Ruby is one of the four precious stones found in the world. It is a red gemstone that is very expensive due to its rarity, beauty, and historical importance.
The Ruby is considered one of the best red gemstones. It has many metaphysical properties and powers, making it a desirable addition to your collection. If you are born in July, it is considered a requirement to have a Ruby in your collection due to its status as your birthstone.
This article will take a look into the properties, uses, history, and meanings behind the Ruby.
What Is A Ruby?
Ruby is a stunning red variety of Corundum. It is known for its appealing, deep-red color and extreme toughness. Gem collectors seek high-quality rubies for their physical appearance, metaphysical properties, and durability.
Ruby crystals symbolize wealth and passion. They connect to the Root and Heart chakra because of their unique red color.
Rubies belong to the same family as sapphires, i.e., Corundum. Red-colored Corundum is generally considered a ruby, while blue ones are sapphires.
However, the USA gem authority requires a certain amount of redness for a stone to be called a Ruby. Therefore, pink-colored Corundum is referred to as “pink sapphire” rather than a pink ruby.
Ruby is the birthstone of July and has been used as a traditional gift for couples celebrating their 16th wedding anniversary.
Ruby comes from the Latin word “Ruber,” meaning red. During earlier times, Red spinel was often mistaken for a Ruby because of its similar appearance and properties.
Rubies are lustrous stones having deep, rich colors. Only stones with a certain amount of red color are called rubies. However, they come in various hues.
The most visually appealing and expensive Rubies occur in a shade of red known as blood-red or pigeon blood. These rubies have an intense, vivid look and go for significantly higher prices compared to rubies of similar quality.
Chromium impurities in the crystal structure cause the color of a Ruby crystal. Cr+3 ions replace some of the aluminum in the structure, about 1%, resulting in a slightly changed configuration of the oxygen atoms around it. This leads to a red color and fluorescence.
Because of the presence of Chromium, rubies can absorb radiation and emit them, causing the fluorescence phenomenon.
Types Of Ruby
Based on their appearance, ruby crystals are divided into three major types:
- Trapiche Ruby: Trapiche stones show an interesting growth pattern that sets them apart from other stones and gems. They grow outward in a column containing six spokes. This gives them a unique characteristic look that lets you recognize them at a glance. Trapiche rubies are mainly found in Myanmar and Vietnam. It is thought that they also occur in Pakistan, Nepal, and Tajikistan based on geological data.
- Star Ruby: This variety shows star chatoyancy. When viewed from a certain angle, it shows a star-like pattern. Chatoyancy is a common characteristic of many gemstones and is thought to occur because of different impurities. Star rubies occur because of diaspore crystals. Three and six-point star rubies occur in Myanmar, Sri Lanka, the USA, and Vietnam.
- Barklyite Ruby: While normal rubies have a dark red color, Barklyites are actually magenta. This variety of occurs in Australia. Barklyite rubies aren’t very well documented, and little is known about their color mechanism.
Where Can You Find A Ruby?
Rubies are one the most popular gemstones in the International market because of their high value, intense color, durability, and historical significance. Some important locations for the mining of this ancient commodity are mentioned below:
- Myanmar was the biggest producer of high-quality Rubies, with Burmese Rubies considered better than those sourced from other countries. However, the famous Mogok mine has fallen out of favor in recent years compared to some of the newer ones.
- Kashmir, a disputed territory between India and Pakistan, is proven to have billions of dollars worth of reserves in rubies. Due to a lack of funding, stability, and infrastructure, this massive wealth remains largely untapped.
- Mozambique is now a major player in the world’s supply. Reserves of the red mineral were discovered there in 2009, but it has started producing high-quality crystals valued worldwide in a few short years.
According to mindat, the main mines for rubies are located in these countries:
Ruby is one of the hardest minerals in the world. It has a Mohs rating of 9, just below Moissanite. Materials tougher than rubies include Diamond, which ranks a 10, and Moissanite, which is somewhere between rubies and diamonds.
