Different Types of Ruby Stone: Characteristics, History, and Uses – Ruby stone, a red-colored variety of mineral corundum, is one of the most popular and valuable gemstones in the world. It is known for its rich color, durability, and rarity.
Throughout history, ruby stone has been treasured by various cultures and civilizations for its symbolic and spiritual significance. Today, it continues to be a favorite among gemstone enthusiasts, collectors, and jewelry designers.
In this article, we will take a closer look at the different types of ruby stones, their characteristics, and their uses. We will explore the history and lore behind this precious gemstone, as well as its modern-day significance.
Whether you are a seasoned gemstone collector or a curious beginner, this article will provide you with valuable insights and information about the ruby stone.
What is Ruby Stone?
Ruby stone is a red-colored variety of mineral corundum, which is composed of aluminum oxide. It is a crystalline material that forms under high pressure and temperature in metamorphic rocks, such as marble and basalt. Ruby stone is prized for its vivid red color, which is caused by the presence of chromium and sometimes iron in its crystal lattice.
Ruby stone is one of the most valuable and rare gemstones in the world. Its value is determined by several factors, including its color, clarity, cut, and carat weight. The finest ruby stones are bright red, with a deep, rich color, and minimal inclusions or flaws.
Different Types of Ruby Stone
There are different types of ruby stone, each with its unique characteristics and qualities. Here are some of the most common types of ruby stone:
1. Burmese Ruby
Burmese ruby is a type of ruby stone that is highly valued for its rich, deep red color and exceptional clarity. It is considered to be the finest and most sought-after variety of ruby stones and is often referred to as the “pigeon blood” ruby due to its intense red color.
Burmese ruby is primarily found in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma), which is the only source of this type of ruby stone. The mines in Myanmar have been producing rubies for centuries, and Burmese ruby has been highly prized throughout history.
One of the factors that make Burmese ruby so valuable is its color. The finest Burmese rubies have a deep, intense red color that is caused by the presence of chromium in the crystal lattice. The color is often described as “pigeon blood” red, which refers to the color of the blood that is seen when a pigeon is cut. This color is highly coveted and can command very high prices in the gemstone market.
In addition to its color, Burmese ruby is also valued for its clarity. The finest specimens are highly transparent and have minimal inclusions or flaws. This is due to the geological conditions in the mines where Burmese ruby is found, which produce high-quality crystals with few imperfections.
Burmese ruby is often used in high-end jewelry, such as engagement rings and necklaces. Its exceptional color and clarity make it a popular choice for fine jewelry designers, and it is often paired with diamonds or other gemstones to create stunning pieces.
However, the high value and rarity of Burmese ruby also make it a target for illegal mining and trade. The demand for Burmese ruby has led to unethical practices, including forced labor and environmental destruction. As a result, many responsible jewelers and consumers are choosing to avoid Burmese ruby and opt for alternative sources of ruby stone.
In conclusion, Burmese ruby is a rare and highly valued variety of ruby stones that is prized for its exceptional color and clarity. Its deep, intense red color and rarity make it a popular choice for high-end jewelry, but its ethical concerns have led many to seek out alternative sources of ruby stone. Regardless, the Burmese ruby remains a coveted gemstone with a rich history and cultural significance.
2. Thai Ruby
Thai ruby is a type of ruby stone that is primarily found in Thailand, although it can also be found in other countries such as Cambodia and Vietnam. It is known for its deep red color and its affordability compared to other types of ruby stone.
The color of Thai ruby can range from a light pinkish-red to a dark, almost blackish-red. The color is caused by the presence of chromium and iron in the crystal lattice, and the intensity of the color can vary depending on the amount of these elements present.
While Thai ruby is not as rare or valuable as Burmese ruby, it is still a popular gemstone in the jewelry industry. Its affordability and availability make it a popular choice for everyday jewelry, and it can be found in a variety of settings and styles.
Thai ruby is also known for its durability and hardness, which makes it a good choice for jewelry that will be worn frequently. It has a rating of 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness, which means that it is very resistant to scratches and damage.
