The Ultimate Guide to Ruby: Everything You Need to Know

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The ruby is one of the most popular and precious colored gemstones. If red is your vibe, then you should definitely own one or more ruby jewelry pieces. It is fast gaining popularity as an alternative to diamonds for engagement rings, and it sounds like a good choice. Since that’s the case, there’s a lot to learn.

Information about colored stones, in general, is usually not common knowledge, but you’re in the right place. So let’s get on with all you need to know about the ruby gemstone.

What is a ruby? 

The Ultimate Guide to Ruby: Everything You Need to Know

Ruby is the red gemstone variety of the mineral corundum. It gets its color from the trace element chromium, which is an impurity in the crystal structure of the mineral. With a hardness of 9 on the Moh hardness scale, it’s the second hardest gemstone after diamond, sapphire, and moissanite. 

How are rubies formed? 

Rubies are formed deep within the earth’s crust and brought to the surface in igneous rock and sometimes metamorphic rock. 

Under extreme heat and pressure, aluminum and oxygen atoms combine to form corundum. Similar conditions can be initiated in a lab to produce synthetic rubies, also known as lab-made rubies. 

Naturally occurring rubies usually have inclusions, while synthetic rubies are without inclusion since they are made under perfect conditions.

Who discovered the ruby gemstone?

No single person can claim to have discovered the ruby gemstone. Instead, there are various mining locations. 

In ancient times, the Mongok valley in upper Myanmar (Burma) was the primary location for mining rubies and is still known to have produced the highest quality rubies. 

Other top locations known for the mining of rubies are Pakistan, Mozambique, Afghanistan, Australia, Madagascar, and Kenya.

What do rubies symbolize?

Rubies are red, and due to the intensity of this color, it has come to bear a lot of meaning to different people. It symbolizes love and deep passion. 

Some cultures earlier believed the ruby held the power of life due to its similarity with the color of blood. They also thought it protected if they wore it on the left side of their body, close to their heart.  

Warriors believed that rubies had the power to make them invincible during battle if they were inserted into their skin. 

Commonly called the “King of Gemstones,” it symbolizes wealth and success. It is a July birthstone, and many couples use it to celebrate their 15th and 40th anniversary. 

What is ruby in the Bible?

There are several references to the ruby gemstone made in the Bible; each time the writer mentioned it, it was recognized as a precious stone. 

In addition, in five different scriptures, the Bible refers to rubies in relation to beauty and wisdom. 

How much is a ruby gemstone worth?

Ruby is one of the rarest precious stones, and since the demand is greater than its supply, it has a high value placed on it. As a result, rubies can be expensive, with fine quality rubies sold at record prices of over $1,000,000 per carat. 

💡 Take Note: On average, rubies can cost anything from $1 to up to $100,000. 

Untreated rubies with natural deep color are regarded as high quality and command a high price. 

Stones with purple or orange overtone will have a slightly lower price. On the other hand, synthetic rubies, regardless of the intensity of the red color, will cost a small fraction of the price of natural rubies. 

Like emeralds and other gemstones, rubies are also priced based on their carat. The higher the carat, the higher the price.

Where can I sell my ruby stone?

Colored gemstones, unlike clear diamonds, are not the easiest to resell. As a result, they usually have a low resale value. Still, there are options.

  • Through Auction: This might involve travelling down to an auction house or joining an auction platform. An advantage of selling through auction is that you get a realistic estimate of the value of your ruby. However, the stone typically has to be rare and valuable to be accepted.
  • Pawnshops: Pawnshops are an excellent place to resell items, especially if you need a quick exchange. However, you will usually sell it for less than its actual value.
  • Private Buyer: A private buyer can be an individual who is a collector or someone who simply loves the piece of jewelry you’re offering. In this situation, there may be low professionalism and a lot of haggling. It is your responsibility to find the best price and most trusted buyer.
  • Jewelry Store: Some jewelry stores will agree to help resell your jewelry, but a commission is usually involved. Make sure to ask for this upfront. 
  • Selling Online: Selling online can be tricky as it is easier to fall into the hands of scammers on online platforms. Also, the prices are usually lower than the actual price of the ruby stone. Never send your ruby to a buyer before receiving payment. 

