Deep Dive into Ruby

FMC brings you all the details you need know

The color of fire, ruby is desire, passion, and courage. People once believed an undying flame burned inside each ruby. In ancient Sanskrit, ruby is ratnaraj, "king of precious stones," the sun around which all other gems orbit. Legend in ancient India says that God first created ruby and then created man to possess it.

Ruby express strength and confidence, symbolizing your determination to follow your passion and achieve your dreams.

The name “ruby” comes from ruber, the Latin word for red. The Romans valued it above diamonds, calling ruby “a flower among stones.”

Who could forget the magical ruby slippers in the Wizard of Oz? To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the movie, Harry Winston created real ruby slippers set with 4,600 rubies weighing 1,350 carats: the most expensive shoes of all time.

For most of history, ruby has been the most valuable gemstone. The Bible says only wisdom and virtuous women are "more precious than rubies.” Persian scholar al-Biruni wrote in the 11th century that ruby has "the first place in color, beauty and rank" among all gems.

Even today, the finest rubies above five carats sell for more than the same size D-Flawless diamonds. The 25.59-carat Sunrise Ruby sold for $30.3 million at Sotheby’s in 2015, more than a million dollars per carat.

Since ruby symbolizes undying passion, it makes an incredibly romantic engagement ring like the ring that Orlando Bloom gave to Katy Perry. Eva Longoria, Jessica Simpson and Sarah Ferguson all have ruby engagement rings too. Choosing a ruby engagement ring makes a unique statement since every ruby has its own distinct personality.

Ruby is the birthstone for July, the hottest month of summer. Ruby is also the gemstone of the 15th and 40th anniversaries.

Mining Ruby in Mozambique

Until recently, most of the world’s rubies came from Burma. But now, Mozambique is the most important source, producing about 70% of the world’s rubies. Other deposits include Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Greenland, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Although they were discovered only a few decades ago, Mozambican rubies are more than 475 million years older than Burmese rubies.

In the ancient riverbeds of Mozambique’s Montepuez highlands, FURA Gems is using modern mining equipment and techniques to increase ruby production and improve safety. Each area being mined has the topsoil removed and preserved before an open pit is dug to reach the gem-bearing gravel layer. A botanical expert surveys the site to identify and protect rare plants and wildlife.

A modern recovery plant uses water to separate ruby from the gravel then the gravel and topsoil can be replaced and the area replanted. The water is recaptured and recycled in holding ponds.

FURA Gems contributes to the local community, supporting health care, agriculture, and building schools in the area.

Communicating Ruby Quality and Value

What makes ruby special is easy to see: its vivid color. Color is also the most important factor in the value of a ruby. The finest rubies are a saturated pure red. The traditional term for the reddest ruby is pigeon’s blood red. It can have a slightly bluish cast that gives it pinkish reflections.

Because perfect rubies are so rare, most rubies are heated up to 1800 degrees to dissolve minerals in the crystal and improve its color and clarity. Heat treatment is a permanent enhancement that will withstand everyday wear. As with any gemstone, ruby enhancements should be disclosed on invoices.

You should expect ruby to have some clarity characteristics, which don’t have a big impact on value. The strength of ruby’s color hides most inclusions. A hazy translucency can make a ruby glow beautifully like a burning coal.

You’re most likely to see rubies a carat and above cut in oval shapes and cushion cuts, which fit the shape of the rough best. Ruby is also dramatic when cut in a smooth domed cabochon. Some cabochon rubies, known as star rubies, will display a phenomenon known as asterism, a six-legged star that moves across the dome of the cabochon with the light.

Because of their rarity and small size, most Ruby jewelry is set with small gemstones. Rubies over five carats are very rare and ruby’s price per carat skyrockets as its size increases.

Ruby is the perfect gem for active people who love jewelry because it’s one of the most durable gemstones. It’s corundum, with a hardness of 9 on the Mohs scale, second only to diamond’s 10. Ruby is also tough. In fact, it’s even tougher than diamond, resisting chips and damage.

A rare treasure that burns bright in your imagination, ruby is a gem for people who aren’t afraid to shine in the spotlight.

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