JULY BIRTHSTONE, RUBY

July 8, 2016
Mike Gilger
RubiesRuby (Corundum)

Ruby is the most valuable in the (Sapphire) corundum family. By that I mean Sapphires comes in all colors, but when it is a certain color red it is called “ruby”
In its purest form, the mineral corundum is colorless. Trace elements that become part of the mineral’s crystal structure cause variations in its color. Chromium is the trace element that causes ruby’s red, which ranges from an orangey red to a purplish red.
Rubies can command the most money of all gemstones. In addition, rubies found in marble typically fluoresce red under ultraviolet light, even the ultraviolet light from the sunlight. Fluorescence can make a ruby’s color even more intense and increase its value.

The most renowned rubies, like those from Myanmar (Burma), the Himalayas, and northern Vietnam, typically form in marble. They’re found in layers that are distributed irregularly within the surrounding marble. Marble forms as part of the metamorphic (rock-altering) process, when heat and pressure from mountain formation act on existing limestone deposits.*
This gem has always been my favorite from the onset of my career (47yrs) Ruby (Red corundum) is also a 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness, Diamond being a “10” the hardest of all known elements. There is just something magic about the ideal color red and the crystal structure perfect for refraction. Being able to see through the stone as there are few if any flaws internally and the perfection of the facets cut by a master gem cutter.. I have seen a great deal of beautiful rubies in my years as a stone setter and jewelry designer, though I have only seen a few rubies that fall into the ideal ruby category/description. You do not want a ruby that has no life/light internally, by that I mean, cloudiness filling the inside of the stone. Yes they are still rubies, though they are nothing of any value. These cloudy rubies are typically the type of gems sold in malls / and the big box type stores. For better quality rubies will be found in small family owned designer stores. Stores that value quality gemstones and take pride in their work like Gilger Designs.

 

 

*Courtesy of GIA

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