Ruby Gemstones

Ruby gemstones are some of the most valuable of all gems.

Ruby is a red variety of the mineral family corundum.

Throughout gem history, the Ruby has been considered one of the most valuable gemstones because it has everything a precious stone should have - glorious colour, excellent hardness and outstanding brilliance.

The most famous pair of shoes in Hollywood was named after this gemstone - Dorothy’s ruby slippers in Wizard of Oz.

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The name Ruby comes from ruber, Latin for red, although Rubies are found in a wide range of reds, pinkish, and purplish-brownish, and the finest colour being the pigeon blood found in Burmese mines.

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All natural rubies have imperfections, including colour impurities and inclusions of rutile needles known as "silk".
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A clear or almost clear stone will command a premium, while a ruby with no needle-like inclusions usually indicates the stone is synthetic.

Today are more usually heat treated to enhance the stone.

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Some rubies show a 3 or 6-point star which occurs when light is reflected off the inclusions and this is one example where inclusions increase the value of a gemstone.

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The occasional Ruby has been known to show colour changes.

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In ancient and medieval period the Mogok mines were controlled by Burmese kings therefore all stones were part of royal treasury.

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Rubies also occur in Australia, Tanzania, Madagascar, Vietnam, Nepal, Tajikistan, and Pakistan America, Greenland, Kenya, and Mozambique.

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This page was written by Magda Palmer, a gemmologist and the author of The Healing Power of Crystals, Precious Stones and Feng Shui Student Manual, which I highly recommend.

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