“…the gleaming ruby should adorn,
All those who in July are born,
For thus they’ll be exempt and free,
From lover’s doubts and anxiety.”
- Gregorian birthstone poems: author unknown.
The ruby is known as “the precious” stone within precious gemstones. It is the red colored corundum; the elder brother of sapphire. Ruby is an extremely special stone. What makes a ruby so special? Well it is pretty simple. Ruby is, in general, rare. Gem quality ruby is even rarer especially of larger sizes; this is because ruby rough generally grows more flat than sapphire. Furthermore, ruby tends to be more included and not fully crystallized, which means that a larger clean stone is extremely rare.
Of course, with all this said, one must really wonder if the extreme price of the stone is just. The reality is that this calculation is very simple. There’s a demand for ruby. In today’s market ruby is probably the most treated stone. It goes through various treatments from heat to irradiation, to glass filling and diffusion. Plus one must not forget the United States’ embargo on Burma. Burma, or Myanmar, is the leading source of fine rubies, even though Thailand and various African countries can sometimes produce a similar quality. Between the treatments and embargos there is a feeling that ruby lacks on the market. This is not necessarily true. Sadly, this feeling affects the price and demand for better rubies.
While ruby is pronounced to be the royal stone, the truth is that it is not. Spinel is the royal stone. Spinel is present in the royal crown of England, as well as various other royal jewels across the globe. Spinel is the stone which has the least justified history. I believe that with just a little more help it will become the leader of the “gemstone revolution”.