Rubies can charge the highest per-carat price of any colored stone. This makes ruby one of the most valuable gems in the colored stone market. In its pure form, the mineral corundum is colorless. Trace elements become part of the mineral’s crystal structure and cause variations in its color. Chromium is the trace element that gives the ruby gemstone its red color.
A few people outside the gem industry understand the true nature of a gemstone’s journey from the quarry to a store’s counter. Regardless of whether the gem is being offered to consumers at a regular jewelry store’s counter, an internet shopping site, or a TV broadcast, the journey always includes a great deal of effort. Several hours of labor are required to bring a gem from the mine to the market.
The strength of red in a ruby depends on how much chromium is present. Basically, more chromium means a stronger red color. Additionally, chromium can cause fluorescence, which adds to the intensity of the red color.
As mentioned earlier, ruby can command the highest prices of any colored gemstone. This has led to the per-carat prices of fine-quality rubies to rise consistently, and at many times, break auction records.
When looking for rubies to purchase, there are some things that you should consider.
color Is The Most Important Quality Factor
The finest ruby has a vibrant, pure red with a slightly purplish red color. When the color becomes too orangey or purplish, the quality of the ruby moves down. High-quality rubies have a vivid color saturation, and the color should neither be too dark nor too light if it’s to be considered the finest quality.
Clarity Comes Next
People trading gemstones expect rubies to have at least some inclusions. This is because inclusion-free rubies are rare to find. The ruby value depends on how visible these inclusions are, and if some obvious inclusions or inclusions reduce transparency or brightness, they lower a ruby’s value dramatically.
Cut Is Another Important Factor In Appearance
Many factors affect the cut and proportion of rubies. The crystal shape of the ruby dictates its suitability for certain cuts. While the most common shape is a flat tabular hexagonal shape, some ruby crystals from some sources can be elongated.
Carat Weight Lets You Have Precise Measurements
While commercial-quality rubies are commonly available in a wide range of sizes, fine-quality rubies over one carat are quite rare. The price per carat increases significantly for ruby as it increases in size.
Here are some tips and tricks to use when looking for ruby gemstones
1. You should work with a jeweler you trust.
Judging the quality of ruby requires expertise. You need to look for gemological credentials. A jeweler who knows and loves their work will have multiple ways to show you the quality differences side by side.
2. You should not confuse origin with quality.
Sometimes, the best mines produce some low-quality materials. The origin of a ruby is no guarantee of value or quality. There have been fine-quality rubies from several different countries and low-quality crystals from the same countries.
3. Ask about treatment.
Most rubies have been heated, and some gems on the market have had color diffused into the surface. In some cases, fractures are filled with lead glass to improve their appearance. When making a purchase, it would be wise to ask about treatment information.
4. If ever you have a doubt, get a lab report.
By getting a report from an independent laboratory, you can confirm that the ruby you are eyeing is natural, and you can find out whether there is evidence of treatment.
Keep your ruby beautiful by following a simple care and cleaning guide:
You can use warm soapy water as that is always safe. Avoid using ultrasonic and steam cleaners unless you are using it for untreated, heat-treated, and lattice diffusion treated stones. For fracture-filled, cavity-filled, or dyed material, you should only use a damp cloth to clean it.
Corundum is stable under normal wearing conditions, which means that it’s resistant to the effects of heat, light, and common chemicals. The boric acid powder can etch the surface of even untreated stones, so dyed, fracture-filled, cavity-filled stones can be damaged by mild acids like lemon juice.
Untreated and heat-treated rubies are very durable. Stones that have gone through lattice diffusion treatment have varying degrees of treated-color penetration. However, in some stones, the treated color penetrates the entire stone, while others have very shallow treated-color penetration. For stones with shallow color penetration, surface damage or re-cutting can remove color.