Ruby is a precious gemstone belonging to the corundum family, with a chemical formula Al2O3, which is an aluminum oxide. One of the four cardinal gemstones, along with sapphire, emerald, and diamond, it is renowned for its captivating red color, resulting from the presence of chromium in its crystal structure.
The color of a ruby is a crucial determinant of its quality, with the finest specimens displaying a vivid, pure red hue often referred to as "pigeon blood red." However, rubies can vary in shades, ranging from pinkish-red to purplish-red. The intensity and distribution of color significantly influence the gem's value.
Ruby stands out as one of the hardest gemstones, registering 9 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. Its exceptional durability makes it an excellent choice for everyday jewelry wear.
Historically, the finest rubies have been sourced from Myanmar (Burma), but significant deposits have also been found in other regions like Thailand, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Afghanistan, and certain African countries.
In the gemstone market, treatments are commonly applied to enhance a ruby's color and clarity. For instance, heat treatment is frequently used to improve the gem's color, while filling fractures with lead glass can enhance its clarity. It is essential for buyers and sellers to disclose any treatments when dealing with rubies.
Ruby holds deep symbolism, representing love, passion, courage, and energy. Throughout history, it has been regarded as a symbol of wealth and power, earning it the title "King of Gemstones."
As the birthstone for July and associated with the zodiac sign Cancer, Ruby remains a popular choice for various types of jewelry, such as rings, necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. It is often used in engagement rings and anniversary jewelry due to its profound symbolic meaning.
Due to their rarity, high-quality rubies, especially large, unblemished ones, are considered precious and valuable. This scarcity has contributed to their historical significance and their association with royalty and nobility.
When buying a ruby, it is crucial to evaluate the gem's quality by considering the 4Cs: Color, Clarity, Cut, and Carat Weight