What is Ruby?

Rubies are the most popular red gemstones of all time and have been highly respected and coveted for centuries. It is the birthstone of JulyTheir durability and hardness make them ideal gemstones for everyday wear, whether as an engagement ring or as an earring, pendant or bracelet, they look exquisite in any form.
It is important to understand the properties of rubies before you buy so that you can make an informed decision about whether rubies are suitable for you. Keep reading for the complete guide on all ruby! This article tells you a complete guide on everything ruby!

What Does Ruby Mean

The word ruby comes from the Latin "ruber", which means red. It is named for its rich and vibrant red. When the mineral corundum is exposed to chromium oxide, rubies are formed at incredibly high temperatures deep in the earth.

Rubies may be the most important of all colored gemstones in history. They are called "the king of gems" many times in ancient Sanskrit scriptures, and the Bible associates them with beauty and wisdom. For centuries, rubies have been considered to have powerful power and energy properties. They are said to make the wearer full of enthusiasm for life, and make them full of passion and love.

Birthstone and Anniversary

Ruby is the birthstone of July. Traditionally, it was given as a gift on the 40th anniversary of "Ruby", but in modern times, the 15th wedding anniversary has become popular. Ruby jewelry is said to be a very popular gift for all romantic occasions because it reminds us of love and passion.

Ruby Color

Color is the most important factor when selecting a ruby. Ruby is made of corundum, the same material as sapphire. Interestingly, except for red, all other colors of corundum are called sapphires, and red has its own name-ruby.

Ruby color is not a single color, but a range. It ranges from pink to fuchsia, to orange-red, and unmodified ruby red. There is even star ruby, which is an optical phenomenon found in some rubies, in which many rutile needles grow parallel to the surface of natural crystals.
GIA grades colors based on hue, saturation, and tone:


Hue refers to the basic color of the stone. High-quality rubies should always have a red hue. There are often modified colors, such as purple-red, orange-red, etc.


Saturation refers to the intensity of a color. This is a scale from 1 to 6. If the intensity of the color is low, it will appear as brown or light gray (1), while the higher intensity will appear as a bright and strong color (6).


Tone refers to how deep the color of the gemstone is. A colorless is 0 and black is 10 on the grading scale.

The ideal ruby has a strong, rich deep red color that is neither too light nor too dark. Rubies that are too dark in appearance, garnet red, or too light in color are of lower value. The best rubies show a color similar to a red traffic light.

Ruby Cut

Rubies can be cut into a variety of shapes to subtly display the beauty of stone. Certain cuts highlight certain aspects of the stone.

In the market, you can find rubies of various shapes and cut styles. Oval and cushion shapes are the most common, but round can also be seen, as well as other shapes such as heart or emerald cuts. Round rubies are slightly premium, while pear and marquise are slightly discounted. Generally, avoid using too deep or too shallow stones.

Ruby Clarity

In terms of clarity, rubies are often not as clean as sapphires. Rubies can be transparent and clean (it is difficult to find inclusions even when zoomed in), but this is rare. Clarity affects the price of rubies based on the quantity, type, size and location of the inclusions. These factors can determine a large part of the price.

Although you cannot expect rubies to be flawless, the highest quality gemstones will be unblemished, meaning that no flaws will be visible to the naked eye.

Star Rubies

Star ruby is a type of ruby that exhibits a star-like phenomenon called asterism. Star ruby contains intersecting needle-like inclusions, usually the mineral rutile (a mineral mainly composed of titanium dioxide). It will form a six-line "star" pattern in the star ruby when viewed with a single overhead light source.

Star Ruby is one of the rarest and most coveted gems in the world. This is especially true compared to star sapphires, because the chromium that dyes them pink and red limits the size they can grow. The appearance of each star-shaped ruby is so unique that pairing (let alone a set) is almost impossible. 

Ruby Origin

Rubies are mined in certain countries around the world, the most famous are Asia and Africa, including Myanmar, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Mozambique, Pakistan and Zambia. Among them, rubies from Myanmar, have been regarded as the best rubies and have been mined there for more than a thousand years.

The origin of ruby has a great influence on the price of ruby. Burmese rubies are extremely rare nowadays and are usually more expensive. Stones of very good quality also come from Thailand. Recent discoveries in Mozambique have produced some of the best rubies found so far, some of which are comparable to the best Burmese rubies.

Ruby Carat

You can find rubies of excellent commercial quality in various sizes. However, the larger the ruby, the higher the cost per carat. For example, a 5-carat ruby is usually about ten times more expensive than a 1-carat ruby. This is usually because it is more difficult to obtain larger, high-quality crystals, or it may be because the cutter needs to lose more raw rough stone to create a viable shape.

Ruby Heat Treatment

Most rubies at the low end of the market are heat-treated to removing blue patches, purple tinge and silk, improving the color. If the ruby is heat-treated, it can also be heated with flux to help heal serious cracks. Various inclusions will also break at different temperatures, making the inside of some heated rubies white and fuzzy. Silk (rutile needles) will not recrystallize until about 1,200 to 1,600 degrees Celsius. Silk can take on rainbow colors, fade after heat treatment, and even dissolve at higher temperatures like other inclusions.

How to Clean Ruby Jewelry

Ruby jewelry can be cleaned at home or brought to a jeweler for professional polishing. At home, the easiest and safest way is to wash your ruby in a bowl of warm water and a drop of mild soap, and use an old toothbrush to remove any stubborn dirt. Remember to scrub very gently to avoid loosening any stones. Alternatively, you can take your rubies to a local jeweler, where they will perform ultrasonic cleaning.

Store your ruby in a separate compartment, pouch or box to protect it and your other jewelry. Ruby is a hard substance. Few stones can scratch it, but it can easily scratch softer gems.

Avoid wearing rubies when doing exercising, housework, gardening, or near the drain (such as washing hands, washing dishes or showering ).

Fascinated by ruby? Here you can explore more about ruby jewelry.