Why since the moment people knew ruby they gave it their hearts? In the boundless depths of the Earth there are a lot of other red gems - spinel, garnet, almandin. But obviously more than any other the color of the ruby is ​​close to the color of human blood, a symbol of birth and victories, hot battles and great passions.

ruby round cut
ruby star stone cabochon cut

For many years the ruby ​​is almost the most expensive stone in the world. Ruby possesses all the qualities and properties typical for precious stones. It has a unique color, hardness and original luster.

Ruby gets its name from the Latin word Rubeus, meaning red. Prior to the beginning of XIX century people called ruby many red gems, for example, a red spinel and red garnets.

Natural Ruby

The uneven distribution of color in the form of spots and stripes is typical for natural rubies. Ruby has a strong pleochroism. A characteristic feature is the inclusion in the rubies of rutile needles that cause the effect of iridescence (cat's eye) or asterism (spider).

ruby monocrystal

If the saturation of the color of corundum is less than 60% it is no longer considered a ruby ​​but pink sapphire. Large transparent and perfectly clean rubies almost never occur, even less than comparable-size diamonds.

Ruby itself is a form of corundum, one of the hardest minerals existing in the world. Its hardness on the Mohs scale is 9.Thus it ranks second after diamond by hardness.

In general absolutely pure corundum is colorless. But even a small incorporation of some elements, such as chromium, iron, titanium or vanadium can give a bright color. The cause of the cracks in ruby ​​is chromium. Because of this element a very small number of the stones reach a large size. Large stones even with a large number of inclusions are quite highly regarded. Thus certain rubies are sold at auction at higher price than diamonds.

Ruby is one of the most expensive jewellery stones. It is cut by facet method which is of two kinds. Stones utmost transparency is shaped brilliant cut. Opaque crystals are cut cabochon.

The rarest type of ruby is “star” stone or those with asterism. The name refers to stones with star-shaped inclusions. Asterism gives refraction of light in the form of a six-pointed star, rarely three-, four-, and twelve-pointed star. The famous ring of King Solomon was decorated by star ruby. On the one side of the stone was written "Everything will pass," and on the other - "And this will pass."

bharany ruby star stonr

Synthetic Rubies

In 1892 scientist Verneuil managed to achieve pretty good result on the synthesis of crystals of corundum in pure alumina. To the fullest extent he was able to complete his research in 1902. Due to the simplicity and accessibility of the Verneuil method it was possible to organize industrial production of corundum crystals. Currently synthetic ruby crystals of high jewelry quality are produced in many countries in the world. But only a small number is used in the jewelry trade.

How to recognise the natural ruby?

There are some simple methods to distinguish the natural and synthetic ruby:

- If you put the stone in a glass of water it will have a delicate reddish color. When you place the ruby ​​in a glass of milk, it will get a pinkish color.

- If you look at the ruby from ​​one angle it looks dark red, if you look on the back of it it will pale

- If there is a crack in the natural ruby it will not shine. The crack in this ruby will have a zigzag shape. The crack in ruby​​-simulation will be a direct and visible.

- In the real ruby the bubbles are rare. But if they are, they are usually round and look at the color of the stone. In simulation stones bubbles are white, round, opened, and sometimes empty.

- If you put the real ruby on the eye lid it will be cooler due to the fact that it has a compact molecular structure. Forgery of glass or fake stone or synthetic ruby heat quickly.


The cost of rubies depends on their properties and applications. There is a set of basic properties, common to all the precious stones.

ruby Tanzania
ruby tanzania cabochon cut
ruby burma
ruby burma oval cut

Color – the most important

The color of the ruby is quite the most important characteristic of this stone. And on the second place is its transparency. That is why inclusions which do not affect the transparency absolutely don’t reduce the quality of the ruby. On the contrary, certain elements included in the crystal are ​​considered the same characteristics as the individual fingerprint of man. They point to its uniqueness and confirm the nature of its origin. In fact, high-quality rubies are rare.


In addition to the color very important is the cutting which can reveal the beauty of the ruby. Rubies on the market are all the richness of forms and styles. Cut in the style of the oval and cabochon is most common, but there are also rare forms, such as "heart" and "Emerald". Round cut stones are valued slightly higher than normal, and the pear-shaped and the "Marquise" - just below.
The best cabochons are considered perfectly transparent stones with soft lines and good symmetry.
The lighting is another very important factor for evaluation of rubies. Like most gemstones ruby looks best in sunlight - the best in the afternoon. Worst of all the stone looks a fluorescent light - it has almost no red spectrum which makes crystal grey and dead looking.

