species

Ruby

Officially the most valuable coloured gemstone, ruby is the red variety of the mineral corundum

Ruby is the red variety of corundum coloured by chromium, and so the sister stone to all the rest of the sapphire family. A rare gem, it is not found in large sizes, and is highly prized in royal collections. The trade term ‘Pigeon’s Blood’ is used for the best colour (and usually quality) gems with, historically, the best gems coming from Burma (Myanmar). Today, Mozambique is one of the largest producing countries.

The most valuable coloured gemstone, with world record gems having achieved over USD1m per carat at auction.

Heat treatment is not uncommon, as is heating with a flux, and much lower grade material might be fracture-filled; all of these treatments must be disclosed. Ruby is 9 on Mohs scale of hardness, and the birthstone for July.


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