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A Comprehensive Guide to Choosing the Perfect Ruby

Rubies have long been treasured for their rich, vibrant red hue and exceptional hardness, making them a popular choice for fine jewellery. As with any gemstone, selecting the perfect ruby requires a keen eye and an understanding of various factors that influence its quality and value.

Understanding Ruby Quality

Understanding the quality of a ruby is essential for making an informed purchase. Ruby quality is determined by several key factors, each contributing to the stone's overall appearance and value. Here are the primary aspects to consider:


Ruby Colours

Courtesy of Diamond Buzz

Colour is the most critical factor in determining a ruby's quality. The finest rubies display a vibrant, intense red known as "pigeon blood red," which is highly sought after. When assessing a ruby's colour, consider three main components: hue, tone, and saturation.


The hue refers to the primary colour of the ruby, which should ideally be pure and vibrant red. Secondary hues such as orange, pink, or purple may be present but should not dominate.


Tone describes the lightness or darkness of the colour. The best rubies have a medium to medium-dark tone, which enhances their vibrant appearance.


Saturation refers to the intensity of the colour. High-quality rubies have strong saturation, meaning the colour is vivid and rich without being too dark or too light.


Clarity pertains to the presence of inclusions, or internal flaws, within the ruby. While inclusions are common and expected in natural rubies, their size, type, and position can significantly affect the stone's overall beauty and value.

Common inclusions in rubies include needle-like rutile (silk) and mineral crystals. Some inclusions, like rutile silk, can enhance the ruby's appearance by scattering light, giving it a soft glow.

The best rubies have inclusions that are not easily visible to the naked eye. Large, prominent inclusions that affect transparency or create weak spots in the stone can lower its quality. Higher transparency generally indicates better quality. However, some inclusions can add to the ruby's character and are not necessarily detrimental.


The cut of a ruby is a crucial factor in determining its overall beauty and value. While often overshadowed by colour and clarity, the cut significantly influences how a ruby interacts with light, showcasing its colour and brilliance.

Well-proportioned rubies reflect light evenly, maximizing their brilliance and enhancing their colour. In contrast, poorly proportioned rubies may appear dull or dark, as they do not effectively reflect light.

Symmetrical cuts contribute to the stone’s overall aesthetic appeal and value. Asymmetrical facets can cause uneven light reflection, detracting from the ruby’s beauty. When evaluating symmetry, look for facets that are evenly aligned and consistent in shape.

Rubies come in a variety of shapes, each offering unique aesthetic qualities. The most common shapes include oval, cushion, round, pear, and emerald. The choice of shape depends on personal preference and how well the shape maximizes the ruby's colour and clarity.

Carat Weight

Carat weight refers to the measurement of a gemstone's mass. Larger rubies are rarer and more valuable, but size should be considered alongside quality. A smaller ruby with excellent colour and clarity can be more desirable than a larger, lower-quality stone.

Additional Considerations

In addition to the main quality characteristics, several other factors can influence your decision when choosing a ruby.


The origin of a ruby significantly influences its value and characteristics. Some of the most renowned sources include Myanmar (Burma), Sri Lanka (Ceylon), Thailand, and Madagascar, each known for producing rubies with distinct colours and qualities.

Myanmar (Burma) is celebrated for its prized "pigeon blood" red rubies, highly sought after for their intense colour and often fine fluorescence. Ceylon rubies are noted for their lighter, pinkish-red hues and exceptional clarity. Thai rubies typically exhibit a darker, more garnet-like red colour with less fluorescence compared to Burmese stones. Rubies from Madagascar vary widely in colour and quality, often resembling Burmese stones in appearance.


Treatment of rubies is common to enhance their colour and clarity. The most prevalent treatments include heat treatment and fracture filling.

Widely accepted in the industry, heat treatment can improve a ruby's colour by enhancing its clarity and removing undesirable brown or purple tones. On the other hand, fracture filling involves using substances like lead glass to fill surface-reaching fractures, thereby improving clarity. While this treatment enhances appearance, it may affect durability and transparency.

It's crucial to inquire about any treatments a ruby has undergone, as untreated stones are often more valuable and sought after by collectors.


Obtaining a gemological certification from a reputable laboratory is essential when purchasing a ruby. A certification provides an unbiased assessment of the stone's quality and characteristics.

The grading report specifies the ruby's geographical origin, offering valuable insights into its potential colour and clarity attributes. It also details any treatments the ruby has undergone, ensuring transparency in its enhancement processes.

Lastly, the certification evaluates the ruby's colour, clarity, cut, and carat weight according to standardized grading criteria.

A certified ruby not only assures authenticity but also facilitates an informed purchase decision, ensuring you acquire a high-quality gemstone that meets your expectations and investment criteria.

Final Considerations

A Comprehensive Guide to Choosing the Perfect Ruby

At Jewelry Design House by Jivan, we invite you to explore our exquisite collection of ruby jewelry, crafted with passion and precision. In addition to our curated collection, we offer a bespoke custom jewelry design service. Our team of skilled artisans and gemologists collaborates closely with you to bring your vision to life. Whether you desire a unique ruby engagement ring inspired by a romantic getaway or a stunning ruby pendant symbolizing everlasting love, we ensure that every detail reflects your personal style and preferences.

With years of expertise in the industry, we uphold the highest standards of craftsmanship and gemstone selection, ensuring each piece is of exceptional quality. From classic settings to modern interpretations, our designs are tailored to celebrate the beauty and rarity of rubies, making each piece a statement of luxury and sophistication.

We prioritize your satisfaction, offering a personalized experience from initial consultation to final creation, ensuring your jewelry piece is as unique as you are.