Ruby has been the world’s most valued gemstone for thousands of years.
In the ancient language of Sanskrit, ruby is called Ratnaraj, or “King of Precious Stones”. In fact, rubies are today still more valuable and rare than even the top quality colorless diamonds.
Ruby is the gem quality of the mineral corundum. It is classified among the most valuable of gems and is perhaps the toughest and most durable gemstone available on the market.
With a hardness of 9 on the Mohs scale, ruby (like it’s cousin sapphire,) is harder than any other gem but diamond!
Rubies and sapphires are commonly enhanced with a process called “heat treatment.” This process is permanent and safe and happens to approximately 80-90% of the stones on the market. If a stone is “unheated” it does not necessarily command more money.
The most important factor in the value of a ruby is color. The top qualities are an intense red color.
The most preferred color is a deep blood red with a slightly bluish hue. Such ruby is known as “Burmese Ruby.”
Burmese & Thai Rubies
Rubies from the legendary mines in Mogok often have a pure red color, which is often described as “pigeon’s-blood” although that term is more fanciful than an actual practical standard in the trade today. Myanmar also produces intense pinkish red rubies that are vivid red color and extremely beautiful. Many of the rubies from Burma have a strong fluorescence when exposed to ultraviolet rays like those in sunlight, which layers on extra color. Burmese rubies have a reputation of holding their vivid color under all lighting conditions.
Under 1 carat = $100 to $600
1 carat and above = $800 to $3,000
2 carats = $1,800 to $10,000
Thailand is the world’s most important ruby trading center. Most rubies on the market are from Thailand, and these rubies are generally darker red in tone: a real red, tending toward burgundy rather than pink, as Burma rubies do. Some have a slightly brownish hue. The province of Chantabun proper has long been known as being rich in rubies. The well known explorer Henri Mouhot, writing in 1868, said “precious stones of good quality are found in the mountains of Chantabun.” Most rubies can be heat-treated to improve color.
Under 1 carat = $100 to $500
1 carat and above = $700 to $2,000
2 carats = $1,500 to $6,000
Rubies from Kenya and Tanzania surprised the world when they were discovered in the sixties because their color rivals the world’s best. Unfortunately, most of the ruby production in these countries have many inclusions that diminish transparency. Rubies from the African mines are rarely transparent enough to facet. However, their fantastic color is displayed to full advantage when cut cabochon style. A few rare clean stones have been seen which are top quality.
Under 1 carat = $100 to $500
1 carat and above = $800 to $2,500
2 carats = $1,800 to $7,500
Afghanistan, Pakistan, or Russia
Occasionally a few fine top-quality rubies appear on the market from Afghanistan, Pakistan, or Russia. The terrain in these areas has made exploration for gemstones very difficult but someday they may produce significant quantities for the world market.
Under 1 carat = $50 to $300
1 carat and above = $500 to $1,500
2 carats = $1,200 to $3,000
After color, the other factors that influence the value of a ruby are clarity, cut, and size.
Rubies that are perfectly transparent, with no tiny flaws, are more valuable than those with inclusions visible to the naked eye.
Cut can make a big difference in how attractive and lively a ruby appears to the eye. A well-cut stone should reflect light back evenly across the surface without a dark or washed-out area in the center that can result from a stone that is too deep or shallow. The shape should also be symmetrical and there should not be any nicks or scratches in the polish.
Larger rubies are rarer and will cost more than smaller stones of the same quality.
DID YOU KNOW!
AMETHYST Amethyst, a sister stone to citrine, is deep purple colored quartz. Fine amethyst is usually found in Brazil… TELL ME MORE >