Rubies show a Trigonal crystal system and have Subadamantine luster. These crystals don’t show true cleavage and commonly occur in hexagonal prisms.
|Chemical name||Aluminum Oxide|
|Hardness (Mohs scale)||9|
|Refractive Index||1.768 – 1.763|
Ruby Cost And Value
Rubies are one of the most expensive gemstones in the world. The most expensive, the Sunrise Ruby, was sold for over $1 million per carat. It was a Burmese pigeon blood crystal that was praised for its unique combination of characteristics.
In general, the price of rubies can vary from stone to stone. Low-end, heat-treated rubies are sold between a few hundred and a few thousand dollars per carat.
Untreated, high-quality rubies can go for as high as a million dollars per carat. A combination of the following factors determines the exact price for any crystal.
Carat: Carat is the standard unit of weight for gemstones and is equal to 0.2 grams or 200 milligrams. The larger the stone, the higher its price per carat. Since larger ruby crystals are harder to find, mine, and cut, they are worth significantly more.
Cut: The cut of a gemstone is the shape and finish given to it by the jeweler. A cut will affect its appearance and ability to reflect light. The expertise and time required to refine a Ruby define a big part of its final price.
Clarity: Rubies are infamous because of the large amount of silk and rutile needle inclusions. They can be treated in various ways to overcome this shortcoming. However, natural stones that don’t have many inclusions but haven’t been heat-treated are much more expensive than heat-treated ones.
Color: The color is what makes it so sought after by jewelers. The more intense the red color, the higher the price. This is why Burmese Rubies are valued so highly. The most expensive rubies have a deep and bright blood-red color.
How To Tell If a Ruby Is Real?
Before buying a ruby, you need to make sure it is the real deal. Many people try to sell imitations, artificial rubies, or fake stones to innocent customers.
The best option is to verify the authenticity of any Ruby with a trusted jeweler or gemologist. You can also look for certificates from trusted sources before buying. If you are buying a Ruby without any of those things, you can look for the following properties to sort out the obviously fake ones:
- Monotony: Real stones always have variations in their colors. The color of a ruby crystal should twinkle and shift as you look at different facets of the stone.
- Scratch Test: Rubies have a Mohs hardness rating of 9. It can only be scratched with Moissanites or Diamonds. So, you should use a Mohs hardness kit to test it.
- Acetone Test: The color of a ruby is very important. You should check if it’s real or painted on by placing it in an acetone bath. If the color starts to fade after a few minutes, it isn’t a genuine ruby crystal.
- Transparency: Rubies are translucent/transparent gemstones. You should be able to look through it to some extent. If it looks entirely opaque, it is a fake stone.
- UV Test: If you shine a UV light onto a Ruby crystal, it should fluoresce and show beautiful colors of its own. Other gemstones might not have this property which can help you distinguish them.
- Inclusions: Inclusions are tiny crystals and minerals that are found inside the Ruby crystal. They are often removed by heat-treating the crystal. Synthetic crystals also don’t have any inclusions and are worth much less. Treated stones are not as highly-priced as natural ones, either. You can check for inclusions using a jeweler’s loupe with 10x magnification. If you see that you are holding a perfect ruby with no inclusions, then it was created artificially.
Synthetic Rubies were first synthesized in the early 1800s by Gaudin using Potash Alum and some chromium for coloring.
Later, different scientists devised various techniques to refine and synthesize Rubies. These include:
- Red Heat Fusions
- Vernauli Process
- Pulling Process
- Hydrothermal Process
- Flux Process
These synthetic rubies are produced at a commercial scale and used for various applications.
While they are used for jewelry making as well, their main use is in different industries like clockwork, electronics, optics, etc. They are not as prevalent in the jewelry market as synthetic rubies aren’t as popular or valuable as natural ones.
Ruby Crystal Chakra Connection
Ruby crystals are related to the Root and heart chakra. These are also known as the Muladhara and Anahata chakra, respectively.
The Root chakra, located at the base of the spine, is related to our physical realm. It’s where we ground ourselves in reality and make sure we have all the things we need to survive.
The heart chakra, which is located near the center of your chest, is related to love and compassion.