Carat price

Carat price certainly operates accurate figures. Except for some rare color diamonds, ruby ​​is the most expensive in the world of gemstones. But as is the case with any other precious stones, poor quality, not suitable for cutting patterns are just a few dollars per carat. This is generally opaque stones.

The price of processing

Not surprisingly the rubies, the price of which is so sky-high, are often forged which increases their value.
An easy and affordable way to remove unwanted impurities from the crystal and make it more transparent is heat treatment. As a result the stone gets a uniform color.
Processed this way the low quality stones are sold about the same price as if they were not treated. However in the case of higher-quality model suitable for cutting the cost of the stone could fall by almost half if it turns out that it was ennobled.

On the market today there are a lot of synthetic rubies grown by different methods of synthesis. In the jewelry however is more likely to use natural gemstones instead of synthetics. Because people want to buy a real, natural stone even if it is not so big.

These preferences of people prompted traders to the idea to sell ​synthetics as natural stones. With the current technology it is possible to grow crystals very similar in structure to the natural crystals. Distinguishing synthetics from the real ruby can be done only in special laboratories. And so if you have the unique opportunity to buy a large and clean gem, remember that clean, thickly painted large rubies in nature are extremely rare. This fact alone calls into question of the natural origin of the stone.


The undisputed favorite, the best of the best rubies is Burma ruby. Burmese rubies are valued highly because of their specific color - deep red, with a slight bluish hue. The stone retains its shine in the most diverse lighting conditions and the gold and silver give it a special feeling.

Burma rubies

ruby burma oval cut
ruby burma
ruby burma
ruby burma

For quality rubies with good color, sufficient size and high purity the place of production is an important factor in their assessment. For small rubies inferior place of extraction is not particularly important. Even if they are mined in Burma, it does not increase their value.

Famous Rubies

Among the rubies as well as between people there are their own celebrities. They could be famous due to their extraordinary size, sometimes - particularly the structure and color.

Raja Ratna ruby

Raja Ratna

The largest of the rubies in the world weighs 2 475 carats (almost a pound). Its owner is a lawyer from India named J. Vijaya-raja. Stone, wearing a big name "Raja Ratna" (which means "king of gems"), went to an Indian inconspicuous inherited.

Rosser Reeves

There is a rare “star” ruby of rich cherry color in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington. This lovely stone oval-cut, weighs about 137 carats and was named "Rosser Reeves" - in honor of man who donated it to the institute.

Rosser Reeves ruby
Saint Wenceslas crown ruby

Very famous as a ruby, inserted into the crown of Saint Wenceslas, which is stored in Prague. This stone is of irregular shape, weighs about 250 carats.

Black Prince

Edward of Wales, known as the "Black Prince", was the owner of the amazing Ruby, who later was inherited by King Henry V. The new owner believed that the ruby symbolizes the indomitable will to win, it is able to provide its owner eventually achieve any goal. In one of the battles of Aginkorte the helmet of the king, on which there was the ruby, was hit the heavy blow of the sword. But neither ruby nor its owner were affected. It should be added that it later emerged that the "Black Prince" is not a ruby, but only a spinel. But in light of all this exciting stories and links with the British crown, this gem has taken its special place in the history. And now it is in the very center of the British imperial crown.

Black Prince ruby

Timur ruby

Timur Ruby

In fact it was discovered that this stone is also spinel. It has Indian roots. Its initial rough cut required occupational Indian masters V century BC. Later the stone fell to the eastern conqueror Tamerlane after he captured Delhi in 1398. After Tamerlane "Timur Ruby" was possessed by various Persian kings. Many of them tried to leave on the spinel appropriate inscription with their names.

After a period of Persian possessions rock hit in the Great Mongol dynasty. There were many rulers who have also left their names on the stone, including the famous Shah Jahan who built the Taj Mahal.

The troops of the East India Company seized “Timur ruby” in Lahore in 1849. For a long time it was not identified and stored in a Royal jewel house, until by chance jewelers did not see the signs and do not understand what's got into their hands.

One of the most famous jewels can be considered ruby "Delong" weighing 100 carats. It was brought to the American Museum of Natural History from Myanmar.

In October 1964 three of the most valuable exhibits - "Ruby Delong," "Star of India" and "Orlov Diamond" – had been stolen from the museum. The robbers led by Jack Murphy came through the window of the toilet and managed to steal artefacts. Two days later, John Murphy was caught. Later in his testimony "Delong" and sapphire "Star of India" were found. "Orlov Diamond" has not been found yet.

Delong star ruby

Delong star ruby


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