Home Knowledges [Revealed!] Distinguish Natural Rubies from Lab-Created Rubies

[Revealed!] Distinguish Natural Rubies from Lab-Created Rubies

by Madonna

Rubies, with their captivating crimson allure, have been prized gemstones for centuries. These precious stones, part of the corundum family, are not only revered for their beauty but also hold significant cultural and historical value. As the demand for rubies continues to rise, so does the prevalence of lab-created alternatives. In this guide, we delve into the intricate world of rubies, exploring the subtle nuances that distinguish natural rubies from their lab-created counterparts.

What Is Natural Ruby?

A natural ruby is a precious gemstone that forms deep within the Earth’s mantle through geological processes involving heat and pressure. Composed of aluminum oxide, or corundum, natural rubies derive their vibrant red hue from trace amounts of chromium present in the crystal lattice. These gems often feature distinctive inclusions, such as tiny crystals or mineral deposits, which serve as unique fingerprints of their natural origin. The color of natural rubies can vary, and their fluorescence under ultraviolet light, along with regional characteristics, further contribute to their individuality. These authentic gemstones are revered for their rarity, beauty, and cultural significance.


See Also: Ruby & Diamond Ring: How Much Is It Worth?


Understanding the Geological Birth of Natural Rubies

To comprehend the differences between natural and lab-created rubies, one must first grasp the geological processes that give rise to these precious gems. Natural rubies are formed deep within the Earth’s mantle under intense heat and pressure. Over millions of years, the mineral corundum, consisting of aluminum oxide, transforms into the vibrant red gemstone we recognize as a ruby.


The Telltale Signs of Natural Inclusions

One of the most reliable indicators of a natural ruby lies within its internal characteristics. Natural rubies often contain imperfections, known as inclusions, that result from the geological processes during their formation. These inclusions, such as tiny crystals, mineral deposits, or other imperfections, serve as a distinctive fingerprint of their natural origin.

Under magnification, these inclusions may appear as ‘silk’ or ‘needles’ within the stone. Additionally, natural rubies may showcase what is known as the ‘silk effect,’ a phenomenon caused by intersecting needle-like inclusions that scatter light, creating a soft glow known as asterism.

Laboratory Precision: Examining the Characteristics of Lab-Created Rubies

Advancements in gemstone synthesis have given rise to lab-created rubies that mimic the visual appeal of their natural counterparts. While these stones can be visually striking, they lack the geological history and inclusions found in natural rubies. Lab-created rubies are often devoid of the imperfections that are characteristic of gems formed within the Earth.

Under magnification, lab-created rubies may exhibit a more perfect crystal structure without the telltale inclusions seen in natural stones. Moreover, they may lack the silk effect, as the controlled environment of a laboratory does not replicate the complex geological conditions that produce this phenomenon in natural rubies.

Color: A Spectrum of Distinctions

The color of a ruby is a crucial factor in determining its authenticity. Natural rubies derive their rich red hue from trace amounts of chromium in the crystal lattice. This unique chemical composition gives natural rubies their vivid and often complex coloration.

In contrast, lab-created rubies may display an overly saturated red color due to the controlled conditions of their creation. While visually appealing, the absence of the nuanced color variations found in natural rubies can be a key indicator of their synthetic origin.

Harnessing the Power of UV Light: A Diagnostic Tool

Another method to distinguish between natural and lab-created rubies involves the use of ultraviolet (UV) light. Natural rubies often exhibit a distinctive fluorescence under UV light, with some stones displaying a red or orange glow. This fluorescence is a result of the presence of chromium in the crystal lattice.

Conversely, lab-created rubies may not exhibit the same fluorescence patterns as their natural counterparts. While this method is not foolproof, it can serve as an additional tool in the arsenal of gemologists and enthusiasts seeking to identify the authenticity of a ruby.

The Power of Certification: Seeking Professional Verification

For those seeking absolute certainty in identifying a natural ruby, obtaining a certification from a reputable gemological laboratory is paramount. Organizations such as the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) rigorously examine gemstones, providing detailed reports that include information about the stone’s origin, treatments, and any enhancements.

A certified natural ruby will come with a report detailing its authenticity, offering peace of mind to buyers and collectors alike. Additionally, GIA-certified stones often command higher prices in the market due to the trust associated with this renowned gemological institution.

Heat Treatment: Deciphering Natural from Enhanced

Heat treatment is a common practice in the gemstone industry to enhance the color and clarity of rubies. While this process is accepted and widely practiced, it’s crucial to understand the distinctions between natural and artificially treated stones.

Natural rubies often have heat-induced features that are a result of geological processes. Inclusions near the surface of the stone may show signs of healing, indicating exposure to heat over an extended period. In contrast, lab-created rubies may exhibit heat-induced features that are more uniform and lack the nuanced characteristics seen in natural stones.

The Importance of Source: Geography Matters

The geographical origin of a ruby can also provide valuable insights into its authenticity. Natural rubies from specific regions, such as Burma (Myanmar), Mozambique, and Thailand, are highly sought after due to their historical significance and unique geological conditions. Gemologists use the knowledge of these regional characteristics to make informed assessments of a ruby’s origin.

Lab-created rubies, on the other hand, do not have a geological origin tied to a specific region. While they can be visually appealing, the absence of a distinct geographical source can be a red flag for those seeking natural, ethically sourced gemstones.

See Also: A Quick Guide to When to Wear a Ruby Ring

Conclusion: Navigating the Ruby Landscape with Confidence

Distinguishing between natural rubies and lab-created alternatives requires a keen eye, a comprehensive understanding of gemology, and access to diagnostic tools. By examining factors such as inclusions, color variations, fluorescence under UV light, and seeking professional certifications, one can confidently navigate the world of rubies.

As the demand for these precious gems continues to grow, so does the importance of ensuring the authenticity of each stone. Whether you are a seasoned gemologist, a collector, or someone looking to invest in a piece of natural beauty, the knowledge presented in this guide empowers you to make informed decisions and appreciate the true magnificence of natural rubies.


You May Also Like


Giacoloredstones is a colored gem portal. The main columns are Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, Tourmaline, Aquamarine, Tanzanite, Amethyst, Garnet, Turquoise, Knowledges, News, etc.【Contact us: [email protected]

© 2023 Copyright