Ruby Buying Guide

July Birthstone Rings

The word "ruby" derives from the Latin word rubeus, which means red. Ruby is the name given to the red variety of corundum. All other colors of corundum are called "sapphire," as in blue sapphires.

Ruby-Occurrence: Other important sources of ruby now include Thailand, Sri Lanka (Ceylon), and Kenya. The wonderful, rich color of ruby combined with its high brilliance and wearability make it an unusually fine choice for any piece of jewelry.

Ruby-Color: Its color ranges from purplish- or bluish-red to yellowish-red. The finest color is a vivid, almost pure, spectral red, with a very faint undertone of blue, that retains its beauty even in artificial light. The brightest red and thus the most valuable comes usually from Burma. Violet red, sometimes quite dark, rubies come principally from Thailand. We work with our jewelry manufacturers to bring you some of the most beautiful ruby color available in our rings.

Ruby-Clarity: Rubies which have areas full of inclusions which interferes with the light, producing a distinctive silky sheen are not very desirable. Some rubies in the market are also opaque are considered inferior quality. We offer rubies that are very slightly included.

Ruby Education

Ruby-Size: The common unit of measurement for stones is weight, expressed in carats and decimal parts thereof. Size of stone which can be diameter, or length and width is expressed in millimeters. Size and Weight are equally important. Well cut stones will have be bigger in size for the same weight.

Ruby-Enhancements: Most rubies used in jewelry have been heated at very high temperatures to permanently enhance their color and are an expected part of the polishing process and are accepted by the jewelry industry.

Judging Rubies Color: American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) is one of the most recognized authorities on gemstone grading. Enhancements that are not permanent are considered to deceive the customer. Gemstone enhancements considered acceptable should be permanent; not imitated (substitutes); and color altered.

Ruby-Saturation: Saturation (color purity) is the brightness or vividness (dullness or drabness) of the color. It refers to the degree to which the hue is hidden by brown or gray. Colors with minimum amount of brown or gray are described as vivid or strong. For color purity GIA uses saturation and AGL uses intensity.
Important Factors

Ruby-Tone: Refers to the depth of color (light or dark). The lightest possible tone is colorless. The darkest is black. Tone is another word for the degree of lightness or darkness. Judging the tone of a stone is difficult because it does not display a single, uniform tone. To judge the tone of a stone, examine it face-up and look for areas of light and dark. Thai rubies come from a light to dark red with differing degrees of blue undertone giving them a purplish cast. African rubies have a tint or undertone of brown or orange. Rubies can have tones: "light-medium," "medium," "medium-dark," and "dark". We prefer rubies with medium tones.

Ruby-Hue: Refers to the basic colors of blue, green, yellow, orange, red, purple and violet. To determine the hue, look for the dominant color in the face-up view. When you move the stone in different directions you see the different colors. All rubies exhibit some other colors (hues) in addition to their basic red color. African rubies have a tint (hue) of brown or orange.

Ruby-Cut: Rubies are usually given a mixed cut, which is generally oval, but can be round or, more rarely other shapes. We offer well cut rubies for maximum brilliance in rings with ruby.