Ruby Engagement Rings
Properties of Rubies
Rubies are one of the most important colored gems on the market and have been considered such for centuries. In Sanskrit, the word for ruby is “ratnaraj” which mean the “king of gems.” Prized for their vivid red color, rubies are a member of the corundum family. Their red color is due to the presence of chromium during formation. Rubies can be commonly mined in Thailand, Cambodia, India, Pakistan, and Brazil, among other locations.
Rubies have a Mohs Hardness of 9.0, making them almost as hard as diamonds. They are also formed in a trigonal crystal structure. There are a number of treatments that can be used on rubies: heating, to increase the clarity of the gem, diffusion, to strengthen the red color, oil and dye, to increase the gem’s durability, and glass filling, to fill surface fissures or cracks.
Historically, rubies have been prized for their value. In fact, rubies were mentioned in the bible as they were chosen to represent one of the twelve tribes of Israel during the Exodus and was worn on the Breastplate of the Jewish High Priest. In India during the 1500s, leaders wore rubies carved with verses from the Qur’an in their turbans or as jewelry. In the 1600s, rubies were rubbed all over the skin to counter the effects of ingested poison. In 1960, the first laser was created using the red fluorescence light emitted by a ruby. Modernly, rubies are worn by people from many different walks of life who appreciated their color and rarity.
Using Rubies in an Engagement Ring
Rubies are typically regarded as the birthstone for July and as the anniversary gift for either the 15th or 40th anniversary; however, these stones are becoming increasingly popular in engagement rings for their romantic symbolism and intense red glow. As with most gemstones, the value of a ruby is determined by the color, clarity, cut, and carat of the stone.
Color is the most significant factor affecting the value of a ruby. Stones that are vibrantly red to purple-red are more valuable than stones that are more pink or deep purple. Rubies are known for their few inclusions due to their extreme durability. Inclusions or imperfections will reduce the value of the stone.
Rubies can be fashioned into a variety of cuts with unique shapes. These gems also compliment all skin tones and metal types. A skilled jeweler will be able to cut a ruby into the desired shape and choose a setting that is most appropriate.
Rubies are ideal for the low-maintenance wearer who may or may not lead an active lifestyle. These gems require minimal cleaning and care and suit a variety of wearers. Since rubies have the highest cost per carat of all colored gemstones, synthetic rubies may be chosen instead. Synthetic rubies essentially have the same chemical, physical, and optical properties, but are created in a man-made laboratory. These stones are more affordable to buyers from a variety of budgets.
Since rubies are the second hardest gemstones, behind diamonds, they can be cleaned in a variety of ways. Rubies can be placed in ultrasonic cleansers or can be steamed. However, the ruby should be inspected to determine if there are any fissures that could expand or worsen due to the ultrasonic vibrations or steam. For consistent at-home cleaning, a damp cloth and/or a soft-bristle toothbrush can be used.
If you are shopping for a ruby engagement ring we hope you found this page helpful. You may be interested learning more on the engagement ring settings, the choosing the right metal, or the engagement ring band styles pages.
If you have any questions about designing unique ruby engagement rings or wedding bands please do not hesitate to contact us, at 412.621.0345. Caesar is a certified gemologist and has over 25 years of experience designing one of a kind engagement rings.