Ruby

MRS. SEEMA A. ATHAVALE

CHIEF GEMOLOGIST, GSI

M.Sc., D.G. FGA (UK),

GRADUATE PEARL GIA (USA),

Marine water pearl culture technician, Tuticorin (CMFRI), Tamil Nadu, India.

Introduction:

According to the ancient scripts of Sanskrit, both kuruvinda and padmaraga are names for ruby. Kuruvinda refers to rubies of inferior color and clarity while padmaraga denotes rubies that possess the finest (purest, unmixed) color and top crystal clarity. Rubies of the finest quality are called padmaraga or lotus-hued while poorer quality rubies are referred to simply as kuruvinda or corundum. It may also be noted here that the English name for corundum was derived from the ancient Sanskrit word kuruvindam.

The name Ruby is derived from the Latin word ruber meaning “red.” Ruby is available in the color ranges from bright red to dark reddish-brown. Ruby is also known as Ratnaraj or the King of Gemstones.

Ruby is the gemstone of the Sun or Surya Graha as known in Vedic Literature.

Ruby is the birthstone for July as per the International calendar.

The prices of rubies are primarily determined by their color. Ruby is the most valuable of all gemstones.

Species:

Corundum

*Ruby is the red variety of Corundum (Aluminum Oxide)

Formation:

Rubies are found in metamorphic rock types such as gneiss and schist, and alluvial gem gravel deposits mostly.

Localities:

Australia, Kenya, Madagascar, Myanmar (Burma), Tanzania, Thailand (Siam), Sri Lanka (Ceylon), Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Vietnam, India, etc.

Properties:

Ruby is a relatively hard gemstone i.e scratch resistance. It stands at 9 on Mohs scale of relative hardness. Ruby has excellent toughness i.e when it is struck it does not break easily. So it makes a great choice for daily wear, especially in rings.

Ruby Simulants or Look-a-Like:

Spinel, Red glass, Rubellite (Red Tourmaline), Almandine –Pyrope garnets

Ruby Quality Factors:

Three important ruby quality factors that affect the value are color, clarity, and quality of cut. Ruby with high clarity, rich color and good cut fetches more value.

Care and Caution:

  • Avoid direct heat if it is filled with artificial material
  • Avoid using acids on fracture-filled rubies
  • Avoid using ultrasonic and steam cleaners if the stone is heavily fractured or lead-glass filled
  • Ultrasonic and steam cleaners are usually safe for untreated and heat-treated stones
  • Avoid polishing coated stones
  • Fracture or cavity filled rubies and dyed rubies can be damaged by mild acids like lemon juice so such material should be cleaned with a damp cloth only

 * A reputed gemological lab can advise if the material has been treated

Common Treatments:

To improve the quality of its color, rubies are commonly heat treated. This treatment removes brown and blue tones from stones.

Fractures and cavities may be filled with an artificial material as a result of the heat treatment process.

Because of their poor clarity, Indian star rubies are often dyed and oiled.

About the author

Debbie Azar

Debbie Azar is an experienced executive with extensive knowledge of the jewelry and gem lab industries. Her entrepreneurial skills and clarity of vision have helped GSI achieve rapid and continuous growth worldwide.

She began her industry career by starting her own successful costume jewelry business. She then expanded her knowledge of the industry with sales, marketing and business development roles at several companies. In 2005, she joined Mark Gershburg to establish GSI. Ms. Azar is an active member of myriad industry organizations and charities; she currently serves as a Board Member of Jewelers for Children. She is also a Forbes Business Council member.

Her strengths include working directly with retail chains and stores to help build their business and brands. She is widely known in the industry for her commitment to meeting customer needs.

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GSI is headquartered in New York, NY. It has 13 laboratories on four continents and in a number of countries: the United States, India, Dubai, Israel, Belgium, Hong Kong, and Botswana. This makes GSI one of the largest independent gemological organizations in the world.

Is there a difference between grading reports issued by different GSI laboratories?

All GSI laboratories grade using the same methods and adhere to the same standards. Every laboratory is staffed with highly trained professionals who have years of grading experience and an extensive gemological background.

What does it mean when a sales associate tells me my diamond is “GSI Certified” or is accompanied by a “GSI Certificate”?

The phrases “GSI Certificate” and “GSI Certified” are industry shorthand for GSI grading or identification reports. What this means to you is that expert gemologists and trained professionals meticulously evaluated the item. When your diamond, jewelry or gemstone is accompanied by a GSI grading report, you can be completely confident in the accuracy and objectivity of the evaluation.

Where can I find “GSI Certified Diamonds”?

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What are the 4Cs

A beautiful diamond is one of nature’s most mesmerizing creations. But how do you objectively judge the quality of the gem? The 4Cs – Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat Weight – are the universal standard for doing this.

Is there anything beyond the 4Cs?

The 4Cs are an essential and important description of a diamond’s characteristics. But there is a considerable amount of detailed information behind each “C” along with other qualities of a diamond that affect its beauty, such as fluorescence, light performance and more.

How much do you need to know? That’s up to you, but knowing the 4Cs is almost essential.

What does a GSI diamond grading report look like?

GSI offers a number of grading reports (often referred to as “GSI Certificates”). You can see samples of them by browsing the Grading Reports page on our website.

What does a GSI colored diamond grading report look like?

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What does a GSI Colored stone report look like?

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How does a GSI grading report compare to other laboratories that issue grading reports?

It is our policy not to comment on other laboratories. However, know that GSI adheres to the highest ethical standards. We do this in a number of ways:

  • Rotating gemologists to our different labs
  • Continuously upgrading our proprietary grading software to ensure full compliance with international grading standards
  • Having our gemological research department constantly investigate new developments in the industry, which informs the grading process

What’s the difference between a “GSI Certificate” and a “GSI Diamond Grading Report”?

GSI issues a variety of grading and identification reports. Consumers and industry professionals often call these reports “GSI Certificates”.

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