Ruby Meaning And Uses
- The most widespread use of Rubies is definitely in the gemstone and jewelry industry. Nearly 40 million rubies are mined each year.
- Rubies have many applications because of their extreme hardness. They are used in different industrial machines. For example, scanning probe tips are made from ruby crystals for durability and longevity.
- Premium quality clockworks also utilize Ruby in wear-heavy areas to increase their lifetime.
- Theodore H. Maiman produced the first working ruby laser in 1960. It functioned using the fluorescence of Ruby crystal cores. Bombarding photons on ruby crystals causes the emission of single-frequency light, called a laser.
Rubies are mysterious and powerful gemstones. They have been used for thousands of years for their exceptional metaphysical powers. Some of these are listed below:
- They are known as powerful love stones. Rubies are also a symbol of fertility and sexuality. They will help you attract love in your life and find happiness with someone who is right for you. Because of their status as love stones, they are often used in wedding rings and jewelry gifts for your significant other.
- Rubies help you stay grounded in the present. They help you focus on what’s happening at the moment rather than being swept away by your thoughts. This makes them great stones for meditating with or simply helping you stay focused during stressful times.
- These powerful stones are a symbol of wealth and passion. They will help you stay focused on your dreams and achieve success. Ruby rings and pendants are often worn by business people and those in positions of power.
- These stones have been used throughout history to treat depression, insomnia, stress, and anxiety. They are also known as powerful talismans that will protect you from harm or evil spirits.
- Ruby crystals are used to increase your self-confidence and help you feel more optimistic about life. These stones are known for their ability to lift your spirits and increase your energy levels, even on the darkest days.
How To Clean Ruby Jewelry?
If you want your Ruby Crystal jewelry to retain its beauty, it’s important that you take care of it.
- Soak the jewelry in a solution of lukewarm water and mild soap for 5–10 minutes.
- Thoroughly rinse the jewelry in running water to remove surface-level dirt. Use a toothbrush to scrub stubborn stains off the metal surface.
- You can clean the crystal more thoroughly by gently buffing it with a small, lint-free microfiber cloth.
- Burn a smudge stick or sage under the stone to remove any accumulated negative energies.
- Place the Ruby crystal under direct moonlight. This will help them charge up and regain their original metaphysical power. The full moon will charge it faster, but it’s better to leave it overnight. Make sure you secure the stone, so it doesn’t get stolen.
Which Gemstones Go Best With Ruby?
Ruby is a precious stone that goes best with other precious gemstones like diamonds, sapphires, and emeralds. Large rubies are used as centerpieces of jewelry. The piece is typically inlaid with smaller diamonds or other transparent stones to accentuate the beauty of the main gemstone. White sapphires can also be used.
They also make great pairs with blue stones like Apatite, Alexandrite, and Azurite. The two colors complement each other and bring out the best of both stones. This kind of combination also lets you target multiple chakras simultaneously, giving your metaphysical body good coverage.
Rubies are often paired with precious metals like gold, silver, and platinum. You can place your Ruby crystal in a gold setting for a traditional look or go a more modern route by using a platinum or white-gold setting. Silver settings are not as popular but still viable if you are on a budget.
What Type Of Crystal Is Ruby?
Ruby is a precious crystal belonging to the Corundum mineral family. Sapphire also belongs to the same family and has the same chemical formula. The only difference between the two is their color which depends on the trace impurities present within their structure.
What Are The Healing Properties Of Ruby?
Ruby is not traditionally used for healing. However, modern practitioners of crystal healing use it to treat a variety of diseases. These include gastrointestinal issues, heart palpitations, high blood pressure, and skin problems.
It is important to note that none of these applications are only anecdotally proven. There is no scientific evidence behind them.
Is Ruby Heat Treated?
Rubies are quite often heat-treated to get rid of silk and needle inclusions. This practice dates back to Roman times when jewelers would heat the stone for extended periods at a high temperature to eliminate imperfections.
Other treatments, such as using lead glass, also make rubies more visually appealing and perfect. However, natural untreated Rubies that haven’t been heat-treated are worth significantly more than treated stones of similar quality.