The Ultimate Ruby Guide

Rubies Red as a Rose

Rubies are the gemstone of love, as you can probably guess. Ironically, rubies are known for their hardness and range in color from pink to red. Depending on the culture, rubies have a variety of symbolic meanings, including bringing luck, providing healing properties, and enhancing self-confidence.

If you really want to get into symbolism, as far as medical astrology is concerned, wearing a ruby can restore one’s vitality and even assist with eyesight problems, not to mention enhance blood circulation.

At My Jewelry Repair we love rubies so much that we were inspired to provide this Ultimate Ruby Guide. We would be pleased if you turned to this guide as an informative and comprehensive reference, whether you’re in the market for rubies or looking to care for rubies you already have.


“Enter a mine of rubies and bathe in the splendor of your own light.” ~ Rumi

What Makes a Ruby?

What is a Ruby Made of?

Rubies can be composed of corundum or aluminum oxide. When treated with extreme heat and a sizable amount of pressure, Rubies come to light below the surface of the earth.

Densely packed oxygen combined with aluminum atoms form corundum, which at first results in a colorless substance. Once those aluminum atoms get replaced by minerals or substances, this is when the gemstone has the ability to transform and take on a colorful look. Chromium is what ends up creating that deep red color we’ve come to now and adore. There are more rare orange and pink ruby shades that ferric iron teams with chromium to create.

Rubies are one of the four precious gemstones, the other three being diamonds, sapphires, and emeralds.

What Makes a Remarkable Ruby?

Rubies come in a range of prices and are among the most expensive gemstones. Record prices have reached over $1,000,000 per carat. Rubies tend to be subjected to numerous treatments, more than nearly other gemstone.

When it comes to rubies, we turn to the 4 C’s yet again…


  • Rubies are cut with care and will have a minimum amount of natural fractures.
  • Rubies tend to come in flat, hexagonal shapes.

Carat (Size)

  • Ruby size varies as far as weight and density go.
  • Finer rubies over 1 carat are quite rare.
  • Rubies come in a variety of sizes.


  • Inclusion-free rubies are very rare and experts assume to find at the very least some inclusions.
  • Ruby value will depend upon how visible inclusions are.
  • Inclusions that reduce transparency or brightness tend to lower a value of a ruby.


  • Color ends up being the most important factor of the 4 C’s.
  • Finer rubies will have a vibrant red or even a slightly purplish color.
  • Rubies that end up orange-hued or more on the purple side end up being lower in value.
Image Showcasing Information Diagram Understanding the Cuts of a Diamond
Image Showcasing Informational Diagram Diamond Cuts Chart
Image Showcasing Informational Diagram Diamond Clarity Chart

Make sure to incorporate all of the considerations mentioned above to select the perfect ruby for your needs.

To learn more about the Anatomy and Worth of a Gemstone, continue reading at Diamond Quality Factors.

A Brief History on Rubies

When Did Rubies First Appear in History?

The first rubies were purportedly discovered in Burma (Myanmar) in approximately 600 A.D. In fact, this region of the world is still a source of rubies; however, being the site of the world’s longest civil war, some people now call rubies sourced from this region “Blood Rubies” (a spin-off of the term “Blood Diamonds,” coined for diamonds originating from West Africa). Today, rubies are also mined in Vietnam, Tanzania and Mozambique.

The Ruby Across Cultures and World Religions

While the first recorded discovery of rubies was in 600 A.D., across cultures and world religions, the ruby appears in texts that predate that time, as the ruby holds special significance for many cultures and world religions.

Some examples:

  • In the wisdom tradition within Judaism, rubies have long been equated with wisdom (such as in the Book of Proverbs).
  • In the Judeo-Christian tradition, the ruby is mentioned throughout this tradition’s sacred text. In the closing book of the Bible, it reads: the “one who sat there [on the throne] had the appearance of jasper and ruby” (the Book of Revelation, chapter 4, verse 3).
  • In the language of Sanskrit — the ancient language of Hinduism that was used as a vehicle of communication between the Hindu celestial gods and the people — the ruby is called Ratnaraj, or “king of precious stones.” There is no higher or more exalted stone than the ruby.

