in ancient india, 'manek' or ruby was considered to be "ratna-raj" or
literally 'the king of all precious gems' and their mining and polishing
can be traced back as long as 3000 years. found in abundance in sri lanka,
africa and other south east asia, some of the finest rubies are still
found in burma.
rubies have corundum as their base mineral, the same as sapphire. thus,
only the red coloured sapphire is known as ruby. their hardness is just
below that of diamonds making rubies one of the toughest gemstones, and
with no cleavage, there is almost no breakage making the ruby perfect
for all kinds of jewelry.
inclusions, both visible and microscopic, are a normal characteristic
of rubies. their existence provides traces to the rubies' origin and can
be used to separate natural from synthetic/heat treated gems. inclusions
do not affect the value of the stone as long as the brilliance of the
gemstone is maintained. intensity and uniformity of the red color are
the other factors used to determine the price of rubies. uniform intense
deep red colour with naked eye clarity and high lusture rubies are the
most sought after.
it is easier to find a 100 carat flawless colourless diamond than to
find a 10 carat uniform intense red clear ruby.