“Ruby, Ruby, Ruby, Ruby! Nah nah nah nahnahna…. Roooooby, Don’t take your love to town.”
“Goodbye Ruby Tuesday, who could hang a name on you, when you smile with every new day…. ”
Have we got your foot tapping yet?!
Hang on a minute! It’s even the name for computer programming language!
However, it’s the corundum gemstone we’re interested in. If, like our Vicki you have a July birthday, you are lucky enough to have ruby as your birthstone & it really is one the most gorgeous!
Ruby is one of the cardinal gemstones, that is one of the five – along with Amethyst, Diamond, Sapphire & Emerald – that have been considered the most precious, dating back into the mists of time and used ceremonially or for religious purposes.
There are records of trading rubies along the North Silk Road westwards from China, dating back to 200 BC. The cardinal gemstones range across the colour spectrum, with ruby varying from pink to a blood red colour, which comes from the chromium content in the aluminium oxide or corundum. The most valuable rubies are the deep red or ‘pigeon blood’ coloured ones. (Really? Pigeon blood? The things you discover!)
Having now just googled ‘pigeon blood ruby’ Vicki has discovered a lovely birthday gift for herself – a £72,000.00 2 carat 1935 Burmese ruby ring – CRIKEY!!! Perhaps if she clicks the heels together on her ruby slippers and utters ‘there’s no place like home’ she’ll get lucky like Dorothy! (Don’t hold your breath Vix!)
The world’s most expensive ruby, the Sunrise Ruby, is also the world’s most expensive coloured gemstone and most expensive gemstone other than a diamond sold at an auction in Switzerland to an anonymous buyer in 2015 for $30 million – OUCH!
The world’s largest mined ruby, the Liberty Bell Ruby, so called as it was sculpted into a miniature of the Liberty Bell, weighed in at 4 lbs & was eight and a half thousand carats and worth $2 million. We say ‘was’ as it was stolen in 2011 and police have little hope of tracing it, in spite of arresting four for the heist.
Factors considered in valuing rubies include geographic origin as well as the four Cs traditional associated with diamonds – colour, clarity, cut & carat. Some of the world’s finest stones originate from Myanmar (previously Burma.)
Rubies are pretty tough – second only to diamond at 9 on the Mohs scale but you need to be aware they are brittle. Untreated high quality stones command a very high price, so most stones used in jewellery making are now colour treated in some way. All rubies have naturally occurring imperfections, inclusions and rutiles, known as ‘silk’ and gemologists use these to distinguish between real and fabricated/man-made gemstones.
Ruby does seem to have infiltrated our culture in so many ways, from a girl’s name to pop songs and associated with love – celebrating the 40th Wedding anniversary.
Purported to have a goodly number of beneficial effects on wearers, Indians call ruby the Ratnanayaka or Lord of the gemstones and Hindus traditionally classified rubies with a caste system.
Due to the high cost of rubies, many are laboratory made. These synthetic stones are composed of similar chemical components to mined stones, contain fewer inclusions and have better clarity than naturally occurring stones. They can be purchased at a fraction of the cost, which make them very attractive.
Here at eclectica we sell Siberian ruby jewellery, so named as the process of cultivating the gemstones was said to have been developed in Siberia. The gemstones in our rubies are cultured, which means they are true gemstones which have been cultivated in a gemstone laboratory.
The process was developed in the late 1800’s so the gemstones could be used in industrial processes. Since then the process has been developed further to ensure that the gemstones have a more superior quality than the natural stones, making them perfect for use in faceted jewellery.
All of our pieces are set in Sterling Silver and finished with a fine plate of Rhodium (sometimes called white gold) which means your pieces will stay beautifully sparkly!
Happy July Birthdays!