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Gemstone Information Infocenter at Holisticonline.com

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Comprehensive Gemstone Information

 

Ruby - The Queen of Gems

Valuation of Rubies

Large, gem quality rubies are more valuable than comparably sized diamonds as they are rarer. Small gem quality rubies are rarer than comparable blue or other color sapphires. This means that even the smallest fine rubies fetch high prices.

The prices of gem quality rubies increase exponentially with increase in carat size.

Color

Color is the single most important factor in determining a ruby’s value.

Ruby that displays the intensity and richness of bright crimson color without appearing too light or dark are eagerly sought after.

Highly valued Rubies are those with intense medium red with uniform color. Intense pink Rubies can be highly appraised as well, if they are clear and beautifully cut. Rubies that appear dark and garnet-like, or those that are light in color and are perceived as pink, generally cost less.

Carat Weight

The Carat Weight Of Rubies Greatly Affects Per Carat Prices.

Large Rubies of high quality are the rarest and most highly prized of all gemstones. Rarer than Diamonds or Sapphires of an equal quality and size, any high quality piece above five Carats is considered to be extremely rare and is almost priceless.

As the carat weight of a ruby increases, so does its price per carat. Per carat prices increase disproportionately. For example, a five carat ruby is worth many times more than five one carat rubies of a comparable quality.

Inclusions (Clarity)

High clarities and freedom from inclusions adds value to rubies.

Microscopic inclusions, sometimes called "silk", are a normal characteristic of Rubies. Evenly distributed, small quantities of “silk” act like a fine dust, creating a soft, silky, uniform distribution of light throughout the ruby, enhancing both beauty and value.

Heating tends to dissolve these inclusions. The existence of inclusions provides traces to the Rubies' origin and can be used to separate natural from synthetic stones. The inclusions within these gemstones may also be evidence that a Ruby has not been heat-treated.

Inclusions do not affect the value of the stone as long as the brilliance of the gemstone is maintained and they are not visible to the naked eye. Ideally, a ruby should allow the free transmission of light throughout its body without resistance. Ideally we like to have a “crystal clear” ruby. In reality, the clarity found in rubies tends to be less than that found in sapphires and most other gemstones. GIA classifies ruby as a Type II Colored Gem. This means that “in the marketplace these gemstones are usually included”.

Shape & Cut

The vast majority of rubies are "native cut" in the country of origin. Many native cut stones have windows and poor proportions which mar the stones' brilliance and overall appearance. Occasionally, such native cut stones are recut to custom proportions, with a loss of weight and diameter. Custom cut and recut stones are usually cost more per carat than native cuts.

Faceted rubies are found in a variety of shapes and styles. Ovals and cushion cuts are the most common. other shapes such as emerald cuts and hearts are also found.

Cutting rubies to round shape will mean more loss of weight during the cutting operations compared to other cuts. Because of this round cut rubies fetch a small premium price. Pear and marquise cuts are available at a discount.

Cabochons are the most common form of cut seen in ruby. This cut is essential for developing and displaying the asterism in star rubies. For regular rubies, cabochon cuts are most often applied to rubies whose clarity is not ideal for faceting.

Origin

The rubies from the Mogok Stone Tract in Upper Burma have the prestige of being some of the finest rubies in the world. People are prepared to pay a premium for these rubies. Strong color saturation, eyeclean or better clarity, and strong fluorescence elevate prices sharply.

Indian Star Rubies are also quite popular and legendary.

Heat Treatment

Most rubies available on the market today have been subjected to high temperatures called heat treatment. This process improves the clarity of rubies and intensify their colors.

The proportion of unheated rubies on the market is very small. It is widely thought to be less than 0.5%. Their rarity makes them highly collectable. People are willing to pay a premium for them. They sometimes fetch triple the price paid for an equivalent heated ruby.

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See Also:

Products with Ruby

Therapeutic Properties of Ruby

Gemstone Infocenter Home

Gift Selections incorporating Gemstones

Guide to Caring for Gemstones

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