The Ruby, the most valued gem in the worldGerman López Pérez
The ruby has been the world’s most valued gem since ancient times. In fact, rubies are today more valuable and rare than the purest of diamonds. Thus in 1988, a 13-carat ruby sold at Sotheby’s auction for $ 227,300 per carat, and in May 1995 a 16-carat ruby ring sold for $ 4 million at Sotheby’s in Geneva. Instead, 8 D-IF quality diamonds over 50 carats were sold over the last 12 years and the largest, a 102-carat pear-shaped diamond, fetched $ 125,000 per carat. Ruby belongs to the corundum family of which all colors except red are known as sapphires, which has created some controversy about where the ruby ends and where the sapphire begins, particularly in the pink tones.
Pick a ruby The most important factor in the value of a ruby is the color. The best grades are as red as you can imagine. After color, other factors that influence the value of a ruby are clarity, cut, and size.
Rubies that are perfectly transparent, without any small inclusions, are more valuable than those whose inclusions are visible to the naked eye. Carving can make a big difference in the appearance of a ruby in terms of attractiveness and life.
A well-cut stone should reflect a uniform backlight across the entire surface without any dark or indelible areas in the center, which can result from a stone that is too deep or too flat.
The shape should also be symmetrical, and there should be no cuts or scratches on the polish. The largest stones have very high prices due to their scarcity.
Origin: The most famous source of fine rubies is Burma, now known as Myanmar. The ruby mines of Myanmar are older than history itself. Stone and bronze age mining instruments have been found in the Mogok mining area. Rubies from the legendary Mogok Mine often have a pure red color, which is often called pigeon blood, a term more fanciful than a trade term today. Myanmar also produces deep pinkish red rubies.
Many of the Burmese rubies have a strong fluorescence when exposed to ultraviolet rays such as sunlight which gives them additional color. A relatively new and important mining area is Mong Hsu. This ruby-rich deposit is producing commercial quantities of commercial grade Burma ruby and also significant quantities of fine quality, particularly in sizes down to one carat. Most of the Hong Hsu ruby is carved and traded in Thailand, which is the most important ruby trading center in the world. Thailand also produces fine quality rubies. They tend to be deep red, burgundy and brown rather than pink, like Burmese rubies. In 1922, a new ruby mine was discovered in Vietnam, which produces rubies very similar to those of Burma. In fact, the geology of the new mine corresponds to the same formation that produces the Burma deposits. Some of the new Vietnamese rubies have been praised by experts, claiming to be virtually indistinguishable from the superior quality of those from Burma. Also a deposit has been found in southern Madagascar in the district of Tulear. This deposit currently produces light pink to dark pink stones in large quantities. And in Sri Lanka, where they are often pinkish or can present the pink tones of Burma. Rubies from Kenya and Tanzania surprised the world in the 1960s with their exceptional color. Unfortunately, most of the stones from these deposits have inclusions that decrease transparency, which makes facet cutting impossible, yet they gain a lot in color when cut cabochon. Occasionally some fine quality rubies have found their way onto the market from mines in Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Pamir Mountains.
In summary Unlike diamonds, rubies have rather subjective characteristics, so the most important thing will be that their color makes a good impression on us, and that we be advised on the rest by professionals in the jewelery sector. There are a thousand varieties of fake or treated rubies and you can only be sure of what you buy if you are advised by a good professional.