Ruby is the official birthstone for the month of July, and is used to commemorate the 15th and 40th wedding anniversaries. Ruby is red corundum, it is the only variety of corundum not refered to as sapphire. The name ruby comes from the latin word ruber meaning red. Rubies have played an important role in royal jewelry and insignias. Large rubies are more rare than comparable large diamonds. Many large rubies found in well known royal pieces from earlier times, thought of as rubies were actually red spinel. The stunning vibrant color of fine rubies make them very desired and one of the most expensive gemstones available.

Corundum is the second hardest known mineral with a hardness of 9 on Moh’s scale. This quality makes it ideal for use in jewelry of all types. Rubies get their color from the chromium and iron content found in them. Depending on the amounts of these elements, makes the ruby its color anywhere from pinkish to brownish red. The most desired color of ruby is called “pigeons blood” which is a pure red with a blue hint, this wanted shade of ruby has only been found in the mines located in Myanmar (Burma).


The best quality rubies are found in Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Sri Lanka, and Tanzania. Other deposits are found in; Afghanistan, Cambodia, Kenya, Madagascar, Vietnam, Australia, Brazil, India, Malawi, Nepal, Pakistan, United States and Zimbabwe.

Properties, Treatments & Lab Created

Ruby is rated a 9 on the Mohs scale, making it a great option for all types of jewelry.

Common treatment for rubies is heat treatment. This heat treatment is usually done after the gem is cut, the heat improves the color and clarity of the stone. Low grade rubies that have fissures that reach the surface are often filled with lead glass.

Lab corundum is available in several different colors, ruby being one of them. This lab material is identical in chemical composition to the natural corundum and is a much more cost efficient option. There are also simulants available that resemble the stunning color of natural ruby, but these gems are not of the same composition.

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