However, it is important to note that not all Thai ruby is ethically sourced. Like many gemstones, the mining and trade of Thai ruby can be fraught with ethical concerns such as labor exploitation and environmental damage. As a result, consumers need to do their research and purchase from reputable sources that prioritize ethical sourcing practices.
In conclusion, Thai ruby is a popular and affordable variety of ruby stones that is known for its deep red color and durability. While it may not have the same value or prestige as Burmese ruby, it remains a popular choice for everyday jewelry. However, consumers should be aware of the ethical concerns surrounding the mining and trade of Thai ruby and make informed choices when purchasing gemstones.
3. African Ruby
African ruby is a type of ruby stone that is found in various countries throughout Africa, including Tanzania, Mozambique, and Madagascar. It is known for its rich red color and is often used in jewelry designs.
The color of African ruby can vary from pinkish-red to deep, almost purple-red. This color variation is due to the different amounts of trace elements such as chromium, iron, and titanium in the crystal lattice of the stone. The most valuable African rubies are those with a deep, intense red color.
African ruby is also valued for its hardness and durability. It has a rating of 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness, which means that it is very resistant to scratches and damage. This makes it a popular choice for use in jewelry, particularly in engagement rings and other pieces that are worn frequently.
One of the advantages of African ruby is that it is more affordable than other types of ruby stone, such as Burmese ruby. However, like all gemstones, the price of African ruby can vary depending on the quality of the stone, its color, and its size.
It is important to note that African ruby, like all gemstones, can be subject to ethical concerns such as labor exploitation and environmental damage. However, many responsible sources of African ruby prioritize ethical sourcing practices and work to ensure that the mining and trade of the gemstone are done sustainably and ethically.
African ruby is a popular and affordable variety of ruby stones that is known for its rich red color and durability. While it may not have the same prestige as Burmese ruby, it remains a popular choice for use in jewelry designs. Consumers need to do their research and purchase from reputable sources that prioritize ethical sourcing practices.
4. Star Ruby
Star ruby is a unique variety of ruby stone that exhibits asterism, a six-rayed star-like pattern that appears on the surface of the stone when it is cut and polished into a cabochon shape. This effect is caused by the presence of needle-like inclusions of the mineral rutile within the stone, which reflect light in a way that creates the star pattern.
Star ruby is typically cut in a domed shape, with the base of the stone left flat to accentuate the star pattern. The intensity of the star pattern can vary depending on the quality of the stone and the angle at which it is viewed.
Star ruby is considered to be a rare and valuable gemstone, particularly if it exhibits a strong and well-defined star pattern. The most desirable star ruby stones are those with a deep, rich red color and a sharp, clear star pattern that is centered on the top of the stone.
In addition to its aesthetic appeal, star ruby is also believed to have metaphysical properties. It is said to be a powerful stone for protection, especially against negative energies and psychic attacks. It is also thought to promote courage, strength, and vitality.
Star ruby can be found in various locations around the world, including India, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. However, some of the most valuable and sought-after star ruby stones come from the Mogok region of Myanmar.
In conclusion, star ruby is a unique and valuable variety of ruby stone that is prized for its asterism, or star-like pattern. It is considered to be a rare and valuable gemstone with both aesthetic and metaphysical properties. While it can be found in various locations around the world, the most valuable and sought-after star ruby stones come from Myanmar.
5. Synthetic Ruby
Synthetic ruby is a lab-created variety of ruby stone that has the same chemical and physical properties as a natural ruby. It is created through a process called the Verneuil process, which involves melting aluminum oxide powder and allowing it to slowly cool and crystallize into a ruby crystal.
One of the advantages of synthetic ruby is that it is more affordable than natural ruby. It is also more readily available and can be produced in larger sizes and quantities than natural ruby. Synthetic ruby can be made in a range of colors, including red, pink, and orange.
