Color(s): Pink-red to deep red
Hardness (Moh's): 9
Treatment(s): Occasionally Heat Treated
The allure of rubies has been a longstanding affair for gem collectors and jewelry enthusiasts alike. Rubies get their name from the Latin rubens, meaning red. They are the birthstone for July and were said to protect the wearer against harm. The most desirable rubies are a deep red with a hint of blue, called “pigeon’s blood”. The red hue comes from trace elements of chromium in the stone.
Typically, inclusions are undesirable in gemstones. However, in the case of rubies, small imperfections enhance the captivating beauty of the stone, and are often used as a test for authenticity by gemologists.
Myanmar remains the world’s top supplier of extremely high-quality rubies. They are also sourced from Sri Lanka, Africa, Australia, Thailand and the USA.
Did you know?
- The most expensive ruby ever sold was called the “Hope Ruby”, weighing 32.08 carats and going for $6.74 million
- Queen Elizabeth II was gifted a ruby and diamond tiara on her wedding day, combining 100 of the finest Burmese rubies. The piece was intended as a symbol of protection against illness and evil.