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Is Ruby the Most Precious Stone: Unearthing the Beauty & Value

by Madonna

Rubies have long held a special place in the world of gemstones. Their vivid red hue, symbolic significance, and historical allure make them an intriguing topic of discussion in the realm of precious stones. In this article, we will delve deep into the world of rubies, exploring their history, properties, cultural significance, and value in today’s market. Is the ruby truly the most precious stone, or does it simply shine brightly in the world of gemstones? Let’s uncover the truth behind this gem’s mystique.

A Gem with a Rich History:

Rubies have been treasured for millennia, and their history is as vibrant as the stones themselves. The word “ruby” comes from the Latin word “ruber,” which means red. Throughout history, rubies have been associated with love, passion, and power. Ancient civilizations believed that rubies could protect against evil, enhance vitality, and ward off misfortune.


Rubies have also held a special place in the jewelry of royals and aristocrats. The Bible mentions rubies as a gemstone of great value, and in Indian culture, the ruby is known as the “king of gemstones.” Burmese royalty used to believe that wearing rubies would make them invincible in battle.


A Kaleidoscope of Color:

One of the defining features of the ruby is its remarkable red color. This red hue is due to the presence of chromium in the crystal structure of the gem. The intensity and shade of red can vary, with the finest rubies displaying a deep, pure red color that is often referred to as “pigeon blood” red.


While red is the most highly prized color for a ruby, they can also occur in various shades, including pinkish-red and purplish-red. The color of a ruby is assessed based on factors such as hue, tone, and saturation. A pure, vibrant red with a medium to medium-dark tone and high saturation is the most sought after in the market.

The Origin of Ruby:

Rubies are found in various parts of the world, but some sources are more renowned than others for producing high-quality stones. The most famous and revered source of rubies historically has been Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. Burmese rubies, particularly those from the Mogok region, are famous for their rich, pure red color.

Other significant sources of rubies include Thailand, Sri Lanka, and Madagascar. Thai rubies often have a darker red tone, while Sri Lankan rubies tend to have a pinkish-red hue. Madagascar is known for producing rubies with a purplish-red color.

In recent years, Mozambique has gained prominence as a source of fine-quality rubies. These rubies are often considered to be in the same league as Burmese rubies in terms of color and quality.

The Ruby Market Today:

Rubies have continued to be highly sought after in the world of gemstones, and their value has remained strong. The demand for these precious stones is driven by their beauty, historical significance, and symbolism.

One notable trend in the ruby market is the increasing popularity of untreated or unheated rubies. These gems are valued for their natural color and are often seen as more valuable than treated rubies, which have been subject to heat treatment to enhance their color.

While Burmese rubies still hold a special place in the hearts of many gem enthusiasts, rubies from other sources are gaining recognition for their quality and beauty. Mozambique, in particular, has emerged as a significant player in the ruby market, providing competition to Burmese rubies.

See Also: The Worth of a Ruby Diamond: Things You Need To Know

Symbolism and Cultural Significance:

Rubies are deeply woven into the tapestry of various cultures and societies, each attributing its unique symbolism to this gemstone.

In Hinduism, the ruby is considered to be a protective stone that can bring prosperity and peace. It’s associated with the Sun, a symbol of power and vitality.

In the Western world, the ruby is often associated with love and passion. It’s a popular choice for engagement rings and romantic jewelry.

Buddhists also hold rubies in high regard. In Buddhism, the ruby symbolizes enlightenment and the heart, serving as a representation of love and compassion.

The symbolic significance of rubies in various cultures underscores their enduring appeal and value as a precious gemstone.

Investing in Rubies:

Investing in gemstones, including rubies, has gained popularity in recent years. While investing in rubies can be rewarding, it’s crucial to exercise caution and consider several factors.

1. Quality: High-quality rubies with a rich, red color, good clarity, and a well-cut are more likely to appreciate in value over time.

2. Certification: Ensure that your ruby comes with a reputable gemological certification, such as one from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), verifying its authenticity and quality.

3. Market Trends: Stay informed about the trends in the ruby market. Understand that the market can fluctuate, and it’s important to be patient if you choose to invest in rubies.

4. Storage and Insurance: Safely store your rubies and consider insuring them to protect your investment.

5. Diversify: Consider diversifying your investment portfolio rather than putting all your assets into gemstones.

It’s important to note that while investing in rubies can be a sound financial decision, it should also be driven by a genuine appreciation for these magnificent gemstones.

The Rarity of Rubies:

What makes rubies even more precious is their rarity. Rubies are much rarer than diamonds, and the finest rubies are even scarcer. To put this into perspective, for every 1,000 carats of diamond that are mined, only one carat of fine-quality ruby is found.

The rarity of rubies, combined with their stunning beauty and symbolism, contributes to their status as a highly prized gemstone.

See Also: Ruby VS Gold: Which is More Expensive?

Rubies in Famous Jewelry:

Rubies have adorned the most exquisite and iconic pieces of jewelry throughout history. Here are a few notable examples:

1. The Mogul Ruby: Also known as the “Timur Ruby,” it weighs 361 carats and is set in a necklace. It has a fascinating history, with origins in India and a journey that took it from one empire to another, finally ending up in the Royal Treasury of Iran.

2. The Liberty Bell Ruby: This famous ruby is cut in the shape of the Liberty Bell and weighs 8,500 carats. It’s considered one of the largest rubies in the world.

3. The Sunrise Ruby: This 25.59-carat Burmese ruby broke records when it sold for over $30 million in 2015. It is one of the finest rubies in existence.

4. The Rosser Reeves Star Ruby: This rare, star ruby weighs 138.7 carats and displays a well-defined star pattern when viewed under light.

These famous rubies not only represent the pinnacle of craftsmanship but also the enduring fascination that this gemstone holds.

Ruby and Its Counterparts:

While rubies are undeniably precious and hold a unique position in the world of gemstones, they are often compared and contrasted with other red gems, particularly red spinel and red garnet.

1. Red Spinel: Red spinel is often confused with ruby due to its similar color, but it is an entirely different gem. Spinel is not as hard as ruby, and it doesn’t possess the same level of rarity and value. However, high-quality red spinels can be exceptionally beautiful and make an affordable alternative to ruby.

2. Red Garnet: Garnets are another group of red gemstones, and while they are not as valuable as rubies, they can also exhibit stunning red colors. Garnets are more common and affordable, making them accessible to a broader range of consumers.

It’s essential to understand the distinctions between these red gems to make informed decisions when purchasing or investing in them.

Ruby Synthetics and Treatments:

As with many gemstones, rubies can be synthesized in laboratories. While synthetic rubies have the same chemical composition as natural rubies, they are generally considered less valuable in the market. Buyers should be aware of the distinction between natural and synthetic rubies and seek reputable certification.

Additionally, many rubies undergo heat treatment to enhance their color and clarity. This is a common industry practice and is generally accepted as long as the treatment is disclosed. Heat-treated rubies are less valuable than untreated, high-quality stones.


In the world of gemstones, rubies stand as a testament to the Earth’s artistic creations. Their rich history, mesmerizing color, and cultural significance make them a captivating subject of study and admiration. Rubies are not only prized for their beauty but also for their symbolism and rarity.

Whether you’re considering adding a ruby to your collection, investing in one, or simply appreciating the beauty of this remarkable gem, the ruby’s status as one of the world’s most precious stones is irrefutable. Its journey through time, history, and culture continues to fascinate, making it a gemstone like no other.


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