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Ruby Education

Color

Rubies typically have a mixture of four main colors - pink, purple, orange and red. Majority of the rubies in the world are either pinkish or purplish in color. The most sought after red color is very rare to find in rubies and therefore commands a premium in price.

Unlike diamonds, there is no standardized color grading for rubies. There are so many different degrees of hues, saturation and tones amongst rubies  that it is nearly impossible to create a universal color grading. We have adopted a grading system as described below to differentiate amongst the different ruby colors:


Ruby Color Grading

GemsNY carries five different colors in rubies namely Pigeon Blood Red, Deep Red, Red, Purplish Red and Pinkish Red. Select the color of your liking.

Pigeon Blood Red:

This is the highest color grading for our rubies. Color of these rubies is as deep of a red a ruby can get without turning opaque or being overly colored. Brilliance of these rubies is excellent.

Deep Red:

Such rubies have as rich of a color as pigeon blood red rubies but don't have as much brilliance. Such rubies are still quite rare and in demand.

Red:

Two step lighter than pigeon blood red rubies, such rubies offer tremendous value as they are significantly cheaper than the 'piegon blood' rubies yet still offer a soothing red color.

Purplish Red:

Most common color among burmese rubies. These rubies have nice medium red color with a touch of purple to them.

Pinkish Red:

Most affordable rubies we have. These rubies have an even mixture of pink and red.

Impact on Price

As a ruby's saturation of red color increases, the price of the ruby also increases. However, as a ruby approaches an overly dark red color, the price of the ruby will begin to decrease. Strong concentration of pink, purple and orange will also reduce the value of a ruby.

What Color is right for you?

Color is a personal preference. While there is no right or wrong answer, prices are set by supply and demand for specific colors. We recommend customers find the color that appeals to them the most and not be swayed only by price.

 

Clarity

Clarity refers to the imperfections visible in a ruby. Typical imperfections in a ruby include feathers, silk, cavities and color zoning. The placement and size of the imperfections affect the value of the ruby.

Unlike diamonds, gemstones are graded without any tool or magnification to make clarity judgments. Instead, gemstones are inspected by holding them 12 inches from the observers eye and tilting them in various directions to visually inspect if any inclusions are visible. The grading below is based on this methodology. 


Note: Only imperfections viewable on the crown (top part of the gemstone) are inspected and not the pavilion (back side)

FL - This is the highest clarity grade a ruby can have. This means the gemstone is 100% clean to the eye to a trained, experienced gemologist but not necessarily under 10X or higher magnification.

VVS1, VVS2 - This grading means the ruby would be 100% eye clean to an untrained eye but a gemologist might be able to observe very, very tiny inclusions from certain side angles.

VS1, VS2 - This means very tiny inclusions would be visible under very close inspection to an untrained eye.

SI1, SI2 - Slight visible inclusions upon inspection would be visible to an untrained eye but inclusions are not affecting the brilliance or the color in the rubies.

Impact on Price

Clarity can have a material downward impact when the imperfections are significantly affecting the appearance of the gemstone. There is no value added if a ruby is clean to the eye vs. magnification.

What Clarity is right for you?

If a customer wants an above average clarity gemstone, then it better to stick with minimum VS2 clarity grade. However, for customers that want to view very little to no visible imperfections with the eye, it is better to look for VVS2 and higher clarity rubies.


Cut

It is unfair to compare the cut of a ruby to a diamond. Unlike diamonds, cutting a ruby to perfect proportions will not guarantee amazing sparkle in the gemstone. The quality of the ruby crystal will dictates the sparkle you will see. Some crystals are opaque and others very transparent. 

Impact on Price

Pricing of a ruby is determined from the physical measurements  and less so from its carat weight. Rubies are cut to maximize the color saturation. Because there is no standardization of cut in a ruby, it is the least important of the 4 C's in affecting its value.

What cut is right for you?

In general, the cut of a ruby should not affect your purchasing decision. However, the desired look of the ring can impact the ruby cut requirement. Certain settings look best with well proportioned rubies.

 

Carat Weight

Carat weight is the unit of measure for gemstones. One carat is equivalent to 0.20grams. In general, the higher the carat weight of the gemstone, the higher the price per carat. There are price jumps once a ruby reaches 1ct, 2ct, 3ct, and 5ct+. 

To gauge the size of a gemstone (visual appearance), it is always better to look at the physical measurements as opposed to the carat weight. Color stones tend to be cut deeper than diamonds and will therefore will almost always have a higher carat weight.
Click here for our stone size chart


Treatment

Rubies which are unheated have only traditional process of cutting and polishing applied to them in order to improve the appearance or durability of the gem. Unheated rubies are rare, especially in larger sizes. Enhancements in rubies are used to improve or change its color.

Heat Treatment - This treatment uses high heat to induce a color change. It has been in the industry for a long time and is accepted industry wide as an acceptable PERMANENT treatment. In fact, this treatment is so common that in the trade if an individual asks for a ruby, it is understood they want a heated gemstone.

Lead/Glass Filled - This treatment is done in conjunction with heat treatment to fracture fill the ruby with lead/glass. This treatment has allowed previously unsellable rubies fit for jewelry wear. Rubies with this treatment are not stable and must be disclosed.

Impact on Price

Treatments that are not generally accepted in the trade such as lead/glass filling will have a material downward impact on its price. Untreated rubies trade at a 100-300% premium over similar quality heated rubies. The premium rises as the size and quality of the ruby increases. There are material increases when rubies reach 5ct+. Please note that there is lower premium for commercial quality untreated rubies.

What treatment is right for you?

The desired quality and allocated budget will determine what treatment is right for you. It is always best to purchase an untreated ruby where possible. Untreated rubies have much higher long term price appreciation than treated gemstones.

 

Origin

Rubies are mined in various locations around the world.  All origins produce high and low quality gemstones. The origin of the ruby can have impact in its value, primarily in the higher quality. Low quality rubies will not receive a premium even though they are mined from a rare and prestigious origin.  See below various origins rubies are mined from:

Ruby Origins
Burma These are considered the highest quality rubies as they offer a true red color in the higher end.
Madagascar These rubies tend to be orangish red but generally have excellent brilliance.
Thai These rubies generally have a heavy purplish undertone. GemsNY doesn't carry thai rubies.
Tanzania Such rubies tend to be a orangish and purplish red but generally have excellent brilliance.
Mozambique Relatively new mine that that is currently producing high quality rubies in volume. Considered by most as the second best origin for rubies in prestige. They tend to have a purplish undertone.

Impact on Price

Burmese rubies will carry a premium over rubies from other origins. The premium grows as the quality and size/weight of a gemstone increases.

What origin is right for you?

For most customers origin should not factor into the decision making process. All origins produce low, medium and high quality gemstones. It is more important to find the quality of the gemstone you want than the origin. For investors, it is always better to purchase a high quality gemstone from a premium origin.

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