The Rarest Gemstone of All
Ruby is all
about passion – penetrating the heart with color and fire like no other
gemstone. Unmatched in legend and seldom rivaled in beauty, it combines
the energy of light with the power of fire into a single breathtaking
scarlet colored gem. Recognized as the world’s most valued gemstone for
centuries, ruby holds the undisputed title as the “King of Gems.”
Ruby possesses a color like no other red gemstone. At its finest, the
purity of its burning crimson hue inspires us with love and desire.
Rubies come in a variety of colors ranging from purplish red to orangey
red. Ruby belongs to the same mineral family as sapphire, but if a gem
is too light in tone or too purple or orange in hue, it is called a
fancy sapphire and not a ruby. The most sought-after rubies are pure red
or red with a very slight pinkish undertone. Very fine quality rubies,
especially in sizes over 3 carats, are incredibly rare and valuable –
much rarer than top quality colorless diamonds.
Ruby is the birthstone for July.
Some of the finest rubies in the world are mined in Myanmar. Other
important sources include Kenya, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand
Ruby is routinely heat treated to improve its appearance. Heat
enhanced rubies are extremely stable. Some rubies may have a glasslike
residue left in surface-reaching fissures after they are heated. This
glasslike material is not stable, and care should be exercised during
the cleaning process.
Rubies are both a hard and durable and can be cleaned using an
ultrasonic cleaning machine, any commercial jewelry cleaner or plain
soap and water using a soft brush. Rubies with a glasslike residue in
surface-reaching fractures should not be cleaned with an ultrasonic or
steam machine. Be sure to rinse and dry your jewelry thoroughly after
Photo: Robert Weldon,
Professional Jeweler Magazine © 2002-2005 Jewelers of America