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A precious corundum gemstone, Ruby can be said to be the counterpart of a Sapphire. Red in tone, it is a vibrant and extremely hard gemstone that is quite durable. Its appearance makes it a common choice for luxury jewellery where a red tone is desired. While it is practically identical to the Sapphire in all but colour, it is considered to be a separate gemstone as opposed to a variety.


Rubies tend to range between transparent and opaque. They are very hard gemstones, matching the Sapphire's rating of 9 on the Mohs hardness scale. Their lustre is generally glassy, although it does not always have to be the case.

Regardless of its durability, it can be chipped and fractured if handled improperly. Therefore, as with all gemstones, it is best to exercise care when handling Ruby gemstones.

Rubies can often be heat treated to remove internal flaws and improve their colour. While larger gemstones exhibiting higher carat weights are extremely rare – and thus usually highly expensive – they can be encountered. More common are smaller gems, however, with a corresponding drop in value.

It is worth noting that synthetic Ruby gemstones exist, and it can be very difficult to tell them apart from a real gemstone – it is therefore advised to purchase rubies from a reputable seller.

Colour and Value

Rubies appear exclusively in tones of red. In general, deeper red gemstones are considered to be more desirable and of higher value, while less intense tones are of lesser value. Because of this, Burmese Rubies – known for their deep red tone – can command very high prices. It should be noted, that these deep red stones tend not to reach high carat weights – particularly large Burmese Rubies are exceedingly rare. Their rarity can be even higher if they are flawless, and therefore it can be difficult to attain these stones.

Other than colour, transparency affects value as well. Clearer, more transparent stones are the more valuable ones – opaque or close to opaque stones would not be valued very highly.

Of particular interest are Star Rubies, which exhibit star rays on the inside of the gemstone in hexagonal patterns. A ruby exhibiting such a pattern, possessing high transparency could prove to be a highly valuable gemstone.

Rubies can be treated to improve their colour, and to remove some inclusions. Heat treated Rubies are quite common, and it is the untreated natural Rubies with high quality features that are most desirable ones, and thus valuable.


Rubies are popular in jewellery, and appear in practically every form of jewellery: Earrings, rings, necklaces, bracelets, pendants, and other jewellery types can all be set with a ruby stone. It can be found as a centrepiece as well as a supporting stone. Star Rubies are commonly shaped into cabochons.

As larger Ruby gemstones can be extremely rare and expensive, they can be a collector's gemstone as well – Large stones with an attractive, deep red tone and high degree of transparency can fetch astronomical prices.

Synthetic Rubies can sometimes be used as a substitute, to provide a cheaper alternative to a natural Ruby.


Rubies can be found in many areas of the world, and major sources are found in Asia and Africa.

Thailand is one of the most important areas when it comes to Ruby gemstones, but other places throughout Asia such as India can also be seen as significant. There are also Ruby deposits in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Australia and the United States (particularly the state of North Carolina).

As rubies are expensive - VERY expensive - we don't have much too offer, but we do have this little treasure for you:

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