Romancing the Rubies: How to and What to buy in a ruby, July Birthstone.

Rubies have romanced the human heart for a good 1000 years by now, as we celebrate this millennium. Birthstone for July, it is often worn by people born in other months also, for the deep impact they have, given the rich color and the histories associated with rubies.

If we make exceptions like certain colored diamonds, or imperial jadeite, ruby is the world’s most expensive gemstone. However, as in all gemstones, certain quality pieces may be available for lower prices.

The highest price per carat price paid for a ruby was in 2006, when Laurence Graff, a London jeweler, paid a record $425,000 per carat ($3.6 million) for an 8.62-ct. ruby, set in a Bvlgari ring, at a Christie’s auction. Less than a year before that, an 8.01-ct. faceted ruby gemstone sold for $274,656 per carat ($2.2 million) at Christie’s New York.

In a ruby, the intensity of red color is primary factor in determining value. The ideal gemstone displays an intense, rich crimson without being too light or too dark. Stones which are too dark and garnet like in appearance, or too light in color, are less valued. The finest rubies display a color similar to that of a red traffic light.

But then, the key is to always view rubies in incandescent light or daylight, and not fluorescent light.

Which shape to buy?  Rubies are found in a variety of shapes and cutting styles. Oval rubies and cushion rubies are the most common, but round rubies are also seen, as are other shapes, such as the heart or emerald cut. Slight premiums are paid for round stones, while slight discounts apply for pear rubies and marquise rubies. Stones that are overly deep or shallow should generally be avoided. Cabochon-cut rubies are also common. Mostly, star rubies are cabochon cut.

Lab Created Rubies:  Rubies have been produced by the Verneuil process since the 1890’s and cost very little. Ruby has also been produced by the flux, hydrothermal, floating zone and Czochralski processes. A lab created ruby is identical in chemical composition and  properties of a natural ruby. The only difference lies in that these have been crafted in laboratories; and is manmade perfection!

Visually, it is very difficult to make out if a ruby is lab created. Only a trained appraiser can tell the difference. If budget is a constraint, and colored gemstone ruby is a must, this is the best option.

In order to cater to every segment of the society, Angara brings you ‘good, better and best’ qualities of ruby jewelry. If natural ruby is what you must have, a “good” ruby jewelry product could be an option for you, since this is the economical recommendation. If your savings allow more, then go in for “better” quality. And reserve the ‘best’ for those special occasions which warrant it. More than 60% of jewelry on Angara has this feature. Click on the image in the catalog to view “good, better and best options”.

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Editor-in-Chief, Marketing Manager and Personal Jeweler for Angara.