From young sweet girls turned fabulous grown women, we've carried one undeniable truth with us as we've matured – the ruby is one of the most amazing gemstones in our jewellery boxes. For many girls, the obsession started when they caught their first glimpse of this glittery red gem in "The Wizard of Oz". Dorothy tapped her ruby slippers together in hopes of returning home and we tapped our shoes together hoping they'd turn into rubies.
It's a gem that has long been associated with beauty, hence why it became a popular name for beautiful young girls and has even worked its way into cosmetic labels like ruby red lipstick or dazzling ruby nail polish.
We think that every girl deserves to learn a little bit about her favourite gem – and there's a lot to know about the ruby, so let's jump right in.
How a ruby becomes ruby red
Let's begin by learning about the properties that make a ruby the stunning gem that it is. This gemstone comes from corundum, a special mineral becasue it is incredibly durable and rare. It's one of the few gems where the colour can become extremely saturated. Because of this, rubies can have one of the highest per-carat prices in the gemstone market.
A perfect ruby over one carat is incredibly rare.
What's interesting about corundum is that when it's in its purest form, it is completely colourless. It's only once you start adding in trace elements that colour comes through. Rubies get their sultry red hue from the trace element chromium. Science! But it's the colour of the ruby that gives it value. The most expensive gems will be pure and range from a vibrant red to a darker, purple tinted red. A perfect ruby over one carat is incredibly rare – as you might expect, the bigger the size, the more expensive the gem.
The ruby is a favourite not just amongst jewellers, but also the gemologists themselves. It is so precious to them that they've nicknamed this little stone "the rock star" of trace elements. July babies are lucky to call this their birthstone, but it is also chosen to celebrate 15th and 40th anniversaries.
Ever wanted to visit Myanmar?
So, where can you find these special gems, you wonder? Well, your best bet is to pack your bags and head to Mogok, Myanmar – aka, the "Valley of Rubies".
This is where some of the world's best rubies have originated from. In fact, in 2014, the Graff Ruby 8.62 carat cushion-cut ruby was discovered here. It was record selling because it came out to be an impressive $8.6 million – that's about $997,727 per carat. Truly, this was an impressive ruby, though its reign was short lived.
In May of 2015, the Sunrise Ruby was uncovered and measured at a whopping 25.59 carats. This cushion-cut, untreated "pigeon blood" ruby is Burmese and was set into a Cartier ring surrounded by sparkling diamonds – as if it needed any more glam to shine as bright as it does! What does a ruby of this magnitude go for, you ask with anticipation? Well, the Sunrise Ruby set an auction record when it was rung up at $30 million to a Swiss buyer. Broken down, that's over $1 million per carat.
Fun fact, this area also has a successful jade market – has Myanmar climbed to the top of your travel list yet?
Ready to start a ruby collection of your own? Check out our collection here at Showcase Jewellers! We have have only the finest ruby accoutrements, and all the pieces to help make it pop – just come see for yourself.
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