Ruby Stone-Meaning, Benefits and Facts

Ruby Gemstone Information

Natural ruby gemstones are known for their magnificent red color and beauty. For more interesting information about these popular gems click through now.



Ruby Stone Meaning: 

The word “ruby” derives from the Latin word “ruber,” which means red. Rubies have always been favored by those in roles of power as well as by those in love and are therefore considered a gemstone that involves a lot of emotion. Some cultures even have a fable regarding the source of the stone. It was told that rubies grew on trees, starting out as white buds and then blossoming into ripe red rubies ready to be picked. Rubies are mentioned in the Bible and have been used and appreciated in some of the most ancient cultures.

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Ruby Gemstones: Color, Value, and Grade

Physical Traits:

A ruby is an extremely strong stone. It ranks 9.0 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, placing it directly under the diamond and moissanite (a diamond ranks 10.0 on the scale and moissanite falls in between diamonds and rubies). Natural rubies contain imperfections, including color impurities. Additional imperfections are inclusions of rutile needles referred to as “silk.” These imperfections play an important role in detecting artificial rubies. Heat treatments are very common among most rubies today. Almost every ruby undergoes some sort of treatment, heat treatment being the most common. It is conducted prior to the cutting of the stone. That being said, there are a few high quality rubies that have not been treated, which of course demand very high prices.


A Ruby’s Color:

Corundum that is considered gemstone quality and displays any shade of red or pink is considered a ruby. In the United States there are specific requirements regarding the saturation of a ruby. It must meet certain standards in order to fall into the ruby category, otherwise it is labeled a pink sapphire.  The differentiation between the two types, rubies and pink sapphires, is a relatively new concept, having only been established sometime in the 20th century. That is why there is much controversy surrounding the topic.


What Contributes to a Ruby’s Value:

Like diamonds, rubies are assessed based on the 4Cs; color, clarity, cut, and carat. Similar to color diamonds, color is the most important determining factor in regards to its value. The darker and more visible colored rubies are the most sought after and the most expensive. Clarity plays an important role as well. Clear stones will sell for sky-high prices, but rubies without any needle-like rutile inclusions may signify that the stone has undergone treatment.


How Color is Graded:

There are three aspects of a ruby’s color that are taken into consideration. These include hue, saturation, and tone. Hue refers to the ruby’s color as we see it. Saturation determines the visibility of the color. Is it light? Dark? Or somewhere in between? Finally, the tone tells us the purity of the color. If it is a pure tone, there will not be any secondary colors. If it is not a pure tone, it may include one or several secondary hues such as pink, purple, and orange.


Ruby Gemstone Facts & History

Where Rubies Are Found:

For centuries, the majority of the world’s rubies were mined in both Mozambique and Myanmar (Burma), specifically the Mogok Valley in the upper region of the country. More recently there has been a considerable amount of mining in the center of Myanmar, in the area of Mong Hsu. Additional sources for rubies have been Thailand, Australia, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Brazil, Namibia, India, Japan, and Colombia. Myanmar is known to produce some of the finer rubies that exist, although it wasn’t always considered the legitimate source. The good news is, sanctions in Myanmar were lifted by President Obama and trading with that country is considered 100% legitimate today.


Precious or Semi-Precious?

Although this is no longer the official status, gemstones were once divided into two categories: precious and semi-precious. Diamonds, emeralds, rubies, and sapphires constitute the first category, and all other gemstones make up the second category. As one of the four precious gemstones, rubies are sturdier and more durable than most other gems, which is why they are generally more expensive.


How To Tell If A Ruby Is Real?

Natural Rubies:

Rubies are minerals from the corundum family that have formed beneath the earth’s surface over millions of years. Sapphires are also from the corundum family. In fact, the red color is the only aspect that separates these two gemstones from one another. Both Rubies and sapphires rank 9 on the Moh’s scale of hardness meaning that rubies are a fairly sturdy stones and make a fabulous choice for jewelry given their durability. Natural rubies are far more valuable than synthetic ones and are also far more unique. It may be much harder to come across one with a high clarity level and for an affordable price, but what you are getting is something remarkable and irreplaceable. A cultured ruby may look the same to you, and provide you with a perfect-looking gem, but that is not what precious gemstones are all about. Natural rubies are the real deal, and like diamonds, they are forever.


Real Rubies Vs. Lab-Grown Rubies:

Not ever ruby that you will come across is a genuine ruby. While most stones are clearly marked, plenty are still marketed as natural when in fact they are lab-grown. In order to identify the differences, you must know a few things about natural rubies. For starters, most rubies have some sort of inclusion. A professional can help you identify whether or not your ruby is flawless but it is important to know that only one in a billion is perfect, lab-grown rubies have been developed to be as perfect and as flawless as can be. The biggest giveaway for such a case is a flawless ruby being sold for an unusually low price. The same goes for a low price in general. Rubies are precious gemstones, and like real diamonds, emeralds, and sapphires, they can be costly. A cheap price might very well indicate a lab-grown piece. The size of a ruby can also help inform you of your stone’s genuineness. Large rubies are hard to come by and very expensive. If you have come across one or several rubies that do not have exorbitant prices, chances are they are cultured and not real. Lab-grown rubies have been made to look identical to real rubies, so differentiating between the two can be extremely difficult. The only way to know for certain is to look at the stone’s structure through a microscope. This must be done by an expert in the field. Another thing that can help protect you from buying a fake is asking for the certification. Only genuine, mined rubies receive such paperwork and can help prove their status.


