The birthstone of July, Ruby is believed to be the gem of Love. Its name comes from ‘ruber’, which is Latin for ‘red’. Mines around the world produce a diversity of shades of red. For example, the Mogok valley in Burma is famous for its “pigeon’s blood” or pink-red colour. From Thailand and Cambodia comes a strong dark red colour, and African rubies tend to be a reddish brown.
According to ancient lore, many believe that mystical powers lie within this intensely coloured red gem. The richness of colour, the brilliance of the reflected light and the clarity of the gem determine the quality of a Ruby.
Being a 9 on the Moh’s scale of Hardness, it is an ideal gemstone for everyday wear. In the evaluation of coloured gemstones, colour is the single most important factor. Colour divides into three components; hue, saturation and tone. Hue refers to “colour” as we normally use the term. In ruby the primary hue must be red. All other hues of the gem species corundum are called sapphire. Ruby may exhibit a range of secondary hues. Orange, purple, violet and pink are possible.
Improving the quality of gemstones by treating them is common practice. Some treatments are used in almost all cases and are therefore considered acceptable. Treatments of gemstones should be declared by the seller at all times.