Red ruby earrings

Red ruby gemstone

What is a ruby gemstone and what gives it its red color -

A ruby is a precious gemstone composed of the mineral corundum, an exceptionally hard aluminum oxide mineral. Trace elements of the chromophore chromium are responsible for lending this enchanting gemstone its iconic saturated red color. When corundum forms with little to no chromium impurities, it crystallizes into diamonds' dazzling counterpart, sapphire. Other hues like orangy-pink padparadscha or blood-red pigeon's blood demonstrate the impact of chromium concentration on the resultant ruby shade. Prized for their alluring fire and soft fluorescence, rubies have adorned royals and jewelry lovers across cultures for millennia as one of the traditional "big four" gemstones along with sapphires, emeralds and diamonds

Where are rubies found and what are the main ruby mining locations -

While scattered red ruby gemstone deposits exist worldwide from Kenya to Greenland, Southeast Asia and specifically Myanmar (Burma) produce over 90% of the world’s high-quality gem-grade rubies. The Mogok region of Myanmar hosts the famed Painyit and Mong Hsu ruby mines continuously producing spectacular specimens since 600 AD including world record setting stones like the Sunrise Ruby. Economically driven discoveries in Montepuez, Mozambique recently unearthed enormous rubycrystal clusters hinting at the African nation’s future prominence. Other significant mining outposts include Thailand, Afghanistan, Australia, and India. Intriguing secondary market trading bazaars specializing in rubies formed across Asia and the Middle East over centuries of mining, conquests, and migrations making destinations like Bangkok and Dubai global ruby hubs.

What properties and mining characteristics determine ruby value

Ruby value factors include:

Color: Vivid red saturation is most prized. Pinkish-red stones trade lower except extremely rare padparadscha orange-pinks.

cushion aaa ruby ringClarity: Eye-clean transparent rubies with fewer imperfections like clouds or cracks fetch higher valuations.

Cut: Ideal cut and finish parameters maximize sparkling light return balancing brilliance and fire.

Carat Weight: Larger ruby crystals over 5 carats become exponentially rarer and pricier from shrinking yields limiting finding intact formations without flaws.

Origins: Historic legendary mines like Mogok or classic neon-red Burmese rubies receive premiums for renowned reputations.

Treatments: Enhancement levels and types impact value. Gemologists cut windows exposing innards on inconspicuous facets.

While attractive hues draw the eye, trained experts scrutinize technical metrics through loupes and testing equipment to grade before certifying.

red ruby diamond ring

What treatments are used to improve the clarity and color of rubies -

Rubies commonly undergo treatments to minimize imperfections and intensify red saturation since flawless natural crystallization is exceptionally scarce. Standard industry accepted enhancement methods include:

Heat Treatment- Heating ruby rough to ~1800°C dissolves impurities trapped inside the corundum structure introducing scattering elements boosting redness. Most rubies undergo this permanent, stability-enhancing process.

Glass Filling - Surface-reaching cavities and fractures get filled with high lead-content glass or polymers achieving smoother facet junctions and concealing cracks. Durability concerns arise upon re-polishing or damage.

Flux Healing - Exposing rubies to borax or lead oxide melts at high temperatures fuses smaller cracks. Secondary heat treatment afterward improves resulting color too.

Reputable jewelers fully disclose treatments on ruby appraisal documents so buyers understand what enhancement methods applied and any associated durability or care considerations.

Myriad interlinked supply and demand dynamics influence ruby valuations, including:

  • Global wealth driving jewelry sales
  • New productive mines increasing gemstone inventory
  • Treatment technologies altering supply rarity
  • Cultural shifts in consumer preferences
  • Luxury brands showcasing rubies on red carpets
  • Auction record-setting stone sales publicizing extreme high values
  • Celebrities or royals flaunting heirloom rubies

These myriad factors beg the question whether rubies will retain soaring price momentum as the next generation's precious heirlooms or settle into a more modest niche as durable synthetics saturate mass markets. Regardless of future trajectories, among "big four" gems, rubies will always entrance with their quintessential beauty, lore, and scarlet symbolism.

red ruby pendant

What is the difference between natural and synthetic rubies -

While essentially identical on a chemical composition basis, natural and synthetic rubies differ in their formation origins and rarity profiles:

oval red ruby diamond ringNatural: Formed from aluminum oxide and chromium materials present deep underground under extreme heat and pressure environments over eons measured in geological eras. Represent limited non-renewable resources.

