Rubies are distinguished by their bright pink through orangey- brown red, to vibrant blood red colours, with the purer reds commanding the highest value. The type of red can indicate the stone’s origin, with pinkish-purple red rubies usually indicative of originating from Myanmar, and orangey-brown reds traditionally coming out of Thailand.
Where are they mined?
The most famous historical mining location for rubies is in modern-day Myanmar, which has been producing the highly desirable Burmese rubies, iconically pigeon-blood red, since at least 600AD. The most notable mine is Mogok, known as The Valley of Rubies. Other prominent origins include Thailand, Madagascar, Mozambique, Australia, Sri Lanka and India.
Qualities to look for
As high clarity rubies are extremely rare, it is their colour, rather than their clarity, which makes them so valuable. As with sapphires, they can be heat treated to enhance their colour and saturation, and to remove silk inclusions. Since this results in a stable reaction in the stone and is indistinguishable from heating processes seen in nature, it is acceptable as long as it’s disclosed, and doesn’t majorly impact the value of the ruby. As with all coloured gemstones, with no standard quality grading system, the best ruby is the one you like the most.
How to wear
As an exceptionally durable stone, rubies are ideal for wear
in engagement rings, bridal jewellery and pieces intended for everyday wear with a hardness of 9/10. They are perfect statements in a special occasional piece, and with the proper care in-line with our care instructions will last a lifetime.
What makes them special?
Ruby is the birthstone for July, and is the 15th and 40th wedding anniversary gem.
High quality rubies are one of the most expensive gemstones in the world, and are incredibly rare, with large stones often valued higher than diamonds of the same size.
The name ruby comes from the Latin ‘ruber’, meaning red.
In 1960 ruby was used to create the first laser using its red fluorescent light.
Some rubies can be fluorescent under ultraviolet light, sometimes with such intensity that the effect is noticeable even in natural light, which gives them their highly prized red glow.
Ruby is one of the five cardinal gems, which are traditionally considered to be the most precious above all other gemstones.
Rubies in history
According to historical records rubies were sold and traded along the Chinese Silk route from as early as 200 B.C.
In Ancient Myanmar, warriors believed that implanting a ruby into their flesh would make them invincible in battle.
Rubies have long been prized by royalty throughout history, and feature in the crown jewels of monarchs such as Catherine of Aragon, Queen Victoria of England, Queen Elizabeth of England, Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, and Princess Sofia of Spain, among countless others.