R is for Ruby
Known as the King of Gems, the Ruby is perhaps the rarest and most precious of all colored gemstones.
Rubies are classified as one of the most precious gemstones out of 4 in the world excluding diamonds.
There are a variety of mineral corundum. A crystalline from aluminum oxide. This mineral (ruby) is the hardest mineral after diamonds making it the 2nd hardest at 9.0. They are able to be used in all sorts of jewelry making because of their hardness and durability.
According to GIA (Gemological Institute of America) Mozambique rubies currently account for 50% of the world’s ruby production. The ruby deposits in Mozambique are considered to be the largest gemstone deposits in recent decades.
Rubies as with other gemstones are graded using the criteria of the 4 C’s, color, cut, clarity and carat. Rubies are also evaluated on their geographic origin. Color and clarity determine pricing for rubies. The most valuable rubies are called “blood red” or “pigeon blood”. The world’s most expensive ruby is the “Sunrise Ruby”.
All rubies have imperfections in them, including color impurities and inclusions of rutile needles known as silk. Gemologist use these needles to distinguish a natural ruby from an imitation, synthetic or lab created.
Rubies have always been held in the highest esteem in Asian countries as they were used on ornamental armor, scabbards, and harnesses of Nobles in China and India.