What is a Ruby Gem & More Ruby Birthstone Stone FAQ's

Oftentimes, the term “gemstones” brings up images of sparkling, crimson-colored stones called rubies. This is no coincidence as rubies are some of the most remarkable, popular, and precious gemstones on the planet. The extremely durable stone with the sultry red color makes a stunning choice of gemstone for any jewelry piece. Since rubies happen to be quite pricey, and truthfully rather mysterious, many questions tend to arise. Here is a compilation of some of the most frequently asked questions about rubies.


Leibish Ruby Jewelry

1. What is a ruby gem?

A ruby is a type of mineral called corundum, the very same mineral that sapphires are made of. The only real difference between the two, and between the third variety of corundum called padparadscha, is the color. Rubies, of course, are red, but sapphires, though known for their royal blue color, come in a wide range of colors. Padparadscha is the name for the pinkish orange variety of corundum.

2. How much is a Burmese ruby worth?

Burmese rubies are rubies that were mined in Burma, now Myanmar. Though some of the world's finest rubies originated in Burma, many other outstanding rubies originate from other locations. Burmese rubies have become famous for being the elite of all rubies, though plenty of Burmese rubies are of far lesser quality than rubies mined elsewhere. Having said that, the Burmese name, on top of a unique, high quality ruby, can demand quite the hefty price. For a better idea, have a look at our ruby jewelry.


Remarkable red colored Ruby jewelry

3. What does a ruby look like?

Rubies are first and foremost recognized by their deep red hue, though rubies can display a wide range of shades of red, from pink to dark red. A ruby is also very durable. In fact, it ranks 9 on the Mohs scale for gem hardness. Just to compare, a diamond, the hardest of all gemstones, ranks 10. This makes the ruby the third hardest gemstone on the planet, right after moissanite, which ranks 9.5. Found in many different shapes and sizes, rubies are often cut into gemstone shapes much like diamonds, sapphires, and emeralds. These stones are used within the most remarkable jewelry pieces, and have quite often been seen on some of the biggest celebs

4. Is a ruby a mineral?

A ruby is most definitely a mineral. It is a type of the mineral known as corundum. Sapphires are another variety of this mineral. The unique red color is what sets these two stunning gemstones apart from one another.

5. How much is a ruby worth?

Asking how much a ruby is worth is like asking how much a diamond is worth. It really depends on the particular stone. How large is it? How dark/light is the ruby? Does it have visible inclusions? How has it been cut? All of these factors contribute to the value of the ruby.

Mozambique Ruby, Intense Yellow and White Diamond Pendant, SKU 164491 (2.83Ct TW)

A Mozambique Ruby, Intense Yellow and White Diamond Pendant

6. Is a ruby a sapphire?

A ruby, though made from the mineral corundum just like sapphires, is not a sapphire. The red color alone sets a ruby apart from a sapphire. The red variety of corundum is called a ruby and the many other colors, aside from pinkish orange, are called sapphires.

7. What is a ruby zoisite?

Zoisite, like corundum, is a mineral. When it appears in its pure form it has an earthy-green crystal-like appearance. There is, however, a rare occurrence where red corundum and zoisite form together, resulting in a ruby zoisite. This unusual, natural combination was found in Tanzania, which until today remains the sole source for ruby zoisite. Unlike a pure ruby, which ranks 9 on the Mohs scale of gem hardness, the ruby zoisite ranks between 6.5 and 7. This specimen makes a colorful and affordable alternative to the generally single –hued and costly ruby.

8. What is a Burmese pigeon blood ruby?

The ruby with the most coveted shade of red is the pigeon blood ruby. This type of ruby displays the brightest shade of red, known as "pigeon blood." Burmese rubies have made a name for themselves as being superior rubies, though this isn’t always the case. When a Burmese ruby also happens to be a pigeon blood ruby, it will have a very steep price tag. Color is the most important factor for rubies, followed by clarity, carat, and size.

Like diamonds, rubies are important purchases that should not be made too quickly. With the right information in hand, one can add a delightful shimmering red ruby to his or her gemstone or jewelry collection.

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