Education and Tid-Bits: Ruby• Science o Of the species, Corundum, which is made up of 2 of the most common elements on Earth, aluminum and oxygen. The trace element chromium cause the red hue in rubies. o Rating a 9 on the MOHs hardness scale making it desirable for everyday wear second only to the diamond.• General Info o Birthstone for the month of July. o Widely considered the most valuable of the corundum species. Color being the main factor in pricing. Garnering the highest per carat price. o The U.S. is one of the largest importers of rubies. o Unlike other gemstones, very rare to find stones over 20 carats.• History o Early cultures treasured ruby’s color for the likeness to the blood giving them life. In Sanskrit, the name is ratnaraj meaning “King of Precious Stones”. o Rubies were often offered to Krishna by emperors seeking rebirth. And is mentioned in the bible multiple times in connection with beauty and wisdom. • Famous pieces o Royalty and Hollywood Elite have regularly displayed some of the most beautiful jewelry pieces including Elizabeth Taylor’s Christmas present for Richard Burton, an 8.24 carat ruby and diamond ring that auctions off for $510,000 per carat. o An infamous jewelry heist in 1964 where the 100.32 carat star ruby disappeared from the American Museum of National History along with many other one of a kind pieces. o The Carmen Lúcia Ruby a 23.1 carat ring was donated to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. Mined in the Mogok Region of Myanmar in 1930’s known as the most beautiful ruby in the world.• Cut, Color, Treatment o Color varies from orangey-red to purplish-red. With the most desirable being Pigeons Blood Red, a deep strong red. o Thai, Cambodian, and Madagascar rubies are all basalt-hosted, meaning they have higher amounts of iron, less bright and less fluorescence. o Rubies come in a range of cuts but most commonly are found in cushion, and oval cuts, with brilliant cut crowns and step cut pavilions. o The chromium causing the red hue also causes fluorescence which adds to the color intensity. The more chromium present the richer the red. Sometimes iron is also present which inhibits the fluorescence causing the stone to appear darker. o Almost all rubies are heat treated to intensify color or decrease visibility of inclusions. Other treatments include fracture or cavity filling, dyeing and surface diffusion. o Rubies are classified into 4 categories Natural (no treatment) Heated, no residue Heated, with residue Fracture Filled• Mining o Rubies mined from secondary sources collecting in alluvial gravel beds. o To control mining, miners and profit, and to protect the land, many governments do not support mechanized mining including Cambodia and Sri Lanka leading to less efficient production. o Mogok Myanmar is the most important historical mining source for ruby. Having produced and supplied much of the world’s ruby dating back to the 15th century. Over mining and political instability has left the region depleted. o Thailand became a major ruby supplier when the Myanmar (then Burma) supply fell. As of the late 90’s Thai supply has also fallen victim to over mining. Remains a hub for colored gem stones with most of the world’s rough supply coming through the country either for cutting or treating o Cambodian production increased significantly when the Khmer Rouge fell. The basalt hosted gems are similar in color and quality to those from Thailand. Pailin, the western province bordering Thailand was the main source. o Madagascar had a huge corundum rush in 1998 roughly 40,000 miners flocked to the area to recover ruby and sapphire rough from both eluvial and alluvial deposits. o Sri Lanka, and Vietnam are also major players in the corundum supply game. o Corundum rich land in Kenya and Tanzania, but quality is poor and less than 5% is usable.