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All About Ruby

All About Ruby

Red is the color of love, passion, anger, success, lipstick, fast cars, and roses. Find out why people have treasured this stunning gem for thousands of years. 

Custom Ruby and Diamond Halo Vintage Engagement RingCustom Ruby and Diamond Halo Vintage Engagement Ring


About the Gemstone

Rubies are some of the most prized gemstones in the world. They are from the same mineral as sapphires (corundum), but the deep red of ruby earned the gem it's own special name. Rubies are sourced from Myanmar, Thailand, and Sri Lanka. They are usually cut in the shapes of round brilliant, emerald, oval brilliant, or cabochon, although other cuts are available as well. Scoring a 9 on the Mohs Hardess Scale, rubies are a very good choice for jewelry and engagement rings. 

 Custom Ruby and Diamond Engagement Ring
Custom Ruby and Diamond Engagement Ring


Ruby Symbolism and Folklore

In early cultures, rubies were believed to hold the power of life because of their blood-like color. Ruby is mentioned in the Bible associated with beauty and wisdom, and in Sanskrit, ruby is called ratnaraj, meaning "king of precious stones". In various cultures, rubies were thought to bring peace and protection to those who carried the gem. Even through the development of Western culture the ruby remained highly valued by the elite and worn to bring health, success, and love.

The name "Ruby" came into use as a girl's name in the 1800s in the United States, Australia, Great Britain, and Ireland. Today, ruby is still the highest valued colored gemstone and coveted as a romantic gift. Ruby is the birthstone for July and the gem for 15th and 40th anniversaries. 


Famous Rubies

Rosser Reeves: This Sri Lankan 138.72-carat ruby is a star cabochon. It was named for its former owner, who carried the gem for good luck. 

Rosser Reeves RubySmithsonian


Carmen Lucia: As part of the Smithonian's fine gemstone collection, this 23.1-carat ruby is thought to be one of the world's finest large Burmese rubies. 

Carmen Lucia RubySmithsonian


Harry Winston Ruby Slippers: The jewelry company created a pair of slippers using 1,500 carats of rubies and 25 carats of diamonds to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of The Wizard of Oz. The slippers are valued at $3 million. 

Harry Winston Ruby SlippersGIA


Color and Grading

The deep red of rubies is from the presence of chromium that replaces aluminum within the gem's chemical makeup. The more chromium there is, the deeper the red will be. Although there are pink and orange sapphires, only gems with pure red color are considered ruby. 

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) does not assign grades to rubies, but they complete an identification report with the shape, cutting styles, transparency, color, species, variety, and geographic origin. This report also gives information on whether it has been treated, carat weight, measurements, and any other comments that the gemologist may make. View a sample report here

 Custom Ruby and Diamond Pendant


Value and Customization Options

Like other colored gemstones, color is usually a very significant factor when shopping for a ruby. Deeper, more vibrant color usually will mean a higher value for the ruby. However, if a ruby has significant inclusions, this will affect value as well. As carat size increases, the price will increase. Keep in mind, this is the most valuable colored gemstone in the world; when dealing in larger carat weights, some rubies may sell for more than a diamond of the same carat. 

Ruby is a very classic gem, and looks gorgeous when placed in a vintage piece. Diamonds are a perfect complement to ruby and all metal tones work well. Rubies can also be used as accent stones, like on the ring below. 

Custom Marquise Ruby and Diamond Engagement Ring


Want to see more ruby jewelry?

Talk to our designers and start a custom project today. 

All product images are property of Joseph Jewelry. 

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