Ruby is a red gemstone in the corundum family, as is Sapphire, and is often considered the most valuable of the two. Any color of corundum, other than red, is considered to be a sapphire. As a matter of fact, the ruby can command some of the highest prices of the colored gems. The gemstone is a 9 on Mohs scale which means that is very hard and ideal for everyday wear.
Ruby has been written in the annals of our history. It is referred to 4 separate times in the bible. In ancient Sanskrit, Ruby was called ratnaraj or "king of precious stones." India has classically been considered the ruby's country of origin. Ancient Hindus believed that those who offered fine rubies to the God Krishna would be reborn as emperors.
Chromium is the trace element that causes the red color in ruby. Chromium can also add the fluorescence that which can increases the intensity of color. The color red is symbolic with strong emotions such as love, passion and vitality. The lush color is said to symbolize success and wealth.
Inclusions do not decrease the value of a ruby as much as a lack of transparency.
Ruby is the July gemstone and is traditionally a stone to be presented for a 15th or 40th anniversary.
- The safest way to clean ruby and diamonds is to use warm soapy water and a soft brush.
- Ultrasonic or steam cleaners may be used on untreated ruby. If you are unsure about the treatment for the stone, it is best to avoid these methods.
- Do not subject to ruby to even weak acids (such as lemon juice). Boric acid may etch the surface of untreated stones.
- Some rubies are treated with a method that adds surface color. If you are unsure whether your ruby has been so treated, avoid surface damage including re-polishing or re-cutting the stone.
- Some rubies are treated with a method that adds fills surface reaching fractures (common to many stones) to improve the clarity and durability of the stone. Chemicals and weak acids can damage the materials used to fill the fractures.
For more information about tanzanite care, use this link to the GIA education site: Ruby Care and Cleaning Guide.