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Is African Ruby Good? A Comprehensive Analysis

by Madonna

The world of gemstones has long been a source of fascination and allure, captivating individuals with their exquisite beauty and timeless appeal. Among the many gemstones that have gained prominence in recent years, the African Ruby has emerged as a gem of significant interest and intrigue. But, is African Ruby good? In this comprehensive analysis, we will delve deep into the world of African Ruby, exploring its origin, characteristics, quality, and market value to provide you with a well-rounded understanding of this captivating gemstone.

The Origin of African Ruby

African Ruby, as the name suggests, is a variety of the precious red gemstone known as Ruby. Rubies have been coveted for centuries, and their history is rich with symbolism and cultural significance. While Rubies have historically been associated with regions like Myanmar (formerly Burma), Thailand, and Sri Lanka, the discovery of African Ruby has expanded the geographical scope of Ruby mining.


The primary African countries known for Ruby production include Mozambique, Tanzania, and Madagascar. These African nations have become major players in the global Ruby market, contributing to the growing interest in African Ruby. The unique geological conditions in these regions have given rise to Rubies with distinctive characteristics that set them apart from Rubies found elsewhere.


Characteristics of African Ruby

African Ruby is prized for its vivid, pure red coloration, often referred to as “pigeon’s blood,” caused by chromium trace elements. These Rubies may vary in clarity, with some being inclusion-free while others exhibit minor imperfections. Expertly faceted, they maximize visual impact. Carat weight and cut are crucial factors, with larger, well-cut stones being rarer and more valuable. Renowned for its durability, African Ruby ranks just below diamonds on the Mohs scale of hardness. Inclusions, like needle-like rutile, can enhance the gem’s beauty, creating a silky appearance. These characteristics collectively make African Ruby a highly sought-after gem in the world of fine jewelry.


See Also: How Hard Is a Ruby Gemstone: Durability & Mohs Scale Rating

Quality Grading of African Ruby

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA), one of the most reputable gemological organizations in the world, has established a grading system for Rubies, including African Rubies. This system assesses a Ruby’s color, clarity, cut, and carat weight to provide an overall quality grade. Here’s a brief overview of how African Rubies are graded:

1. Color Grading

a. Pigeon’s Blood Red: Rubies with a vivid, pure red color are considered the highest quality and are graded as “pigeon’s blood red.”

b. Vivid Red: Stones with a slightly less intense red color but still highly desirable are graded as “vivid red.”

c. Slightly Purplish Red: Rubies with a touch of purple in their red hue are classified as “slightly purplish red.”

d. Medium Red: Stones with a more subdued red color fall into the “medium red” category.

e. Pinkish Red: Rubies with a hint of pink are classified as “pinkish red” and are generally of lower value.

2. Clarity Grading

a. Flawless: Rubies with no visible inclusions under 10x magnification are graded as “flawless.”

b. VVS (Very, Very Slightly Included): Stones with extremely minor inclusions that are difficult to see under 10x magnification receive a VVS grade.

c. VS (Very Slightly Included): Rubies with minor inclusions that are visible under 10x magnification but not to the naked eye are graded as VS.

d. SI (Slightly Included): Stones with noticeable inclusions under 10x magnification but still attractive to the naked eye receive an SI grade.

3. Cut Grading

a. Excellent: Rubies that are exceptionally well-cut to maximize their brilliance and beauty receive an “excellent” cut grade.

b. Very Good: Stones with a very good cut that still display high levels of brilliance and appeal are rated as “very good.”

c. Good: Rubies with a good cut that show above-average visual appeal are graded as “good.”

d. Fair: Stones with a fair cut that may not maximize their potential brilliance but are still attractive are categorized as “fair.”

e. Poor: Rubies with a poor cut that significantly impacts their visual appeal receive a “poor” cut grade.

The Market Value of African Ruby

African Ruby’s market value is subject to various factors. Supply and demand dynamics hinge on mining activity in countries like Mozambique, Tanzania, and Madagascar, with increased investment leading to greater supply. Geopolitical stability in these regions plays a vital role as political unrest can disrupt mining operations. Consumer preferences and jewelry trends also impact value, with growing awareness and appreciation for African Rubies driving demand. Additionally, as some view gemstones as investment assets, the potential for appreciation influences market prices. Thus, African Ruby’s market value is a dynamic interplay of supply, demand, geopolitics, consumer preferences, and investment potential.

Can African rubies be worn as jewelry?

African Rubies are excellent choices for jewelry. Their vibrant red color, durability (ranking just below diamonds in hardness), and visual appeal make them ideal for various jewelry pieces, including rings, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. African Rubies can withstand everyday wear and maintain their brilliance over time. However, it’s essential to ensure the Ruby is well-cut to maximize its beauty and consider the setting, metal choice, and design to complement the gem. When sourced from reputable dealers and accompanied by proper certification, African Rubies can be confidently worn as stunning and enduring jewelry pieces, perfect for both everyday and special occasions.

See Also: The Worth of a Gold Ruby Ring: What You Need To Know

Is it worth buying African rubies for consumers?

For consumers, purchasing African Rubies can be a worthwhile investment. These gemstones are prized for their vibrant red color, often comparable to the coveted “pigeon’s blood” hue, and their durability, making them suitable for everyday wear. African Rubies have been gaining popularity, potentially increasing in value over time. However, the decision should consider factors like budget, desired quality, and personal preferences. It’s essential to do thorough research, work with reputable jewelers, and consider certification from organizations like the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) to ensure the authenticity and quality of the gem. Ultimately, African Rubies can be a valuable addition to one’s jewelry collection or a cherished gift.

See Also: Where Are Most Rubies Found: A Comprehensive Exploration


So, is African Ruby good? The answer largely depends on your perspective and purpose. African Rubies are known for their exceptional color, clarity, and cut, making them highly desirable in the world of fine jewelry and among collectors. However, like any gemstone, the quality of African Ruby can vary, so it’s essential to consider factors such as color, clarity, and cut when evaluating a specific stone.

Whether you are a collector, a jeweler, or simply someone who appreciates the allure of gemstones, African Ruby is undoubtedly a gem worth exploring. Its rich color, durability, and potential for appreciation make it a fascinating and valuable addition to the world of gemstones. So, if you’re considering acquiring an African Ruby, be sure to educate yourself about its qualities, and perhaps you’ll find yourself captivated by the charm of this remarkable gemstone.


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