How to Care for Your Rubies

Keeping the Sparkle and the Brilliance

Rubies are tough gemstones and can stand up to heat, light, and even a lot of chemicals. Rubies can even withstand such cleaning treatments as ultrasonic as well as steam cleaning.

However, rubies that have fractures and cavities should be polished with a dampened cloth. Use warm, soapy water to soak, then use whatever soft cloth you decide to provide the final polish.

  • You can clean and polish your rubies once a week.
  • You can also soak your ruby jewelry. If you have a finer gemstone, feel free to use a soft brush (as in a toothbrush with soft bristles) and be gentle as you remove dirt and oil.
  • If you’re using a sink, make sure that you remember to bock the drain — it will save you from potential heartache and inconvenience.

Make sure to stay away from products like toothpaste and other strong cleaning agents. Even though rubies are durable,  these are still abrasive products.


We recommend that you enlist professional services to have your ruby jewelry cleaned, polished, and inspected. Do this every six months if you can.

My Jewelry Repair remains your go-to source for your cleaning, polishing, and inspection service needs. We will also inspect the setting (mounting) to ensure your item is in great condition. We’ll help you keep your rubies looking brand new.

Picking Your Perfect Ruby

Sparkling Brilliance that Perfectly Fits Your Personality

Ruby characteristics and the jewelry that encompasses them should reflect your personality .

  • Consider what you’re incorporating rubies with — is it a ring, a tennis bracelet, a necklace, or earrings?
  • Consider which precious metal you prefer (and which looks the most aesthetically pleasing)
  • Think about the cut that you want and what looks best to you.
  • Is the ruby going to be featured alone or will the piece of jewelry have side-stones accompanying the ruby?

Natural vs. Lab-Created

What is Considered “Real” and What is Considered “Fake” When it Comes to Rubies?

Lab-created gemstones are not uncommon these days and rubies are no exception. Lab-created rubies are crafted by a combination of certain minerals, which, again, is what helps to create a fiery red color.

Lastly, flame fusion rubies are among the most inexpensive when it comes to synthetic or lab created rubies. These are also the quickest to produce. Differences between lab-created and authentic rubies can generally only be identified by an expert.

Ruby Clean & Polish
Clean & Polish Services “A basic clean, polish, and inspection is part of the routine care and maintenance needed to keep your jewelry looking like new. The inspection process includes looking for loose stones, bent prongs, and any damage to the metal or stones that need to be repaired.”
Ruby Stone Setting Repair
Stone Setting Repair “A stone setting repair can be a simple re-tipping of a worn prong (which is considered routine care and maintenance) or the complete rebuilding/replacing of a damaged prong. In the case of severe damage, the entire head of the ring may need to be replaced. Regardless of whether or not the prongs are compromised due to normal wear and tear or a result of accidental damage, we can provide the routine care and maintenance in order to ensure you do not lose a stone in your setting.”
Ruby Replacement
Ruby Replacement Services “The process of a Ruby Replacement is simple enough, yet requires trained eyes to be able to make a flawless switch. We aim to leave no trace of our work, which means not only will your setting be perfected, but the ruby we choose will complete your jewelry piece effortlessly.”
Invisible Set Ruby Repair
Invisible Setting Repairs “A centuries-old, originally French technique, invisible set gemstone jewelry (aka the Invisible Setting), is one of the most beautiful setting types available. It involves the process of setting stones side-by-side, hiding the metalwork underneath, which can give the appearance of a larger stone. This technique creates an uninterrupted flow in the gemstones, thus producing the coveted “Invisible Setting”. We hand-select master jewelers who not only know how to perform an invisible setting repair but are specialists in the art of this technique. Your special accessory will be placed in the hands of a professional who appreciates the difficult process of making your invisibly set jewelry as perfect as possible.” The Glue Method is not a practice we subscribe to at My Jewelry Repair.

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