When it comes to choosing a bright and beautiful gemstone, rubies are the winners. Rubies are vibrant gemstones that give a dynamic appeal to jewellery. This blood-red coloured gemstone has a charm that has the ability to transform simple jewellery into elegant and stunning pieces.
A ruby is a variety of mineral corundum (aluminum oxide) and is among the five cardinal gems along with emerald, sapphire, diamond and amethyst. It is known for its rarity, hardness, and desirability, thus making it a popular choice for adorning pendants, earrings and engagement rings.
However, buying a ruby is not a piece of cake as there are many factors to consider that determine the quality of a ruby. Use the help of this ruby buying guide to find the perfect gemstone for your jewellery.
The colour of a ruby is the first thing to be evaluated when buying this red gemstone. Make sure that the primary hue of the gemstone is solid red.
The tone can range from pure red to purplish red. The more vivid and intense red hue the ruby displays, the more valuable it is. Note that a ruby should not be so dark that it appears almost black. Look for medium darkness to get the best quality.
Gemstones with hints of orange or stronger purple are affordable options as they are not as popular as the red ones.
The clarity of a gemstone refers to the inclusions, blemishes or natural flaws in it that can affect its appearance and durability. These flaws could be anything such as traces of minerals, small gas bubbles, or liquid that look like cracks when viewed through the gemstone.
Look for a ruby with fewer inclusions because the fewer the inclusions, the more expensive the stone is. There are no perfectly flawless rubies because there are some natural inclusions in every stone, but high-quality rubies appear clean to naked eyes.
A ruby’s cut determines how much the stone will reflect light and sparkle. Unlike diamonds, the cut of a ruby is not as important as its colour and clarity, but it affects its shape, appearance, and lustre.
The cut proportions are crucial to determine the durability of the stone as a poorly cut ruby can increase the chances of chipping or breaking. When buying this red gemstone, choose the one whose height or depth is 60-80% of its width. That said, round cut rubies are the most sought-after and expensive ones. Therefore, if you’re looking for an economical piece, consider buying emerald or princess cut.
Many jewellery dealers treat rubies to enhance their colour or clarity. These treatments include heat treatment and glass filled ruby. In the heat treatment, the rubies are heated up to 1800°F to improve the red colour of the stone, whereas in glass filled ruby treatment cracks and fissures of low-quality rubies are filled with glass and the outer layer is coloured to make them appear flawless and more vibrant.
Rubies with these enhancements might appear more valuable and expensive, but they’re actually not. Always ask for a certificate of authenticity stating that the rubies you’re purchasing have not been artificially treated to avoid making costly mistakes.
Make the most of your gemstone shopping by considering these factors before making the big purchase. Always rely on a reputable jewellery dealer and look for a natural ruby with intense hues, medium darkness, fewer inclusions, and round cut to buy the perfect gemstone.