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Ruby Gemstones - Red is the color of love!


Red is the color of love and that is why you find the color red featuring in every Valentine´s day theme; this is said to be the day for lovers to express their love for one another. Red speaks of warmth, perhaps because of the color of fire, and also shows life´s vitality, perhaps due to the red color of life-giving blood. Whatever the reason, red has always been associated with power; remember the long flowing robes of a king, and the red gemstones embedded in the crown? Well, the red stones were rubies. The ruby has been considered to the king in the world of gemstones, and this is as yet to be disputed.

Imagine a gemstone that has great hardness, vibrant brilliance, and a magnificent red color; for centuries, the ruby gemstone has been the most sought-after gemstone in the world, not to mention that it is also very rare, especially when you want to get one that is pure in terms of clarity and brilliance.

It is a Corundum

Corundum is one of the toughest minerals on the planet, and the red ruby is classified as one; another is the sapphire. The color of the corundum depends on the impurities found within the structure, and these are elements such as Titanium, Vanadium, Iron and Chrome; pure corundum has no color. When it comes to hardness, the red ruby has a 9 on the Mohs scale, which is only second to the diamond. All other colors of corundum are termed as sapphires, and only the red variety are called rubies. For centuries, there was confusion about rubies and sapphires, and it is only in the early 19th century that the varieties were defined. Before that, people thought there were other colors of rubies, and they wrongly classified spinels, garnets, which had a red color, as rubies. The Timur Ruby and Black Ruby found in the Royal Crown jewels are not real rubies, but are actually spinels.

How did the ruby become so precious?

The red color found in the ruby is a result of chrome, aluminum, and other smaller elements. The red color will depend on the percentage composition of thee various elements. In the world, the ruby is rarely found in fine colors and clarity, and the chrome is the one responsible for the rarity. Although chrome is the one that gives the ruby its glorious red color, it is also the one that causes fissures and cracks in the crystals forming any deposit where the ruby is found. Due to this, the ruby is usually found in small sizes, and fining one that is over 3 carats is a rare occurrence. This is the reason why getting a ruby that does not have any inclusions, and has a fine color and large size is very rare. This rarity is the one that drives the prices up at any auction or jewelry store.

Are rubies are also said to have a silk characteristic, where the stone seems to have a silky sheen covering the surface, an occurrence caused by the stone having fine needles of the element called rutile. Star rubies are also said to have rutile, which forms a start-shaped inclusion inside the stone. The star rubies are usually cut in a cabochon shape, which causes the star to seem to glide within the stone, when it is moved. The cutting of star rubies is done in such a way that the star is at the center of the stone, and the light seems to form fully at the imaginary horizontal running through the center of the stone.

The passion of the red ruby gemstones

The color of the ruby is what defines its importance as a gemstone. The name ruby comes from the Latin word for red; "rubens". Since the red color of the ruby is a burning, deep red color, it is associated with fire and blood, and these characteristics speak of the warmth and life forces that mankind relies on. This is just not any color, but one that implies passion, power and heat. This is the reason why the ruby was used to show love and passion; it speaks of the deep feeling of passion that two overs share for each other, making it a perfect gift for betrothal.

A brief sojourn into the naming of a ruby

There are stories that say that the first ruby was found in India; their folklore has the oldest reference to the stone, and the knowledge of the importance of this stone was passed down from one generation to another. The names used for the ruby are derived from Sanskrit terms; Ruby comes from the word "Ratnaraj" which loosely means "the king of the gemstones". The scientific word for the stone, Corundum, comes from the Sanskrit word "Kuruvinda". In India, any ruby that was found was met by dignitaries sent by the king, in order to have it welcomed with all the pomp that it deserved. In many Indian royal homes, you will still find rubies adorning the most important rooms in the house.

Now, many people wonder which is the most beautiful of them all. This is a question that must be thoroughly explained in order to be understood. The beauty and nomenclature of a ruby depends on various factors, and can be compared to the star classification of hotels and inns. Here is how:

The Burmese Ruby is so called, because it is considered the top luxury ruby ever; this does not mean that it comes from Burma, now known as Myanmar. This refers to the fact that the stone has the deep red color associated with stones which were originally mined from the Myanmar region; it may come from another region, but its characteristics resemble those from the region, and hence the naming. Stones from this region had a deep rich red color and had a blue sheen, which led to the color being referred to as resembling pigeon-red blood. A gemstone aficionado will immediately associate the stone with the Mogok Stone Tract, which is legendary for the high quality rubies that were mined there. This is a region found to the North of the Myanmar, called Mogok. This is a region that lies in a valley called the valley of rubies, and it has high peaks surrounding it. But even here, getting a pure Burmese ruby is very rare. The Burmese ruby has a color of intense vividness and displays an impeccable brilliance in any source of light.

To the North East of Myanmar, you will find a small town called Mong, where some of the most important rubies in the world have come from. In the 90s, there were rubies of impeccable quality which were mined from this region, and this helped in making the Burmese ruby to be the top of the classification. At first, many said that the stones were not fit for making jewelry since the raw ruby was found to have two colors; one was a bright red exterior and a dark purple interior with a black core. However, after treating the ruby to intense heat, the purple core turned into a very deep red color, and soon these stones became the most sought-after rubies, when it came to making expensive jewelry. The mines of this region are still the best in the world, and provide high quality stones weighing between 0.5 and 3 carats.

  • The next is the rubies which come from the neighboring Vietnam, in the region that borders China. The rubies from Vietnams are characterized by a hue that is slightly purple in color. Another great supplier of rubies is Thailand, but these ones have a dark red color, which birders on becoming brown. This is called a Siamese color, and is deeply muted. It is said to be the second category, following the Burmese ruby. The Thailand ruby is very popular in the United States of America. The rubies from Ceylon are rare, and have a bright red color resembling that of raspberries.
  • Other ruby supplies come from the areas North of Pakistan, namely, the Hunza Valley, Tadzhikistan. Laos. Afghanistan and Kashmir. There are other rubies that come from India, and these are usually large in size; they are found in the states of Mysore and Orissa. Although they are large in size, the stones have a lot of inclusions, and this makes them perfect for making cabochon-cut jewelry and beadwork.
  • The African continent has also supplied its fair share of rubies, and these were discovered in the 1960s. In Tanzania and Kenya, there were deposits which had a string red color, which was very beautiful; the rubies varied widely in hue, ranging from light to dark shades. Like in the Indian mines, the rubies from Africa have a lot of inclusions, and they are rarely large in size. This compromises on their quality and value.

The magical spell of the red ruby

The most important characteristic of the red ruby is the color, and the clarity. The quality of a ruby, unlike that of other gemstones, is not compromised by the presence of inclusions; they only are of import if they interfere with the passage of light through the stone, making it translucent, or are found at the middle of the stone´s table. The inclusions of a ruby, just like those of the star rubies, are said to be like a fingerprint, making it unique and giving it a characteristic of its own; some say it is its individuality, because it tells the tale of where it comes from, and that it is an authentic ruby. The way that a ruby is cut is also important when it comes to the magical characteristic of the stone. This is the "king of gemstones" and the cut has to bring this nature to the fore; the cut has to be perfect. Just like it is hard to come across perfect love, it is also hard to come across the perfect ruby, and when you find one, it will cost you a small fortune. Just like when you find your true love, when you find your true ruby, then hold on to it with all that you have.

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