How to Buy a Ruby & the Price

A ruby is a top gemstones just as sapphire, emerald and diamonds. The mineral is very hard; it only comes second to the diamond in terms of hardness.

The color comes in different shades of red – from pink to “pigeons blood” red which has the highest value in terms of color, this is because of traces of chromium entered the crystal when it was formed under very high pressure deep inside the earth. The word “Ruby” come from the latin “rubber” which means red.

Actually until the 19th Century all red stones were defined as rubies since there where no scientific methods to look into the stones. Today a very popular substitution is spinel, actually even in the British crown jewels there are spinel which the people thought this are the real ones.

This is the July birthstone and often presented as a precious gift in combination with diamonds. Some people also interpret the red color for passion and power. The stones are cut and polished into different forms and since this gem itself doesn’t sparkle by itself no matter how its cut and polished usually some diamond are added to the design to give visual “fire”.

Loose rubies for sale

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Usual gem cuts are brilliant, step versions, oval and rectangle. If the stones are not very clear they are made into cabochon which are less priced because inclusions are crucial for the price, the less, the higher the value is.

The Ruby price

depends on color, size and clarity. Seeing this red gemstone without inclusion means they are either synthetic or heat treated because the heat melts the inclusions and the transparency level moves up. Since stones over around 8mm are very rare the value can get up exponentially particular when a few similar stones are needed for a necklace and bracelet. in general.

If treatments are told to the buyer before they are acceptable but most don’t tell because the value is much different. There are certain mining areas such as Mong Hsu east of Mandalay where practically all red precious stones are heat treated already at the source. This is different to the minerals coming from Mogok, the major mine district in Myanmar about 120km north of Mandalay.

How to buy a ruby

Synthetic stones and others which run through a heat treatment process have almost no inclusions, when you go shopping for this pretty little red thing take a 10 times magnifying glass with you and a torch light to check for inclusions. When the gem has no inclusions something is wrong. When there is a honest dealer he or she will tell right upfront what’s on, but there are not so many honest dealers. What is explained here is not so visible to an untrained eye and precious item will look good, the problem starts  after 2-3 years when the treated gem will deteriorate and no value left.

A somehow strange version

are star rubies and sapphire. They come as cabochons and show a six point star, sometimes, but very rare, they even show a 12 point star when a light source is directed to them. This happen with both stones because they are physically the same only having a other color because different trace element found their way into it when the gem when the gem was formed. Sapphires come in more color versions such as pink and yellow, pink .

When you are through with selecting the precious item negotiated the price and insist to have a look outside the shop in normal light since jewelry shops use special lights which can enhance the look dramatically. When buying one over about $ 500,- it is mandatory to have it evaluated at an independent lab no matter what the sales people tell or show. Be also very vigilant when buying them embedded into jewelry because in various countries, Thailand in particular they dilute the gold for higher profit.