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Jewelry Articles

Ruby Gemstones

All about Rubies and Where They Come From
By Jeremy Foster
 "HOT" Red Ruby Bracelet - One of a kind

Which is the most beautiful Ruby?
This an excellent question - after all, a ruby may show very different shades of red depending on its origin. The range of the different reds is quite considerable; compared to hotel categories, one might say they range from luxury accommodation to simple and plain inns. For example, if the gemstone experts talk about a Burmese Ruby, this indicates the top luxury category, but Burmese rubies are not necessarilly from Burma. Instead, it means that the colour of said Ruby is the typical shade originally shown by stones from the famous occurrences in Burma, nowadays called Myanmar: namely a satiated red with a slightly bluish hue (sometimes "dove-blood-red" is also used, but the term "Burma-colour" is far more precise). By hard labour gemstones are brought to daylight in the "valley of Rubies", stones with a fascinating brilliance second to none. Unfortunately, fine qualities are quite scarce here, too. The colour of Burma Ruby is considered to be exceptionally vivid. It is said to display its unique brilliance in any light, natural or artificial.

The most important Ruby occurrences of the nineties was at the small city of Mong Hsu in the North-East of Myanmar. Originally these rubies were hardly considered adequate to be used for jewellery - Mong Hsu Ruby crystals show two colours when untreated: a purple to blackish core and a bright red brim. But when it was discovered that the dark core would disappear after heat treatment leaving only the deep red color, the Rubies from Mong Hsu found their way to the jewellery market. Today, the Mong Hsu gemstone mines are still among the most important Ruby suppliers, offering heat-treated Rubies in commercial qualities and sizes between 0.5 and 3 carats.



Ruby occurrences exist also in the neighbouring country of Vietnam, near the Chinese border. Rubies of Vietnamese origin generally display a slightly purplish hue. Rubies from Thailand, another classical supplier of Rubies, however, produces Rubies which are often dark red tending towards brown. This "Siam colour" (an elegantly modulated deep red) is considered almost as beautiful in Rubies as the Burma-colour, and is especially cherished in the USA. The Ceylon Rubies, which are quite scarce nowadays, are mainly light red, like ripe raspberries.

Other Ruby occurrences are located in Northern Pakistan, Cashmere, Tadchikistan, Laos, Nepal, and Afghanistan. But Rubies are also produced in India, where relatively large Ruby crystals were discovered, which are unfortunately full of inclusions, but nevertheless excellently suited to be cut into Ruby beads or cabochons.

Currently, East Africa has become an issue concerning Ruby occurrences. Rubies from Kenya and Tanzania managed to surprise everybody (including the experts) when they were discovered in the sixties. The reason for the surprise was their remarkably beautiful coloration (which may vary from light to dark red), but clear Rubies of good colour and size are rarely found. Usually the qualities mined are more or less average.

No Matter what ruby you choose for a piece of custom jewelry they all look incredibly good in gold or silver! Rubies can be found in cabochons or faceted gems or even free form gem rubies.

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