| Ruby is one of the symbols of love.
Ruby is of the mineral species Corundum (ko-RUN-dum). The red color Corundum is Ruby, all other colors are Sapphire. Some gem dealers debate the borderline between Ruby and Pink Sapphire. Historically, the word Ruby referred to shades of red, which technically included pink. But the names and pink sapphire reflect a bit of a difference in value. That's why, given a choice, a gem dealer would prefer to be able to call a corundum gem Ruby rather than Pink Sapphire. Pink Sapphire is really just Light Red Ruby. The International Colored Gemstone Association passed a resolution that the light shades of the red hue be included in the category Ruby since it was too difficult to legislate where red ended and pink began. In practice, however, pink shades are now known either as Pinkish Ruby or Pink Sapphire. Either way, these gems are among the most beautiful of the Corundum family.
Ruby hues range from strongly purplish-red to orangy-red. The finest ruby has a slightly purplish-red to pure vibrant red hue. As the hue becomes more purplish or orangy, the ruby moves down the quality scale into good and commercial ranges.
The highest-quality rubies have vivid saturation. Medium tone to medium-dark tones are preferred as long as the tone is not so dark that it has a negative effect on brilliance. At the other extreme, if the tone is too light, the stone is considered pink sapphire, even if saturation levels are high. The most valuable ruby colors are red (R) to slightly purplish red (slpR) with medium (5) to medium-dark (6) tones and strong (5) to vivid (6) saturation. Typically these are called Cherry Red to Pigeon Blood Red colors. Chrome imparts the Redness to Ruby. Here are charts showing the GIA master hue/tone/saturation to determine if corundum is ruby, or if it's pink, purple, or orange sapphire. Gem Laboratories that use the GIA scale, grade on the principle that red must be the dominant hue before a stone can be called a ruby, and since identification of the dominant hue is subject to personal perception, in some areas of the world pink sapphires are considered rubies. Ruby is an excellent choice for jewelry and has a high refraction which produces a bright stone. Ruby's relative density is high, so a one Carat Ruby will be smaller in millimeter dimensions than a one Carat Diamond.
We typically offer only the finest Burma and Ceylon Rubies. The Mogok region in Burma, or Myanmar, is the source historically for the finest Rubies. Ceylon (Sri Lanka), and Mong Hsu Burma Rubies are what we would consider the regions producing the next to the finest grade Ruby, whereas Rubies from Thailand, Africa and Vietnam are typically in the commercial grade of Ruby. Facet grade Ruby stones are usually cut in the Cushion or Oval shapes. Native cutters take liberties with the cutting of the pavilions or back side of Rubies to produce larger stones by lifting out dark inclusions, sometimes leaving small cavities (or divets), allowing the culet or bottom point to be a little bit off-center, or by having deeper or shallower than ideal pavilions. Generally these minor points are not noticeable when the stones are mounted, and generally they do not affect the price. Precision cuts required for designer jewelry are cut by strict standards, and consequently the cutting adds to the overall cost of the item. Ruby is not usually heat sensitive, but a jeweler's torch could alter the color, it may be prudent to ask a Jeweler to remove the stone before applying his torch. There are not very many chemicals that could attack this gem, but if boiled in a diamond cleaning kit the stone can lose it's polish, also Jewelers pickling solutions containing boron will etch the surface.
Ruby was the first mineral to be produced by commercial Gem synthesis, dating back to the 1880's. It is not uncommon that some have purchased an antique or inherited a family heirloom, and when sending it for an insurance appraisal they learn their "Gem" is not a natural stone, but a synthetic, so just because it's old doesn't mean it's the real thing. We sell only genuine natural Ruby, so you will not find synthetic Ruby, among our available Gemstones.
Rubies are an excellent choice for investment that are today still more valuable and rare than even the top quality colorless diamonds. Natural "unheated" top quality Ruby never decreased in true value and remains a highly valued Collectors Gemstone.
TREATMENTS - Over 99% of all Ruby on the market is heat treated, to stabilize and/or enhance the color and/or clarity. The typical heat treatment process is a permanent process that does not adversely affect the performance and durability of the gemstone, so there's no need to worry when you see this enhancement disclosed. The typical heat enhancement procedure performed on Ruby from Sri Lanka (Ceylon) normally refers to the lower temperature wood 'blow' heat method, whereas and the typical heat enhancement procedure performed on Mogok, Myanmar, MongHsu, Thai, Vietnamese, and African Ruby usually refers to the high temperature furnace fired method. Both heating methods are accepted trade practices, and have been for many generations. The heat treatment process is permanent and does not adversely affect the performance, and durability of the gem, but in recent years demand for natural non-heated non-treated top quality Ruby has caused these gems to command a somewhat higher premium, depending on the gem. We take pride in finding and featuring many of these non-heated natural Rubies.
The following links are to reputable Gem Laboratories and Appraisers :
CARE - It is usually safe to clean Ruby in an UltraSonic Cleaner, and generally safe to use a steamer, but we still recommend Ionic Cleaners and/or warm, soapy water and a soft brush as the most trustworthy way to clean Ruby jewelry.
THE BLOCK BURMESE JADE ACT of 2008 - AwesomeGems.com maintains paperwork records to certify that all Ruby Gemstones sold by us were imported into the United States prior to the Embargo that was established and enacted September 27, 2008. AwesomeGems.com also certifies that we do not import into the United States any Ruby Gemstones that were mined or extracted from Burma, after said Embargo was enacted.
CAVEAT EMPTOR - A new type heat enhancement was introduced recently, called 'bulk diffusion', which means the gem is subjected to the high temperature furnace fired method above 1900o C, and also under high pressure, then titanium oxide or another coloring agent is added to the mix to alter and/or change the color of the gemstone. AGTA and GIA gem labs, after examination of this 'bulk diffused' heat treatment process reveals that the color does not go all the way through the gem, but is only in the outer layer, so if the stone is ever scratched or recut the outside color layer would be removed and the original color would then be visible under the outer layer of the gem. These 'bulk diffusion' factories are usually at locations in Thailand, and since Asian gem suppliers (and there are many online now) are not subject to the same disclosure laws as we are here in the US, these enhancement processes are rarely disclosed to the buyer, so buyers please beware. For example, you may see a premium Burma Ruby advertised on one of those websites for what appears to be pennies on the dollar. You can rest assured this is most likely a diffused stone altered by one of the Asian factories. Some of these gem suppliers even go to great lengths to try to convince the public that there is no difference in the value of their diffused gems, and the value of a natural non-treated gem, but any experienced jeweler will verify that a statement like that is totally untrue.