Ruby Stone Symbols, Benefits & Myths

What Rubies Symbolize:

Since the beginning of time, rubies have been linked with power, wealth, and royalty. Furthermore, it was widely believed that rubies possessed a protective ability. Wearing rubies would protect one’s assets as well as one’s personal health and well being, or so it was believed.


Ruby Stone Benefits:

Natural rubies, especially those of great quality and size, are by no means cheap. However, if you are willing to go for a smaller stone, you can find yourself an unbelievable ruby with a rich hue that is regal, prestigious, and absolutely beautiful for an affordable price. They are also a terrific alternative to diamonds since they offer such a warm and upbeat color. As the birthstone of July, the red stone is so much more than a magnificent colored gemstone. The ruby has been believed to make its wearer more aware, more focused, and remain alert. There are also those who believe the stones can improve trouble with eyesight and blood circulation. Other possible benefits include success with exams and with certain vocations such as medicine, politics agriculture, and the government sphere. Throughout history, rubies were worn and adored by kings and royalty. They were a sign of authority and luxury. Today it is believed that the wearer of a ruby can obtain a certain level of luxury. Rubies are associated with love, passion, and are believed to be able to help timid people open up. They can also help with one’s balance. Individuals experiencing depression and insecurity find solace in the ancient red gem. It can also help with self-awareness and in discovering one’s true destiny and calling. Rubies make fantastic gifts for many different occasions but are especially appropriate for romantic gestures.


Physical Myths:

It has long been believed that rubies possess specific abilities, including ones capable of improving one’s health. According to Ivan the Terrible from Russia, a ruby can help one’s memory, heart, and brain. In the thirteenth century, there was a medicine for curing liver problems that included powdered ruby. In later centuries, the 15th and 16th to be specific, the red stones were believed to neutralize poison. They were even believed at one point to provide one with youth and vitality when rubbed on one’s skin.


Emotional Myths: 

Rubies have forever been considered the stones of love, passion, energy, and power. It is for this reason that a ruby is considered the most emotionally powerful gemstone on the planet. This relates to the fiery aspect of the stone, given its color. The red color also symbolizes blood, which is why the ruby is believed to increase energy and vigor. Another emotional myth in regards to the ruby is that the wearer will have lots of courage and will go through life without fear.


Motivational Myths: 

There are theories that rubies are physically capable of improving one’s balance and even providing one with a passion for life in the most positive way possible. It is also believed that rubies can help individuals become more motivated and help them find the energy to set goals. They can promote dynamic leadership and make one sharper and more aware.


The Largest Ruby Gemstones:

Some of the world’s largest rubies can be found at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C. Included among these stones is the 23.1-carat Burmese ruby set in a platinum ring with diamonds. Another noteworthy ruby is the Liberty Bell Ruby, the largest mined ruby on the planet. The most expensive ruby in the world is the Sunrise Ruby. It sold for $30 million in 2015.


The Most Expensive Ruby In The World 

The Sale:

In May of 2015, Sotheby’s Geneva hosted a sale that offered a one-of-a-kind Pigeon Blood Mogok Burmese ruby known as the Sunrise Ruby that managed to break all records when it sold for over $30 million (over $1 million a carat). The previous titleholder for most expensive ruby was the Graff Ruby, which had sold six months earlier in November 2014 for $8,600,410. Since the ruby was only 8.62 carats, its sale price was only $2,200 shy of the new per-carat record.


Additional Expensive Rubies:

The sultry red stone has been a favorite among humankind since the beginning of time. Perhaps that is why individuals are willing to shell out millions upon millions of dollars in order to own large, quality rubies such as the 12.46-carat Burmese ruby and diamond ring; the 8.99-carat Mogog Burmese ruby and diamond Harry Winston ring; the 30.20-carat Burmese ruby and diamond ring; The Regal Ruby; The Queen of Burma; The Patino Ruby; the 29.62 Mogok Burmese ruby and diamond Cartier ring; and the 10.10-carat Mogok Burmese ruby and diamond Cartier brooch. The “cheapest” of these items, the 12.46-carat Burmese ruby and diamond ring, sold for “just” $3,721,415 while the most expensive piece, the 10.10-carat Mogok Burmese ruby and diamond Cartier brooch, brought in $8,428,127.


Price Factors: 

There are several factors that can contribute to a ruby’s high price. One is of course the size, and the second is obviously the unbelievable color of the stone. Add the fact that the stone is natural, untouched, and displays impressive quality and we’re already talking extremely high prices. Then you’ve got the origin factor. Rubies hailing from the Mogok deposit in Burma tend to fetch the highest sums due to their vivid and saturated red color. Not all rubies must be of the proportions similar to the stones mentioned in this list, nor do they have to be from such reputable and high-demand locations such as Mogok. With a firm budget and a set of priorities in hand, each individual can find the ruby that best suits his or her needs.

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