Commonly Asked Questions: Rubies

Posted on Wednesday, July 19th, 2017 in Commonly Asked Questions, Gemstones, Informational.

faceted ruby gemstone

Where are rubies found? Most of the rubies available on the market come from Asian countries including Thailand, India, Pakistan, and Nepal. The most valuable rubies come from one Asian country in particular, Myanmar (formerly Burma). These Burmese rubies feature an exceptional red color that is highly sought after.

Where does a ruby’s red color come from? A ruby’s color comes from trace amounts of the element chromium. The strength of the color depends on the amount of chromium present in the gem.

Do rubies come in any other color besides red? No, any other color of corundum (the mineral group which rubies belong to) would be considered sapphire.

Can ruby jewelry be worn every day? Yes, with a rating of 9 on the MOHS scale of mineral hardness, the only gemstone more durable than a ruby is a diamond.

How are rubies formed? Rubies are formed under the Earth’s surface when densely packed aluminum and oxygen atoms come together to form the mineral corundum. Once in a while, other elements will replace some of the aluminum atoms and alter the gemstone’s color. This is exactly what happens when chromium enters the composition and creates that ruby-red color.

What determines the value of a ruby? Like other gemstones, the quality of a ruby is determined by its color, clarity, cut and carat weight. The one factor that has the biggest impact on a ruby’s value is its color. The most precious rubies feature a pure, vibrant red color that is neither too dark nor too light. In regard to the other quality factors, the most valuable rubies have very few visible inclusions, are large in size, and are well cut.

Are rubies more valuable than sapphires? Yes. Even though rubies and sapphires come from the same mineral species (corundum), rubies are typically more valuable due to their rarity and high demand.

Do rubies symbolize anything? Rubies have historically signified great passion and have always been associated with deep love and courage. They are the designated birthstone for the month of July and are also the recognized gemstone for the 15th and 40th wedding anniversaries.

How should I care for my ruby jewelry? Clean your ruby jewelry with warm, soapy water and a gentle toothbrush and make sure to always store your ruby pieces separate from diamond jewelry.


View Kloiber Jewelers’ online ruby jewelry collection here.