rubyRuby, a member of the Corundum species, is the gemstone for the month of July. The name ruby comes from the Latin word rubber, which means “red.” The ruby has accumulated a host of legends over the centuries. In Sanskrit (the ancient sacred language of India), one of the terms for ruby is ratnaraj, meaning “King of Gems.” Many medieval Europeans wore rubies to guarantee health, wealth, wisdom, and success in love. The ruby is the world’s best-known and best-loved red gem.

Large, fine-quality rubies are extremely rare and valuable. The most expensive ruby color is a deep, pure, vivid red. Stones a little pinkish, purplish, or orangey red are also considered rubies, but gem and jewelry professionals make careful distinction between ruby and pink, purple and orange sapphire. (Ruby and sapphire are both corundum varieties.)

Ruby is mined throughout Southeast Asia. While Thailand and Myanmar (Burma) produce the finest qualities of rubies, Sri Lanka and Africa also produce beautiful stones.

Ruby - The Rarest Gemstone of All

Ruby is all about passion - penetrating the heart with color and fire like no other gemstone. Unmatched in legend and seldom rivaled in beauty, it combines the energy of light with the power of fire into a single breathtaking scarlet colored gem. Recognized as the world’s most valued gemstone for centuries, ruby holds the undisputed title as the “King of Gems.”

Ruby possesses a color like no other red gemstone. At its finest, the purity of its burning crimson hue inspires us with love and desire. Rubies come in a variety of colors ranging from purplish red to orangey red. Ruby belongs to the same mineral family as sapphire, but if a gem is too light in tone or too purple or orange in hue, it is called a fancy sapphire and not a ruby. The most sought-after rubies are pure red or red with a very slight pinkish undertone. Very fine quality rubies, especially in sizes over 3 carats, are incredibly rare and valuable - much rarer than top quality colorless diamonds.


Some of the finest rubies in the world are mined in Myanmar. Other important sources include Kenya, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand and Vietnam.


Ruby is routinely heat treated to improve its appearance. Heat enhanced rubies are extremely stable. Some rubies may have a glasslike residue left in surface-reaching fissures after they are heated. This glasslike material is not stable, and care should be exercised during the cleaning process.


Rubies are both a hard and durable and can by cleaned using an ultrasonic cleaning machine, any commercial jewelry cleaner or mild soap and lukewarm water using a soft brush. Rubies with a glasslike residue in surface-reaching fractures should not be cleaned with an ultrasonic or steam machine. Be sure to rinse and dry your jewelry thoroughly after cleaning.

Content provided courtesy of GIA & Jewelers of America