How to Use and Style Rubies

Even though the ruby has a powerful red color, you can pair it with many different colors, especially those across red on the color wheel. 

You can wear ruby jewelry with formal outfits as well as casual outfits. Simply choose bold pieces for formal events and small, delicate jewelry for a more casual look. 

What is ruby stone good for?

Wearing ruby stone is believed to restore vitality, eyesight, energy, and sensuality. It is also considered to have a healing effect on blood circulation problems.

What energy do rubies have?

Rubies have fiery energy associated with passion, enthusiasm, and motivation. 

Which metals go with rubies?

Yellow gold makes for a unique, timeless pairing with rubies, especially for an engagement ring. Gold’s yellow color accentuates the ruby’s red, making it a dazzling affair. See our top ruby engagement ring recommendations.

Rose gold, with its pink tint, complements the red of the ruby, giving it a timeless look. White gold and platinum are also excellent choices but are more commonly used when ruby is paired with diamond. 

Which cuts and settings are best for rubies?

The best cuts and settings for rings are usually based on preference. However, the most popular cuts for rubies are oval, cushion, and pear, while three stone rings, solitaire, and cathedral are the top settings for ruby rings.

How to Identify a Real Ruby Gemstone 

Ruby is a precious red gemstone, and whether by sheer mistake or with an intent to scam, some other stones can be mistakenly identified as rubies. They include spinel, garnet, rubellite, and red glass. 

For this reason, when you see a red stone, don’t be too quick to assume you have a real ruby on your hands. Instead, here are some quick ways to test your ruby gemstone.

Comparison Test 

Place a piece of red glass and the supposed ruby stone side by side and check for similarities. If they look the same, you most likely are looking at two pieces of red glass.

Scratch Test

Ruby is a hard material resistant to scratches except for diamonds and moissanite. So if you can scratch the stone’s surface with your fingernail or a coin, you’re likely holding an imitation. 

Using a Jeweler’s Loupe 

Using a quality jeweler’s loupe, you should be able to observe tiny flaws that will otherwise go unnoticed. Since rubies are formed under extreme conditions, they usually have inclusions. If your stone looks flawless, you may be holding a synthetic ruby or even an imitation.

💡 Tip: If you observe bubbles in the stone, it’s a sign that the stone is an imitation made with glass. 

These methods are quick, and you can try them out at home, but to be certain your ruby is real, take it to an expert to have it tested.

How to Care for Ruby Jewelry 

Even though the ruby stone is not easily damaged, you still need to care for it to maintain its beautiful look and increase its durability. Here are a few tips:

  • Take off your jewelry when performing tasks that can damage your jewelry, such as cleaning and swimming.
  • Store your ruby jewelry separately from other pieces to avoid scratches.
  • Store in a silk or velvet pouch to avoid scratches.
  • Avoid sleeping while still wearing your jewelry.
  • Wear your jewelry after applying body products like lotion and perfumes.
  • For jewelry you often wear, like your wedding ring, have it cleaned by a professional jeweler every 6-12 months.
  • Wipe your stone clean with a damp soft cloth often.
  • Do not expose your ruby jewelry to extreme temperature changes.

As Red As Rubies

A ruby gemstone is one of the most precious stones you can. It is a rare find and a breathtaking beauty to have in your collection. 

If you’re looking for a piece of ruby jewelry that will last a long time and can even become an heirloom, look out for an untreated stone. It will cost you more money but is worth it. 

Rubies are versatile and can be used on different kinds of jewelry, although it’s popularly seen on engagement rings. As long as you care for your precious stone, you’ll enjoy the intense glow of your red ruby.

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