As we move into the second half of 2017, we welcome Ruby as the birthstone of July. Not only is ruby a perfect birthday gift for July babies, it also features twice as an anniversary gem, for both the 15th and 40th wedding anniversaries.
Although a popular and familiar gemstone, few people know that ruby is part of the corundum mineral family and, as such, is closely related to sapphire. In fact, the two minerals are virtually identical in all aspects apart from colour, with the red colour of rubies coming from increased concentrations of the element Chromium in the crystal structure.
Ruby is second only to diamond on Moh’s hardness scale, coming in at 9 out of 10. As such, it is an ideal gemstone for everyday wear in engagement rings, eternity rings and wedding bands.
Like all coloured gemstones, rubies are categorized and priced on the basis of their quality (colour and clarity), size and cut. All natural rubies have some degree of imperfections and inclusions and needle-like inclusions of rutile are a definite way of distinguishing natural rubies from synthetic, simulant or substitute rubies.
Rubies occur in a huge range of shades and hues of red, but the most prized colour is known as “Pigeon-blood” red. Stones of this colour red will command premium prices in excess of all other shades of red.
Traditionally, Burma has been the source of many of the world’s most prized and top quality rubies. However, recent (2008/2009) discoveries of rubies in Mozambique, combined with the USA’s trade ban on Burmese ruby, have seen Mozambican rubies dominate the marketplace over the past few years.
As is the case with many coloured gemstones, much retail-store ruby has been heat-treated to enhance the natural shades of red. Typically, lower quality ruby is treated to remove purple tinges, remove silk and enhance the overall appearance of the gem.
Rubies are one of the most expensive coloured gemstones and in some cases, a top quality ruby can cost more than an equivalently sized diamond. Some of the world’s most expensive rubies, the Crimson Flame and the Sunrise Ruby, have reached prices of $1.2million and $1.18million per carat, respectively.
If your budget doesn’t stretch that far, don’t worry! Katannuta Diamonds stocks rubies of many shapes, sizes and qualities and if ruby is what you are after, we’ll do our best to match you with your perfect ruby. Contact us todayto set an appointment.