Home Knowledges [Revealed!] Where do the Best Rubies in the World Come From?

[Revealed!] Where do the Best Rubies in the World Come From?

by Madonna

The allure of the ruby, with its deep red hue and rich history, has captured the hearts of gem enthusiasts and collectors for centuries. Coveted for its exceptional beauty and rarity, the ruby is often referred to as the “King of Gemstones.” But not all rubies are created equal. The world’s most exceptional rubies, known for their vivid color and exceptional quality, have specific origins that are celebrated in the gemstone industry. In this article, we will explore the geographic sources of the world’s best rubies, shedding light on the regions that have produced these treasured gems for generations.

How mysterious is ruby?

Before delving into the origins of the world’s finest rubies, it is essential to understand the unique qualities and characteristics that make this gemstone so coveted. Rubies are a variety of the mineral corundum, and their striking red color is the result of the presence of chromium in the crystal lattice. This vibrant red hue, often described as “pigeon’s blood” or “Burmese red,” is the hallmark of a top-quality ruby.


See Also: Is Red Beryl a Ruby: Everything You Need To Know


Key Attributes of Exceptional Rubies

The following are the key attributes of high-quality rubies:


1. Color:

The color of a ruby is the most critical factor determining its value. The ideal ruby boasts a pure red color with a hint of blue, resulting in a vivid, intense hue. Stones with secondary colors, such as purple or orange, are less desirable.

2. Clarity:

Clarity refers to the presence of internal flaws, or inclusions, within the ruby. Top-quality rubies have minimal inclusions, allowing for maximum transparency and brilliance.

3. Cut:

A well-executed cut enhances a ruby’s brilliance and showcases its color. The most common cut for rubies is the brilliant cut, which maximizes the stone’s sparkle.

4. Carat Weight:

Larger rubies are rarer and, therefore, more valuable. However, the other factors mentioned, particularly color, often outweigh carat weight in determining a ruby’s worth.

Now that we have a foundational understanding of what makes a ruby exceptional, let’s explore the geographical sources that produce the world’s best rubies.

The Ruby’s Global Origins

Rubies can be found in several locations worldwide, but only a handful of regions have gained acclaim for producing the highest-quality gems. These regions are celebrated for their unique geological conditions, which have given rise to rubies of unparalleled beauty and desirability.

1. Burmese Rubies: The Pinnacle of Elegance

Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, is synonymous with the world’s most revered rubies. Burmese rubies have long been regarded as the standard of excellence, setting the benchmark for color, clarity, and overall quality in the ruby world.

2. The Mogok Valley

Located in the Mandalay region of Myanmar, the Mogok Valley is renowned as the “Valley of Rubies.” This picturesque region has been a ruby mining center for centuries, producing some of the world’s most exquisite gemstones. The Mogok rubies are celebrated for their pure red color, often described as the epitome of ruby perfection.

One of the most famous Mogok rubies is the “Ruby of Mogok,” a 25.59-carat gem that sold for a staggering $30.3 million at auction in 2015. Such record-breaking prices are not uncommon for Burmese rubies, thanks to their exceptional quality.

3. The Mong Hsu Region

While Mogok garners most of the attention, Myanmar’s Mong Hsu region is another significant source of Burmese rubies. These rubies are typically darker in color compared to their Mogok counterparts but are still highly prized for their quality. Mong Hsu rubies are often found in alluvial deposits, which means they have undergone significant weathering, contributing to their unique appearance.

Despite political and ethical concerns related to the ruby trade in Myanmar, Burmese rubies remain the standard against which all other rubies are measured.

4. Mozambique: Africa’s Ruby Treasure

In recent years, Mozambique has emerged as a prominent source of fine rubies, challenging the dominance of Burmese rubies in the global market. The rubies from Mozambique are celebrated for their rich red color, often likened to the Burmese variety.

5. Montepuez

The Montepuez region in Mozambique is the primary hub of ruby mining in the country. The rubies found here are known for their excellent color and clarity. The Montepuez ruby deposits are predominantly located in secondary deposits, which means they are typically found in gravel and alluvial soils.

Mozambican rubies have made their mark in the global gemstone market, and their availability has provided collectors and jewelry designers with an alternative source of high-quality rubies.

6. Thailand: The Land of Heat-Treated Rubies

Thailand has a long history of heat-treating rubies to enhance their color and clarity. While Thai rubies may not always rival the natural beauty of Burmese or Mozambican rubies, the expertise in heat treatment has allowed Thailand to play a significant role in the ruby trade.

Thai rubies are often mined in regions like Chanthaburi and Trat. These rubies are typically dark, but after undergoing heat treatment, their color can be improved, making them more commercially viable.

7. Other Notable Ruby Sources

While Myanmar, Mozambique, and Thailand are the primary sources of fine rubies, there are other regions around the world that produce these gemstones, albeit in smaller quantities:

a. Sri Lanka:

Known for producing a variety of gemstones, Sri Lanka also mines rubies, though they are not as renowned as their sapphires. Sri Lankan rubies often have a pinkish-red hue.

b. Vietnam:

Rubies from Vietnam are known for their unique coloration, which can range from purplish-red to brownish-red. While they may not compete with Burmese or Mozambican rubies in terms of quality, they are still valuable in their own right.

c. Madagascar:

The island nation of Madagascar has become known for its ruby deposits, particularly in the Andilamena region. Madagascar rubies are typically smaller but are appreciated for their vibrant color.

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

The Ruby Trade and Ethical Considerations

It is essential to consider the ethical implications of the ruby trade, especially when discussing regions like Myanmar, which have faced significant political and human rights issues. The ruby industry in Myanmar has been associated with conflicts and human rights abuses, making it crucial for consumers to source their rubies responsibly.

In response to these concerns, initiatives such as the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) and the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme have been established to promote ethical sourcing and responsible practices in the gemstone industry. Buyers are encouraged to seek out reputable sources and certifications when purchasing rubies to ensure they are contributing to positive change in the industry.

The Future of Ruby Sourcing

As the demand for rubies continues to grow, the search for new sources of high-quality stones intensifies. Emerging markets, such as Greenland and Afghanistan, have shown potential as future ruby producers. Additionally, technological advancements in gemstone enhancement and treatment are likely to impact the ruby market, potentially altering the way we perceive and value these gemstones.


The world’s best rubies are products of remarkable geological processes and the hands of skilled artisans. While Myanmar’s Burmese rubies continue to set the standard for ruby excellence, Mozambique has established itself as a formidable contender in the global market. Thailand’s expertise in heat treatment further contributes to the diversity of available rubies.

As we celebrate these sources of exceptional rubies, it is crucial to remain mindful of ethical considerations within the industry. Responsible sourcing and certification programs play a vital role in ensuring that the allure of rubies does not come at the expense of human rights and ethical standards. Ultimately, the world of rubies is one of captivating beauty, history, and intrigue, and the search for the finest specimens continues to captivate the hearts of gem enthusiasts and collectors worldwide.


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