Out of all the colored gemstones, rubies command the highest prices, even higher than sapphires and emeralds. The finest of rubies have constant rising prices per carat wise. The only gemstone that is even harder than the ruby is the diamond.
Other than being used as jewelry, rubies are also used for precision laser beams. Because of a ruby’s ability to transmit light with little loss in energy, rubies are helpful in the process of laser material processing and holographic imaging.
Slight shades of red make all the difference in a ruby’s value. The most valuable of rubies has a vibrant, uniform red color with a slight hint of purple. If the color is too orange or purple, the ruby’s value dips slightly. It is also important that the ruby is not too light or dark either. A ruby that is too light is actually pinker than desired. A ruby too dark does nothing to make it shine brightly. Rubies that are light, dark, or with tints that are too purple or orange will cause the ruby price per carat to go down.
Pink sapphires, which are commonly found in Sri Lanka, can be commonly mistaken for rubies; it is indeed possible for a sapphire to be that pink. To tell the difference between the two stones, there is what are called “master sets”, created by gemology experts, to help classify a certain stone as one type or the other. If you are looking at what you might think is a ruby, using a master set will be able to confirm or deny this for you.
People in gemology expect rubies to contain a few inclusions, or small natural cracks, in each ruby, because a ruby without an inclusion is impossible to come across. Inclusions in rubies are what alter their brightness and/or transparency, which will make a difference in the ruby price per carat. Since inclusions are basically cracks inside the ruby’s interior, the ruby is more brittle or fragile, with inclusions beneath the surface being the most detrimental to its wholeness.
Not all inclusions can make a ruby look worse, however. Some inclusions can cause light to spread across a facet that may look spectacular to the public eye. This makes the color across its crown to be more saturated and vivid.
The most common shape of a ruby is a cubic hexagon shape. There are multiple factors that affect a ruby’s shape and cut. To accommodate the shape of an appealing jewel, rubies are cut into either ovals or cushions, with triangular, pointy facets. Rubies can be cut into various different shapes, and go for sale at much higher prices due to their rarity.
A ruby that is rough is very pricey, mainly because as a rough stone, they are bigger and heavier than their cut counterparts. Stone cutters typically cut rubies into a small size to conserve weight so that the high costly gemstone is more affordable.
While karat in gold is used to measure the percentage of pure gold in metals, carat is a unit of weight for rare stones and pearls. 1 carat equals 200 milligrams. Rubies that are fine in quality and weigh over 1 carat are considered very rare. Commercially cut rubies; on the other hand vary in size and weight. The bigger the ruby, the higher its price per carat is.
Countries that rubies commonly come from include Thailand, Myanmar, India, Japan, Colombia, Scotland, Brazil, Cambodia, Burma, Australia, Namibia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Afghanistan. As you can tell, it’s possible for rubies to be mined in any continent.