A ruby’s vibrant red color and its hardness make it a stunning jewelry wear for all occasions. Rubies, along with their sister sapphires, are formed from the mineral corundum and is exquisite in any form, whether as an engagement ring or as earrings, pendants or bracelets. The ruby is one of the five cardinal gems along with diamond, sapphire, emerald, and amethyst.
When looking for your perfect ruby, it is important to know ruby’s unique qualities that make it so valuable. In this guide, we walk you through on getting your perfect ruby.
4 C’s of Ruby
Color is one of the most important factors determining ruby quality and consists of three qualities: hue, tone, and saturation:
Hue: The primary hue of ruby should be red. True, vivid red, purplish red, orange red, and rose red are common variations of rubies’ hues. However, what hue you would prefer comes down to personal taste.
Tone: A ruby of any hue may have a light, medium, or dark tone. The most valuable rubies tend to have medium darkness, i.e. they are not so dark as to appear almost black. Look for rubies that are not too light or too dark.
Saturation: It refers to how intense the hue of the stone is. The more intense the color, the more precious we consider the ruby, than those whose color is not as vivid.
It is very common for rubies to have some inclusions inside it. Make sure they are as few as possible, though. Although you cannot expect a ruby to be perfectly flawless, the highest quality gemstones will be eye-clean, i.e. there won’t be any flaws visible with the naked eye.
A ruby’s cut refers to how the stone is faceted, its dimensions, and overall symmetry. Unlike with diamonds, rubies are not graded on cut quality. The cut is much less important to consider than the ruby’s color and clarity. But as is the case with most gemstones, the true glow of the ruby is only revealed after a quality cut that maximizes light return and color.
Gem-quality rubies larger than 1 carat are very rare, and larger than 2 carats rarer still. The price of rubies per carat shoots up dramatically at those sizes.
Heat treatment is a very common practice with rubies and it is used to remove rutile inclusions and to enhance color tone and saturation. Unlike colored diamonds, this process is not dissimilar to the natural processes the stones undergo in nature so it does not have a significant effect on price. As with other gemstones, filling fissures or fractures with polymers, resins or leaded glass will adversely affect the value of a stone.
Synthetic Rubies For A Lower Budget
Synthetic ruby has the same chemical structure as a naturally occurring ruby with the only difference being that it was created in a lab by humans. That doesn’t make them a fake ruby. One difference is that synthetic rubies will generally be flawless as opposed to natural stones which are bound to have microscopic inclusions.
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