One of the four precious gemstones – alongside diamond, sapphire, and emerald – the ruby has long been prized for its rich red color and durability. Named from ruber, the Latin word for red, this striking gem has been mined for thousands of years.
Today, most natural rubies come from Myanmar. Sri Lankan rubies are typically a lighter color, and thus considered pink sapphires. Rubies are the birthstone for July and are traditionally gifted to celebrate 15th wedding anniversaries.
The Colors Of Ruby
Rubies appear red due to the presence of an element called chromium. The higher the ratio of chromium to other elements, the deeper a ruby's color will be. To be considered a ruby, the primary tone of the gemstone must be red – but secondary tones are common. These can include violet, orange, and pink. Those with vivid, darker red tones are typically considered the most valuable.
Lighter rubies have more recently been labeled pink sapphires, as there are no fundamental differences in the mineral composition of rubies and sapphires. They are both the mineral corundum. Pink sapphires are more common than darker red rubies, and therefore more affordable.
As with other colored gemstones, the primary factor that determines a ruby's value is its color. Lighter rubies, or those with strong secondary tones that may distract from the red, will typically be more affordable.
Besides color, one should follow the 4Cs of diamond grading to assess a ruby's value. If there are noticeable inclusions, or the ruby is not cut with quality proportions and angles, its value is compromised. Those with eye-clean clarity and a larger carat weight will be prized and used in quality gemstone jewelry. Ritani only sells the finest, hand-selected rubies.
At 9.0 on the Mohs scale, ruby is a gemstone that is almost as hard as diamonds (10). This means they are a wonderful choice for jewelry that will last through the generations, resistant to wear and tear.
The most popular metal for ruby jewelry is yellow gold, to emphasize its warm red color. However, the ruby is a very versatile gem and can be set in a variety of precious metals, including sterling silver, white gold and platinum. Rubies are used in classic, vintage, and more contemporary jewelry designs.
Choosing Your Ruby
Every ruby offered by Ritani is of the finest quality, hand-selected for its beautiful color. For the best value, we recommend opting for those with medium-light to medium-dark tones, and light to moderate inclusions. These criteria will ensure that your gemstone does not have noticeable blemishes that distract from its stunning hue.
Ritani stands by the quality of each of its gemstones, offering free 30-day returns for all orders. Our certified gemologists are available to help you make the right choice.
Caring For Your Ruby
Because ruby is a very hard gemstone, it is suitable for everyday wear. This does not mean, however, that it cannot be chipped or scratched – just like diamonds. Care should be taken when storing your ruby jewelry. Separate it from other jewels to avoid scratches, in a bag or box.
Natural rubies can usually be cleaned safely with steam and ultrasonic cleaners, but it is recommended that you try cleaning with a damp cloth and mild soap first.
Shop For Ruby
Ritani's ruby selection is curated to offer you timeless pieces that will last through the generations. Each piece is crafted by hand, with the utmost respect for the natural gemstones and precious materials. Ritani and our partner designers strive to retain the organic beauty of each ruby stone, setting them in the metals and designs that will complement them best.
If you would like assistance selecting a piece of ruby jewelry, contact our customer service team at 1.888.9RITANI (1.888.974.8264) or chat now.