Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Gemstone: Ruby

Multi Gemstone Earrings, Bracelet and Ring
Note: Ruby is the lighter red stone in the ring and the one on top of the citrine and garnet

The gemstone ruby is a corundum or aluminum oxide whose name comes from the Latin word ruber which means red.  This gemstone is found in over a dozen countries worldwide including in the United States.  Other varieties of gem quality corundum known as sapphires.  All natural rubies have imperfections in them including color impurities and inclusions of rutile needles called silk. Gemologists use rutile needles to distinguish natural rubies from synthetics, stimulants, or ruby substitutes that lack silk.

Natural ruby colors include all shades of red including pink.  They also have primary hues in addition to its natural color these include a vibrant shade of red called pigeons blood as well as other colors such as  orange, yellow, green, violet, or the most popular hue blue.  And rubies can also have a secondary hue or color. The possible colors include: orange, purple, violet, or pink. Determination of a ruby's grade through analysis of their color, cut clarity and weight.  Color is the most important evaluation specifically from hue, saturation and tone.

The most common cuts for rubies are oval and cushions which hold up best.  However rubies can also be cut circular, triangular, emerald cut, pear, marquise cuts all of which do not always hold up as well. Generally the size of a ruby is under a karat to keep cost reasonable any larger and its price will vary greatly.

Rubies are generally heat-treated to cut down on or eradicate impurities inside of the natural fractures in the gemstone. Or a rough ruby is only given a pre-polish and maybe a cleaning with hydrogen fluoride.   If there are fractures in the specimen lead glass fills them in.  Or if the gemstone’s color is lacking a glass powder with copper and another metal oxide like sodium or calcium are given a try to enhance the natural color of the ruby.  Otherwise rubies are left as natural as possible.

Cliptomania.com carries ruby jewelry including rings, bracelets and earrings from designers such as Michelle Pressler, Michal Golan, ThereseMade , and Emilie Shapiro Contemporary Metals.

All gemstones including ruby can safely be cleaned with warn soapy water with or without using a tooth-brush.  After cleaning the gemstone wipe it with a soft cloth.  Avoid contact of any type of gemstone with household cleaning chemicals and protect them from extreme heat to prevent permanent damage to the gemstone.

Always store gemstone jewelry inside a fabric lined box or wrap it in a soft cloth then store it separately from other gemstones.

References: gemselect.com and minerals.net