Home Knowledges Why Is a Burmese Ruby So Expensive: The Mystique & Value

Why Is a Burmese Ruby So Expensive: The Mystique & Value

by Madonna

Gemstones have always fascinated humanity with their rare beauty and unique characteristics. Among these exquisite gems, the Burmese Ruby stands out as one of the most coveted and expensive gemstones in the world. Its intense red hue, mesmerizing glow, and historical significance have made it a symbol of wealth, passion, and prestige. In this article, we will delve into the intriguing world of Burmese Rubies, exploring why they are so expensive and highly sought after by collectors, investors, and gem enthusiasts.

The Rarity of Burmese Rubies

Burmese Rubies, also known as “Pigeon’s Blood Rubies,” are exceptionally rare. This rarity is a major contributing factor to their high price. These rubies are primarily found in the Mogok Valley of Burma (now Myanmar), where their mining is tightly controlled, and only a limited quantity is extracted each year. Factors that contribute to their rarity include:


1. Geographic Constraints


The majority of high-quality Burmese Rubies are found in the Mogok Valley, which is a remote and geographically isolated region. This isolation has made mining and transportation of the gemstones a significant challenge, further limiting their availability in the global market.


2. Geological Formation

Burmese Rubies are formed deep within the Earth’s crust under specific geological conditions. The combination of high pressure and temperature along with the presence of certain minerals results in the creation of these beautiful gemstones. This intricate process is rare in nature, further contributing to the scarcity of Burmese Rubies.

Exceptional Color and Clarity

One of the defining characteristics of Burmese Rubies is their mesmerizing red color. The most prized Burmese Rubies exhibit a vivid, pure red hue, often described as “Pigeon’s Blood” due to its resemblance to the blood of a pigeon. This extraordinary color is the result of the presence of chromium, which gives these gemstones their signature brilliance.

1. Chromium Content

The specific geological conditions in the Mogok Valley result in a higher chromium content in the rubies found there. Chromium is responsible for the vibrant red color that distinguishes Burmese Rubies from other rubies around the world. This unique and intense red hue is one of the most sought-after qualities in gemstones, making Burmese Rubies exceptionally valuable.

2. Clarity and Transparency

In addition to their remarkable color, Burmese Rubies often possess exceptional clarity and transparency. High-quality stones are virtually free from inclusions, making them even more desirable. The combination of their vivid color and exceptional clarity creates a mesmerizing visual appeal that sets them apart in the gemstone market.

Size Matters: Larger Burmese Rubies Command Higher Prices

The size of a Burmese Ruby significantly impacts its value. Larger stones are exceedingly rare, and their rarity contributes to their high market prices. These precious gems are often found in small sizes, and larger stones are considered exceptional and fetch premium prices.

Historical and Cultural Significance

The mystique of Burmese Rubies goes beyond their visual appeal. They hold a significant place in Burmese culture and history. For centuries, these gemstones have been associated with royalty, spirituality, and protection. Their historical significance adds to their allure, making them highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts.

1. Royal Connections

Burmese Rubies have been worn by royalty and have been considered symbols of power and prestige. They are often incorporated into royal jewelry, crowns, and regal artifacts, emphasizing their historical connection with nobility.

2. Spiritual Significance

In Burmese culture, rubies are believed to bring good luck and protect the wearer from harm. These spiritual beliefs have contributed to the gem’s desirability and cultural significance.

See Also: [Revealed!] The Meaning & Mystique of Ruby Crystals

Ethical and Environmental Considerations

The sourcing of Burmese Rubies is not without controversy. Myanmar has faced scrutiny for human rights violations and environmental concerns related to its gemstone mining industry. This has led to ethical concerns among consumers and has influenced the perception and pricing of Burmese Rubies.

1. Ethical Sourcing

The ethical concerns surrounding the Burmese ruby trade have led to an increased demand for transparent and ethically sourced gemstones. Organizations and gemstone dealers are taking steps to ensure that the rubies they offer are mined and traded in a responsible and ethical manner.

2. Environmental Impact

Gemstone mining can have a significant environmental impact, including deforestation, habitat destruction, and water pollution. Buyers and investors are increasingly seeking out gemstones that are sourced using environmentally friendly and sustainable practices.

Gemological Certification

The value of a Burmese Ruby is also influenced by the gemological certification it carries. Reputable gem laboratories, such as the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and the International Gemological Institute (IGI), provide detailed assessments of a ruby’s quality, including its color, clarity, cut, and carat weight. Gemstones with recognized and reputable certifications tend to command higher prices, as buyers have confidence in their quality.

Investment Potential

Burmese Rubies have been considered a sound investment for those looking to diversify their portfolios with tangible assets. The rarity, historical significance, and increasing demand for these gemstones make them an attractive option for investors.

1. Long-Term Appreciation

Historically, the value of high-quality Burmese Rubies has appreciated over time. As they become scarcer due to mining restrictions and geopolitical issues, their price is expected to continue rising, making them a potentially lucrative investment.

2. Portfolio Diversification

Investors often seek assets that are uncorrelated with traditional financial markets, and gemstones, including Burmese Rubies, can offer that diversification. Their value is not directly tied to the performance of stocks, bonds, or other financial instruments.

Market Trends and Demand

The demand for Burmese Rubies has been on the rise, particularly among collectors, investors, and jewelry enthusiasts. Growing wealth in emerging markets, such as China and India, has fueled interest in these gemstones. Additionally, the popularity of bespoke and custom jewelry has driven a surge in demand for exceptional gemstones like Burmese Rubies.

1. China’s Influence

China’s emerging middle and upper classes have shown a particular fondness for luxury items, including high-quality gemstones. This has led to a substantial increase in demand for Burmese Rubies, further driving up their prices.

2. Custom Jewelry and Bespoke Designs

The trend of personalized and unique jewelry pieces has brought Burmese Rubies into the spotlight. Jewelry designers and collectors seek these gemstones to create one-of-a-kind pieces, adding to their appeal and value.

Gemstone Treatments and Enhancements

It’s crucial to consider any treatments or enhancements applied to Burmese Rubies when assessing their value. While natural, untreated rubies are the most sought after, some gemstones may undergo treatments to improve their appearance.

1. Heat Treatment

Heat treatment is a common practice in the gemstone industry to enhance the color and clarity of rubies. When disclosed, heat-treated rubies may still hold value, but their price will be lower compared to untreated stones.

2. Unheated or Untreated Rubies

Unheated or untreated Burmese Rubies are exceptionally rare and, consequently, more valuable. These gemstones are in high demand among collectors and investors who prioritize natural, unaltered stones.

See Also: The Power of the Ruby Ring: Who Should Wear It?


In conclusion, the high cost of Burmese Rubies can be attributed to their exceptional rarity, remarkable color, historical and cultural significance, and the growing demand for these gemstones as investments and in custom jewelry. The geographic constraints of mining, their geological formation, and ethical and environmental considerations also play a significant role in their value. As with any investment or collectible, it’s essential to conduct thorough research and work with reputable dealers when acquiring Burmese Rubies to ensure their authenticity and value. Despite their expense, these gems continue to captivate the world with their beauty and timeless allure, making them a true symbol of luxury and prestige.


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