While synthetic ruby is not considered to be as valuable or rare as a natural ruby, it is still a popular choice for use in jewelry and other decorative applications. It is also used in a variety of industrial applications, including as a component in laser technology and as a bearing material in high-speed machinery.
It is important to note that synthetic ruby should be disclosed as such when it is sold or used in jewelry designs. This is to ensure that consumers are fully informed about the origin of the gemstone and are not misled into believing that they are purchasing a natural ruby.
In conclusion, synthetic ruby is a lab-created variety of ruby stone that has the same chemical and physical properties as a natural ruby. While it is not as valuable or rare as a natural ruby, it is more affordable and readily available. Synthetic ruby is a popular choice for use in jewelry and other decorative applications, as well as in a variety of industrial applications. It is important to disclose the use of synthetic ruby to ensure that consumers are fully informed about the origin of the gemstone.
History and Lore of Ruby Stone
Ruby stone has a rich history and has been prized by various cultures and civilizations for thousands of years.
In ancient India, the ruby stone was believed to have magical properties and was associated with the sun. It was believed to protect its wearer from evil and was often worn by royalty and high priests.
In ancient Greece and Rome, the ruby stone was associated with love and passion and was often given as a gift to express romantic feelings.
In medieval Europe, ruby stone was believed to have healing properties and was used to treat various ailments. It was also associated with royalty and power and was often worn by kings and queens.
In Hinduism, the ruby stone was believed to have the power to awaken kundalini energy and was used in spiritual practices.
Today, the ruby stone continues to be highly valued and is often used in jewelry and decorative objects. It is also used in various healing and spiritual practices and is believed to have many beneficial properties, such as promoting vitality and courage, enhancing creativity and self-expression, and attracting abundance and prosperity.
Characteristics and Properties of Ruby Stone
Ruby stone has several unique characteristics and properties that make it highly valued and sought-after. Here are some of the most notable characteristics and properties of ruby stone:
- Color: Ruby stone is known for its vivid red color, which is caused by the presence of chromium and sometimes iron in its crystal lattice. The color can range from light pink to deep, rich red.
- Hardness: Ruby stone is a very hard mineral, with a hardness of 9 on the Mohs scale. This makes it highly resistant to scratches and abrasion.
- Clarity: The finest ruby stones are highly transparent and have minimal inclusions or flaws. However, most ruby stones have some degree of inclusions or flaws, which can affect their value.
- Cut: Ruby stones are often cut into various shapes, including oval, round, cushion, and pear. The cut can affect the stone’s appearance and value.
- Carat weight: Ruby stones are measured in carats, with larger stones being more valuable than smaller ones. The largest ruby stone ever found weighed over 400 carats.
Uses of Ruby Stone
Ruby stone has many uses, both practical and spiritual. Here are some of the most common uses of ruby stone:
- Jewelry: Ruby stone is often used in jewelry, such as rings, necklaces, and earrings. It is a popular choice for engagement rings and is often paired with diamonds or other gemstones.
- Decorative objects: Ruby stone is also used in decorative objects, such as vases, bowls, and sculptures. Its rich color and durability make it a popular choice for decorative pieces.
- Healing and spiritual practices: Ruby stone is believed to have many beneficial properties, such as promoting vitality, courage, and creativity. It is often used in healing and spiritual practices, such as meditation and crystal therapy.
- Industrial applications: Synthetic ruby is often used in industrial applications, such as lasers and watchmaking. Its hardness and durability make it ideal for these applications.
Ruby stone is a precious and highly valued gemstone that has a rich history and many uses. Whether you are a gemstone collector, jewelry designer, or spiritual practitioner, ruby stone has something to offer.
There are different types of ruby stone:
- Burmese Ruby
- Thai Ruby
- African Ruby
- Star Ruby
- Synthetic ruby
Its vivid red color, hardness, and durability make it a popular choice for jewelry and decorative objects, while its spiritual and healing properties make it a valuable tool for personal growth and transformation.
Whatever your interest in ruby stone may be, it is sure to continue to captivate and inspire for many years to come.