, occurrence category: Very rare

7,249.30

15,978.14

24,706.99

No data

No data

211 - medium strongly purplish Red; strong (Burma, unheated)

Alternative name, occurrence category: Very rare

6,916.16

15,243.87

23,571.59

No data

No data

202 - medium reddish Purple; strong (Burma, unheated)

Alternative name, occurrence category: Very rare

5,717.33

12,601.53

19,485.74

No data

No data

008 - medium Red; very slightly brownish (Burma, unheated)

Alternative name, occurrence category: Very rare

6,629.94

14,613.02

22,596.10

No data

No data

212 - medium strongly purplish Red; very slightly brownish (Burma, unheated)

Alternative name, occurrence category: Rare

3,397.08

7,487.49

11,577.90

No data

No data

220 - medium slightly purplish Red; strong (Africa, unheated)

Alternative name, occurrence category: Rare

4,624.07

10,191.88

15,759.70

No data

No data

211 - medium strongly purplish Red; strong (Africa, unheated)

Alternative name, occurrence category: Rare

4,000.02

8,816.42

13,632.82

No data

No data

202 - medium reddish Purple; strong (Africa, unheated)

Alternative name, occurrence category: Common

3,162.48

6,970.40

10,778.33

No data

No data

218 - medium light slightly purplish Red; strong (Africa, unheated)

Alternative name, occurrence category: Common

729.62

1,608.16

2,486.69

No data

No data

212 - medium strongly purplish Red; very slightly brownish (Thailand/Vietnam/Sri Lanka, unheated)

Alternative name, occurrence category: Common

1,553.09

3,423.15

5,293.21

No data

No data

214 - medium dark strongly purplish Red; strong (Thailand/Vietnam/Sri Lanka, unheated)

Alternative name, occurrence category: Common

853.96

1,882.22

2,910.47

No data

No data

Ruby

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About Ruby - History and Introduction

Historical values 2005 - 2016

About Ruby - History and Introduction

Ruby is one of the highest valued coloured gemstones, in fact, large rubies can fetch higher prices than equivalently sized diamonds. Ruby has been prized for centuries because of its excellent Mohs scale hardness of 9, along with its treasured rich red hue and vitreous lustre. Ruby is a variety of corundum that gets its red colour from chromium. Corundum that occurs in other colours is classified as sapphire. In its pure form, corundum is colourless. The word "corundum" comes from the Tamil "kurundam", meaning "ruby sapphire".

In the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit, ruby is called "ratnaraj", which translates as "king of precious stones". Ancient Sanskrit texts, the Bible and other historical writings refer to ruby as a precious gem, indicating the rich history and abiding appreciation of ruby gemstones. Ancient Hindus believed that by making an offering of a ruby to Krishna, rebirth as an emperor was assured. Burmese warriors believed that rubies would make them invincible, and even inserted rubies under their skin for this purpose.

According to the story of Marco Polo, Kublai Khan offered the King of Ceylon a city in exchange for a large ruby. Medieval Europeans believed that rubies assured good health, prosperity, wisdom and a successful love life. The English name "ruby" comes from the Latin word "ruber", meaning red. The most desirable ruby colour is a rich deep red with a hint of blue that is known as "pigeon's blood". In Thailand, ruby is known as "tabtim", which means "pomegranate" in Thai. This is because these shining red gems look like the edible seed coats found inside a ripe pomegranate.

Identifying Ruby

Ruby can be identified by its hardness of 9 on the Mohs scale, and vibrant colour. Natural ruby can be distinguished from synthetic ruby by its inclusions; natural ruby typically exhibits inclusions, whereas synthetic ruby tends to be eye clean.

Ruby; Origin and Gemstone Sources Back to Top

The most important sources for ruby include Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Sri Lanka and Tanzania. Other sources are Afghanistan, Australia, Brazil, India, Cambodia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Nepal, Pakistan, Zimbabwe, Tajikistan, the USA and Vietnam.

Buying Ruby and Determining Ruby Gemstone Value

Ruby Colour

The colour of ruby is its most important quality factor. The most sought after colour is a strong pure red to red with a hint of blue. This vibrant red hue is known as "pigeon's blood". When the colour of ruby is too light, it is classified as pink sapphire, but the line between pinkish-red ruby and pink sapphire varies by region. Some mining areas consider pink ruby to be ruby. The strong red fluorescence of ruby means that ruby has a glowing colour.

Ruby Clarity and Lustre

Ruby typically displays inclusions and these are tolerated as part of the nature of the stone. However, when inclusions minimize transparency or brilliance, they decrease the value. Ruby that is free from eye visible inclusions is available, however, large eye clean gemstones are rare and extremely valuable.

Ruby Cut and Shape

Ruby is often mixed-cut, with brilliant-cut crowns and step-cut pavilions. The most common shapes are ovals and cushions. Other cuts are also available, such as round, triangular, emerald-cut, pear and marquise cuts. However, these shapes are difficult to find in larger sizes, since they do not preserve the rough weight as well as ovals and cushions. Rubies of over one carat are rare, so price increases greatly with size. Ruby that displays asterism (the star effect) is typically cut en cabochon, to showcase the optical phenomenon. Rubies with rutile inclusions (such as star rubies) exhibit a silky lustre, whereas transparent rubies mostly exhibit a vitreous lustre. Lapidarists usually orient rough ruby so as to minimize orangey-red pleochroism, as long as this does not cause too much of a loss of carat weight.

Ruby Treatment

Ruby is exposed to heat treatment in order to enhance the colour. This is considered to be a stable and permanent enhancement. Intact rutile inclusions (also known as "silk") provide proof that a ruby gemstone has not been heat treated. Ruby is also irradiated and treated with diffusion to enhance the colour. Other enhancements include fracture filling with lead glass, which is conducted to render heavily included gemstones fit for jewellery use. Occasionally, ruby is oiled or dyed. Despite all of the treatments that ruby can be subjected to, natural ruby gemstones are available and all reputable gemstone sellers declare any treatments or enhancements.

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Ruby

Colour: red, purple red

Hardness: 9

Refractive index: 1.76 - 1.78

Density: 3.99 - 4.06

Chemical composition: Al2O3

Crystal structure: hexagonal

Origins: Burma, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Madagascar, Tanzania, Kenya.

Rubies, the red variant of corundum, are the most expensive gemstone after diamonds. The distinctive 'pigeons blood' coloured rubies from Mogok (Burma, or Myanmar as it is now referred to) have the highest value. Specimens over 5 ct. as well as eye clean stones are very rare. Heat treatment is usually applied to improve their colour and reduce small inclusions.