Ruby is one of the most precious gemstones in the world. They are formed naturally on Earth under certain conditions. They have a deep and vibrant red with an alluring glow.
Where Do Rubies Come From? And How are Rubies Formed?
Ruby is made from the mineral corundum or alumina. When rubies are subjected to extreme heat and pressure, they form under the surface. Corundum is composed of densely packed oxygen and aluminum atoms. Usually, this results in a colorless substance. However, when some of the aluminum atoms are replaced by other minerals or substances, the stone takes on other colors. This is how rubies are formed and take on their deep red color. Specifically, the presence of chromium produces a deep red color. Rare orange and pink rubies are formed by the presence of chromium and ferric iron. If 1% of the aluminum atoms are replaced by chromium atoms, the ruby will develop a deep red color. Learn more about ruby color.
However, the presence of silica or iron will prevent ruby from forming. Since these are very commonly found in the Earth's crust, rubies are difficult to find. In addition, corundum is also a rare mineral.
Most ruby deposits are located in Asian countries, including Myanmar, Thailand, India, Pakistan and Nepal. Rubies are found in the land bordered by the Himalayas. As the Asian continent and the Indian subcontinent collided with each other, enormous pressure and the presence of certain minerals formed ruby deposits. The formation of rubies can be traced back to 50 million years ago. Other ruby deposits can also be found in Madagascar, Macedonia and Montana.
Most rubies have blemishes, which are naturally formed as the ruby develops inside the earth. These features are often referred to as rutile needles or silk. These rutile needles are one factor that differentiates natural rubies from lab-grown rubies. View more information on ruby inclusions and clarity.
What are the different types of rubies?
Ruby is often distinguished by its color and origin. The main types are as follows:
As mentioned earlier, this gem can be found in varying shades of red, depending on the amount of chromium in its chemical composition. Mentioned below are the two most unique types:
Pigeon's Blood Ruby: Pigeon's blood ruby is one of the most expensive color variations, a deep red with hints of lilac. It is very rare and is mainly found in Myanmar. However, it is also present in Madagascar, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Tajikistan and Mozambique. That said, the beauty of this stone is worth the money.
Pink Ruby: On its own, the typical pink ruby appears to be the product of nature's most fascinating alchemy. This stone exhibits a distinctive pink hue or undertone that distinguishes it from other varieties. Interestingly, the validity of this gemstone is still debated, with some countries classifying it as a pink sapphire. Regardless of its name, the visual magnificence of this stone is recognized worldwide.
Indian Ruby: Available in a variety of colors, rubies that fall into this category come from Odisha and Mysore. They feature vibrant colors that often complement cool-toned metals like silver, platinum, and platinum.
Tanzania Ruby: As a country, Tanzania has some of the largest ruby mines in the world. Gemstones from the region are prized for their exceptional clarity, large size and luxurious hue.
Mozambique rubies: Compared to African rubies, Mozambican rubies are by far the highest quality. These gemstones usually come in a variety of shades, from reddish-purple to deep red with purplish tints. In addition to their wonderful color, these gemstones are also known for their extreme clarity, which has a knack for winning hearts.
Madagascar rubies: Unlike similar rubies, rubies from this region exhibit distinctive pink and orange undertones. Needless to say, this fact enhances the breed's uniqueness and makes it a place to be flattered.
Thai Ruby: From southeast Bangkok, these wondrous beauties are beloved for their alluring deep red hue.
Afghan Ruby: Last but not least is the Afghan ruby. Originating in the Badakshan and Jagdalek regions, this coveted variety is beloved for its gorgeous pale red to deep red.
Are Rubies Rare?
Interestingly, high-quality rubies are extremely rare, believed to be even rarer than diamonds.
This is due to the following reasons...
First, corundum can be found in abundance in nature. To form a ruby, however, it requires the presence of moderate amounts of oxygen, aluminum, and trace amounts of chromium.
In fact, it is this element that gives rubies their striking red color.
Additionally, this gem cannot be formed in the presence of silica, a common ingredient in the earth's crust, which makes rubies very rare.
It is important to note that this gem was formed under extreme pressure, so the supply of large, clean rubies is very limited.
In most cases, natural rubies tend to exhibit imperfections, which can appear in the form of crystals of different shapes and sizes, needles, feathers, scratches, abrasions, and more.
In rare cases, fine rutile fiber inclusions can cause starlight or "star effects" in rubies. This is the only inclusion that increases the value of this gemstone.
Are they receiving any treatment?
Most rubies are heat treated, in which they are exposed to high temperatures to improve their color and reduce the appearance of defects. The results of this treatment are usually safe and long-lasting.
With incredible color and exceptional hardness, rubies are undoubtedly one of the most popular gemstones today. Fine rubies are hard to find, further making this gem a truly valuable possession.
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