Natural Ruby Diamond Wedding Set 18K Rose Gold Real Gemstone
Ruby-red means passion
Red for ruby. Ruby-red. The most important thing about this
precious stone is its colour. It was not for no reason that the
name 'ruby' was derived from the Latin word 'rubens', meaning
'red'. The red of the ruby is incomparable: warm and fiery. Two
magical elements are rubyassociated with the symbolism of this
colour: fire and blood, implying warmth and life for mankind.
So ruby-red is not just any old colour, no, it is absolutely
undiluted, hot, passionate, powerful colour. Like no other
gemstone, the ruby is the perfect way to express powerful feelings.
Instead of symbolising a calm, controlled affection, a ring set
with a precious ruby bears witness to that passionate, unbridled
love that people can feel for each other.
Traditional Birthstones - Ruby (July)
Ruby celebrates the birthday of those born in the Month of July.
The ancient lapidaries (books that described the physical and
metaphysical aspects of gems) spend considerable time with ruby.
"Those be rubies, fairy favors:" a line from Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dreamprovided the theme for Lincoln (Nebraska) Gem and Mineral Club's
40th anniversary show in 1998. Shakespeare mentioned rubies several
times in his various writings and you are referred to the classic
reference by George Frederick Kunz for the remainder of these. So
not only is ruby the stone to celebrate July's births but it is
also the stone to celebrate the 40th anniversary of special
Fine rubies are probably one of the world's rarest gems. If you
were to walk into any jewelry store, the jeweler could probably
show you many fine diamonds but probably only a few fine rubies.
Rubies are a red to orange-red to purple-red variety of the mineral
corundum, aluminum oxide (Al2O3). Ruby and its companion variety of
corundum, sapphire, are very hard---9 on Mohs scale of 10. Only
diamonds and a few manufactured abrasives such as boron carbide and
silicon carbide are harder.
Ruby crystallizes in the hexagonal system---well-formed crystals
often appear to be tiny barrels. There are three crystallographic
axes of equal length that intersect one another at 120oand a fourth
longer axis that is perpendicular to the other three. Ruby as all
other varieties of corundum is very tough. It shows no cleavage but
the crystals sometimes exhibit a basal parting. Rubies are fairly
dense---the specific gravity ranges from 3.95 to 4.10 but most is
almost exactly 4.00.
Because of its high specific gravity rubies that come from alluvial
sources such as Sri Lanka and Burma are collected in a deep
cone-like separator. Gravel and water are placed in the cone and
the cone is rotated. Minerals with low specific gravity such as
quartz, mica and calcite wash out of the cone as it is rotated. The
miner will finish with an aggregate of higher specific gravity
minerals near the vertex of the cone. If the miner is fortunate, a
few of these stones might prove to be rubies. Red spinel may also
be included in these heavy minerals but they are easily separated
from ruby by both physical and optical properties.
Since ruby crystallizes in the hexagonal system it has two
refractive indexes, the numerical measures of how much a beam of
light is refracted (bent) and slowed down when it enters the
crystal. These range from the extraordinary ray (the one that
varies) of 1.762 on the low end to the ordinary ray (the one that
remains fixed) of 1.770 on the high end. Since the stone has only
one index of refraction that remains fixed (the optic axis), it is
said to be uniaxial. Since the lower refractive index varies upward
to meet the higher, the stone is said to be negative. Ruby is said
to be uniaxial negative.
Rubies may be dichroic---that is, one wavelength of light is
transmitted along a crystallographic axis while another wavelength
may be absorbed along the same axis. A small instrument called a
dichroscope is needed to detect dichroism. A dichroscope may be
made with a pair of calcite prisms that are oriented to take
advantage of the strong birefringence (numerical differences in
refractive indexes) of this mineral. One of the calcite prisms will
transmit a certain wavelength and the other will absorb it. Thus,
the viewer sees two different colors in the two windows of the
dichroscope. A simple dichroscope can be constructed by orienting
two pieces of polaroid material perpendicular to one another. The
Polaroid separates the two beams just like the calcite prisms do.
Color is the most important character of a ruby when it comes to a
jeweler properly representing the stone. All rubies must be shades
of red, orange- red, or purple red. There is no such thing as a
pink ruby. By definition pink corundum is a sapphire. There are
standard color sets such as those manufactured by PantoneTM that
will guide the jeweler or hobbyist in determining where rubies
leave off and where sapphires begin so far as color is concerned. I
utilize such a set in my gem stone classes at UN-L. It quickly
clears up any distinctions for the students.
There are not many stones that can be confused with a ruby (spinel
has a much lower RI and tourmaline is strongly doubly refractive)
and the biggest problem the jeweler or hobbyist usually faces with
these stones is separating the natural from the synthetic stone. In
earlier times all of the synthetic rubies were made by the flame
fusion process where powdered aluminum was passed through a very
hot gas flame. The Aluminum melted and combined with Oxygen to
produce synthetic corundum. These stones all had curved growth
lines, gas bubbles and flecks of aluminum powder in them. They were
easy to spot. Such is not the case now. There are some synthetic
(now called created) rubies that are grown in bombs or crucibles of
various kinds that are much more difficult to detect. Diffusion
treatment may impart a red to colorless or pale corundum.
KashanTM rubies are a flame grown form---as I write this I am
looking at an example with veils, step-like and rhomboid crystal
inclusions. DourosTM synthetic rubies are produced in Greece and
have been marketed only since about 1995. I recently obtained a
piece of ChakravortyTM ruby with only the word of the dealer
telling me that it contains about 15% natural ruby.
The pages of the last decade of Gems and Gemology and its 15 year Index (1996) show many kinds of synthetic rubies,
as well as other gems, have come onto the market. Gemological
Institute of America now offers a course on detecting natural,
synthetic and treated gems. Where curved growth lines and bubbles
once sufficed to separate a natural from a synthetic ruby, new
technologies have now forced the jeweler and the hobbyist to learn
a whole new set of skills to determine the nature of the stone.