Synthetic: Produced above ground under laboratory conditions precisely replicating the temperature, pressure and chemical cocktail suitable for corundum formation within days or weeks. Can be replicated continuously on industrial scales.

Heat treatment processes make natural rubies indistinguishable from flame fusion or flux-grown synthetics using standard gemological testing. Advanced spectroscopy and microscopy can reveal subtle structural clues around their growth environments. Synthetics command ~10% valuations compared to naturals. Disclosure responsibilities sit firmly with sellers, not buyers lacking advanced verification capabilities.

What are the best ways to evaluate ruby quality before buying -

From scrutinizing technical metrics on diamond grading reports to simply admiring captivating red sparkles, savvy ruby shoppers have many tools at their disposal:

Verification Lab Reports - Trusted gem labs like GIA, Gübelin and AGL provide detailed grading analysis of rubies submitted for testing. Reports quantify quality valuation factors and any detectable treatments.

Loupe Inspections - 10x magnification examinations search for imperfections obscured to the naked eye that diminish value like crystals, cavities, and included debris.

Light Performance - Tilting rubies under focused jewelers lamps reveals the gem’s light handling capacity. Bursts of red flashes signal precision cuts with excellent polish.

Origin Disclosures - Reputable jewelers openly share country/mine of origin details, treatment types performed and recutting/enhancement history based on best records, or note ambiguous origins of estate pieces.

While technical evaluations are advisable, trusting instinctive emotional connections with alluring rubies makes the experience personally enjoyable too.

pear red ruby ring

Why are some rubies more expensive than diamonds -

In exceptionally rare instances, top quality large rubies auction for prices exceeding equivalent size/quality diamonds due to tremendous scarcity and demand convergence. A cabochon Burmese ruby under 15 carats might tradehands privately for over $1 million per carat thanks to perfect storm dynamics:

Sheer Rarity – Intact formation flawless rubies over 5 carats prove exponentially elusive, especially enriching “pigeon's blood” neon red Burmese varieties.

Royal Lineage – Historic Indian Mogul dynasties and Russian Czar crowns bring legend status to traces rubies as coveted heirlooms exchanged between elites over centuries.

Auction Fever – Record setting public sale prices stimulate even higher valuations upon resale. Christie’s $30 million 12 carat Sunrise ruby sets benchmark estimates.

While still enthralling, commercial quality rubies fetching typical retail prices seem modestly priced compared to major diamonds. But investors speculate high-end ruby prices still have upside in contrast to diamonds facing potential mass-market erosion from cheap manmade gem-grading diamonds.

red ruby and diamond ring

What jewelry applications best highlight ruby beauty and symbolism -

Regal rubies mesmerize exceptionally well as:

Statement Rings – Cocktail and anniversary bands displaying large center stones steal attention flashing vivid red brilliance with hand movements.

Dangling Earrings – Femininity radiates from lightweight ruby drops bezel set in yellow or rose gold, dangling along the neck for elegant accessorizing.

Tennis Bracelets – Line bracelets mixing sparkling rubies and diamonds embody wealth and extravagance for formal black-tie events.

Brooches & Hair Pins – Victorians fancied rubies embellishing sharp bodice and hair accessories contrasting against neutral silk gowns during rigidly formal gatherings.

Beyond visibly complementing a variety of jewelry designs, rubies symbolize powerful motifs like enduring passion, protection against misfortune, simmering energy – resonating meaningful messages through their crimson dazzle.


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