Precious Gemstone Information-Ruby

What is Ruby Gemstone and Mineral?

A Ruby is a precious and one of the expensive gemstone. Its color comes usually from pink to red, red with a purple hue and pink with a red/orange tone etc. This is the variety of corundum gems and mineral.  The formula is aluminum oxide. One of the other corundum variety is sapphire. Ruby is the one and only traditional gem along with relative valuable gemstones such as sapphire, emerald, and diamond. The ruby gemstone is determined by clarity, cut and the color along with carat weight. This affects its value. The most popular and valuable red shade is called pigeon blood and red blood ruby. It is a the most desirable gem due to its hardness, durability, luster, and rarity. Transparent rubies of large sizes are even rare than a diamonds.

What are Ruby Properties?

Chemical Formula Al2O3 (aluminum oxide)
Colour Red, Pink, Orangish pink, purplish pink
Hardness 9
S.G 3.9 - 4
Refractive Index 1.757-1.779
Streak White
Crystallography Hexagonal
Luster Vitreous to subadamantine.
Cleavage None
Transparency transparent to opaque
Tenacity Brittle
Fracture Conchoidal, splintery
Pleochroism strong
Phenomena Asterism
Ultraviolet fluorescence red under longwave

Read this: 10 Simple Tests For Identifying Minerals

Absorption Spectrum

A distinctive spectrum; a strong red doublet at 6942/6928 is notable, and this may reverse and become fluorescent. Weaker lines at 6680 and 6592.


Natural rubies have following type inclusions:-

  1. silk
  2. rutile needles which usually cross at a 60-degree angle
  3. Zircon crystals with a halo of dark fractures
  4.  fingerprints
  5. hexagonal growth lines
  6. color zoning.

How the Ruby Gemstone get its color?

Chromium becomes the cause of ruby color. Ruby is a variety of corundum, the formula of which is aluminum oxide.

Locations of ruby gemstones in the World

Ruby is found mostly in the following locations.

  1. Thailand
  2. Cambodia
  3. Afghanistan
  4. Pakistan Kashmir Ruby
  5. Australia
  6. Brazil
  7. Namibia
  8. Japan
  9. Scotland
  10. Madagascar
  11. Burma
  12. Nepal
  13. Tajikistan
  14. Vietnam
  15. Tanzania

What is a history of precious ruby gemstone?

Rubies have been extracted by ancient cultures. It has precious gemstones since long. People have been liking it due to its beautiful reddish hue and brightness. It has been linked with passion, beauty, wisdom, and love. In Indian civilization, ruby has been given the name as "ratnaraj" which means "king of precious stones". The name of ruby has been in Holy religious books such as Quran in Topic "Al Rehman". It has been given the name " yaqut" which means red stone.

Rubies are among the hardest stone. They are famous for their durability, hardness, and density. This reason makes them the gem of jewels in value. Ruby has been famous for many centuries. People did not separate this gem from other gemstones such as pyrope garnets, red tourmaline, and spinels prior to 1800's.

Ruby comes out in many sizes from small to big. It has been the jewel of royal families. For example, the Black Prince Ruby and the Burmese Ruby Tiara for Queen Elizabeth.

Ruby name derives from the word “rubber” which means red. The word has been evolving over time. Rubies are included among top 3 gemstones and minerals which are sapphire and green emerald stones. Rubies are used in expensive jewelry.

History of Ruby Gemstone and Mineral-

By The Romans

Ancient Romans has been seeing rubies from many prospectives. Pliny who is the ancient Roman author calls the ruby as Lychnis. He further states that Chaldeans used to consider the Star Ruby as the most powerful gem which protects from evil. People used to think that ruby rock and mineral used to tell the forthcoming danger if it ever lost its brilliance and colour. It has been a common belief in Europe.

 By The Middle Ages

A German author during his traveling with wife in 1600 noticed about the effects of ruby. He says that loss of his wife indicated the threatened evil. During this event, Ruby lost the brilliance and color. However, after his wife died, ruby regained its brilliance and color.

Queen Catherine of Aragon is said to have a ring set with a ruby. She was 2nd wife of King Henry VIII.

There is another belief about ruby stone is that it protects the body from poison, plague, fevers. It secures love, friendship, health, happiness and help in driving away evil dreams and spirits.

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