Buying ruby jewelry can be an exciting and decadent experience! Let's be honest, rubies aren't an every day purchase. You probably needed to save up to buy the perfect piece! But this timeless stone will certainly make you feel like royalty! But before you click that "Buy" button, have you done your due diligence? Here at SilverAndGold.com, we want to make sure you avoid the most common buying blunders so you will end up with the perfect piece that you'll cherish for years to come!
Choose the Right Color (for you!)
We all have heard the phrase "ruby red" but did you know rubies can have a wide range of hues? The most prized rubies feature a pure hue ranging from a vibrant red to a slightly purplish-red. If the hue strays too far from the primary red color of a ruby, either becoming too orange-red or purplish, the quality of the ruby is lower. Or if the red color is too dark, it can make the stone seem less bright and more dull. Of course, the most important aspect to a ruby's color is that you find it appealing!
Select a Clarity Level You Love
A ruby’s clarity is determined by how visible the inclusions are and how well it transmits light. Most rubies have some inclusions, as an inclusion free stone is incredibly rare.Try placing the stone under a light and looking through it. Do you see imperfections? How noticeable are they? Stones with minimal inclusions wil be more expensive, but keep in mind not all inclusions negatively impact a ruby’s appearance, however. The presence of mineral rutile silk can cause light to scatter across the ruby, adding softness and light to the stone. Or, needle like inclusions can intersect and cause a star effect, called asterism, which can be desirable. Again, the most important thing is finding a clarity that works for you!
Go for the Right Cut
Pick the ruby which has the perfect cut proportions for the look you want! This will look pleasing to the eye, and it also helps the stone in reflecting the right amount of light. A quality ruby cutter will consider which shape will maximize the ruby’s color and carat weight while trying to minimize inclusions. Although cut is often the least important of the 4 Cs for colored gemstones, it can significantly impact the value of a ruby. Brilliant cuts, or cuts that maximize light return and sparkle, or step cuts, those that enhance color, are recommended for rubies. Often, these two cuts are mixed, creating brilliant-cut crowns and step-cut pavilions, to maximize both light return and create a bright, uniform color. Keep in mind, you're going to be wearing this stone, so determine what aspects of the ruby you want to highlight when choosing a cut!
Natural Rubies vs Synthetic Rubies
Synthetic rubies are becoming more popular. Complex synthesis processes have been developed that simulate the natural formation of rubies. These synthesized rubies can be difficult to identify, as they look natural, with colors and inclusions very similar to a natural stone. Synthetic rubies tend to be less expensive, so if you are looking to stretch your budget, they may be an option to consider. However, if you want the genuine natural ruby, be sure to read product descriptions and ask questions. Any reputable jeweler will be sure to make it clear if a ruby is synthetic or natural.
Check How It Was Treated
Because a ruby without inclusions is incredibly rare, there are certain treatments for rubies to enhancing their clarity. Some of these treatments can have a negative impact on the stone's integrity. For example, Flux Heated rubies are coated before they are heated to prevent rubies from stick to one another while being heated. Sometimes, this material will melt and fill in flaws or crevices in the stone, improving the clarity. However, the value of the ruby is decreased, as an outside substance has impregnated the stone. Or Beryllium is added to a ruby as it is heated in the beryllium diffused treatment. This process will enhance the color of the ruby, creating a vibrant, rich red. Ask questions to determine how rubies are treated so you understand more about the stone you are purchasing.
Know Your Budget
Budgets can be tricky. You want to buy a beautiful piece but you don't want to break the bank doing so! It is important to set a realistic budget when shopping for any piece of jewelry so you don't experience buyer's remorse. If you find a piece you love, see if the jewelry shop offers lay away so you can make payments. If not, starting setting the money aside now! If you put a little aside each week, you'll reach your goal sooner than you think. If you don't have a specific piece of jewelry in mind, determine what you can spend and only look in that price range so you aren't tempted to overspend.
Ready to shop for Rubies? Check out our selection of Ruby Jewelry today!