Ruby is named because of its red colour from the Latin ruber. In the nineteenth century ruby along with sapphire was recognised as being part of the corundum species. Before this time red spinel and red garnet were called and sold as ‘Ruby’. A prime example of this is found in the English Imperial State Crown, named Cullinan II the Black Princes Ruby it is in fact an uncut red spinel.
The red colour of each ruby varies with every individual deposit of the gem. The designation of Burma or Siam does not refer to the origin as you would think but to the quality of the stone. The most desirable colour for a ruby is pigeons blood Pure red with a hint of blue. Chromium gives the corundum its colour and iron creates more blue and brown tones. Surprisingly a rough ruby that is dull and greasy can produce the same lustre as a diamond when cut. Rubies often have an uneven colour distributed throughout the corundum in stripes or spots. This makes it very hard to obtain a large ruby with perfect colour throughout the stone. Large rubies are exceptionally expensive. A ruby is exceptionally difficult to cut and set. Each stone has a direction that it needs to be cut in. Although rubies are the second hardest mineral after diamonds, they need to be treated with extreme care. Inclusions are common in ruby, but these inclusions do not mean a lower quality of stone unlike a diamond. Inclusions can often show the difference in a natural or synthetic stone. The type of inclusion will often indicate the area the stone has been sourced from.
Some of the most famous deposits of ruby can be found in Burma, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and Tanzania. Other significant producers are Cambodia, Afghanistan, Madagascar, India and the United States. Often the rubies are cut in the country they were found in and the cutters aim for the maximum weight for sale. This is not always suitable for use commercially so the stones are often re-cut by dealers in other countries. Transparent clear clarity is cut into step cut and brilliant cut stones, less clear stones are cabochon cut or carved. Rubies have been used as the most important technical application of natural stone in watch making and watch bearings, this traditional method is used by the worlds most famous watch makers including Rolex, Rada, Patek Philippe, Breitling, and Tag Heuer to name just a few.
Synthetic rubies were first produced by a French Chemist AV Verneuil in 1888. The process used was a flame fusion process and is still used today in the production of synthetic rubies, sapphires and spinels.
Ruby is the birthstone for July, the stone for Tuesday and the stone for the zodiac sign Capricorn & Cancer. In 1983 Uyldert assigned ruby to the planet Mars. In medical practice ruby was thought to heal toenails, varicose veins and sciatica.
ILUVM are to feature synthetic ruby for spring 2006. Our ruby stones are high AAA grade cubic zirconia. Some of our lines now in with synthetic ruby are Emmay pendant, three white CZ with a feature red stone at the top, and Rosamond earrings white CZ and round cut ruby coloured stone. Gucci are featuring heavily on ruby red in 2006 autumn / winter collection with many of the other designers following suit. Ruby is also very much in demand by the 2006 bridal collections; with claret red and black featuring heavily in many bridal shows and shops. With a classic influence and high fashion demand for the stone keep clicking back to see what we have added to the range.
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