Ruby - A Symbol of Wealth and Nobility
Referred to as the king of precious stones, ruby is the red variety of the mineral corundum (what sapphires are formed from). The name comes from the Latin "ruber", meaning red. Red is the colour of our most intense emotions - love, anger, passion, and fury. It's often associated with objects of power and desire; like fast cars and red roses.
Early cultures treasured rubies for their similarity to the redness of the blood that flowed through their veins, and believed that rubies held the power of life. Ruby retained its importance with the birth of the western world and became one of the most sought-after gems of European royalty and the upper class. Many medieval Europeans wore rubies to guarantee health, wealth, wisdom, and success in love.The most famous ruby jewellery is a necklace designed by Cartier. Mike Todd gifted the ruby and diamond necklace to his gorgeous wife and actress, Elizabeth Taylor. In December 2011, Taylor’s necklace was auctioned for $115,932,000USD. It became the most valuable jewellery auction in history, with the proceeds going to charity.
The colour of a ruby is caused by traces of chromium, with the colour being the most significant factor affecting a ruby's colour value. Rubies are available in hues ranging from an orangey-red to a purplish-red and in tones of medium to dark. Fine quality rubies are pure, vibrant red to slightly purplish-red, but the most sought-after colour by collectors worldwide is a deep red sometimes with a hint of purple, called "pigeon's blood" in the trade.
Inclusion-free rubies are practically non-existent so the value caries with how visible the inclusions are. Inclusions can also impact a ruby's durability, especially if there is a surface-reaching fracture. Typical clarity characteristics include thin mineral inclusions called needles. Rutile needles, or "silk", can often contribute positively to a gem's appearance.
Corundum may show a phenomenon called asterism. This star effect usually appears as a six-ray star pattern across a cabochon-cut gem's curved surface.
The most famous ruby mines are in Myanmar (formally known as Burma) but rubies can also be found in Vietnam, Mozambique, Madagascar, Kenya, Tajikistan, Thailand, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.
Heat treatment is often used to improve the colour or clarity of a ruby. Heat can also cause some fractures to 'heal' in certain conditions. Lower quality material may have surface-reaching fractures filled with a glass to decrease their visibility and make the gem more transparent.
Care and Cleaning
Warm, soapy water is always safe. Ultrasonic and steam cleaners are usually safe for untreated, heat-treated and lattice diffusion treated stones. Fracture-filled, cavity-filled or dyed material should ONLY be cleaned with a damp cloth. Various chemicals, even mild substances like lemon juice, can cause change in some glass-filled rubies.
Facts About The Ruby
- Mineral: Corundum
- Mohs Hardness: 9
- Toughness: Excellent
- Birthstone: July
- Wedding Anniversary: 15th and 40th
Established in 1931, GIA (Gemmological Institute of America) is the world's foremost authority on diamonds, coloured stones, and pearls. A public benefits, non-profit institute, GIA is the leading source of knowledge, standards and education in gems and jewellery.
GIA studies the scientific properties of gems, developing new methods of identifying natural, laboratory-grown, and treated gemstones. Its research serves to protect all who buy and sell gems by ensuring accurate and unbiased standards for determining and describing gem quality.
Learn more at www.gia.edu
Rosendorff has a range of gemstone jewellery, like these Natural Red Pear Shape 1.21ct Ruby Ring for just $7,920.