Gems: Ruby

Example of jewelry made from ruby

In Sanskrit, ruby is ratnaraj, meaning the King of Gems.

It is one of the most desired stones- for its deep red color, hardness (second only to diamonds), and rarity. The red coloring comes from traces of chromium. The more chromium, the redder the stone. Throughout history, rubies have signified love, passion, health, power, and youthfulness.

Facts about Ruby:

  • Ruby is the birthstone for July and the anniversary stone for the 15th and 40th years.
  • Ruby is in the same mineral family as sapphire: corundum
  • Available as natural and synthetic.
  • Almost all rubies have imperfections; some imperfections even add to a ruby’s value. In fact, inclusions are often used to identify a ruby as authentic.
  • Rubies from Myanmar, the Himalayas, and northern Vietnam typically form in marble. Due to the marble’s low iron content, these rubies lack iron, which intensifies the red color and allows for red fluorescence even in sunlight. This extra glow adds to their value.
  • Rubies are used in jewelry, as well as watchmaking, medical instruments, and lasers.

  • Mohs harness level: 9.
  • Heating is an acceptable treatment in the industry and used to remove the purple hue and tiny inclusions known as “silks”.
  • Care: Rubies can be cleaned with warm, soapy water and a soft toothbrush. The ulrta-sonic and steam cleaning can be used if the ruby is untreated or heat-treated.
  • Chemical formula: AI2O3
  • Source:,
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