Home Knowledges A Quick Guide on How to Identify Original Ruby Stones

A Quick Guide on How to Identify Original Ruby Stones

by Madonna

The allure of rubies, with their rich red hues, has captivated humanity for centuries. As one of the most coveted gemstones, the market for rubies is vast, but unfortunately, so is the market for imitations and synthetic stones. Distinguishing between an authentic ruby and its counterparts requires a keen eye and a thorough understanding of the gem’s unique characteristics. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the world of rubies, exploring their origins, properties, and providing a detailed roadmap on how to identify an original ruby stone.

Understanding the Origin: Natural vs. Synthetic

The first step in identifying an original ruby stone is understanding its origin. Natural rubies are formed deep within the Earth’s crust over millions of years, while synthetic rubies are created in laboratories. Though synthetics may closely resemble natural rubies, they lack certain key features.


Natural rubies often contain imperfections, known as inclusions, due to the conditions of their formation. These inclusions, which can be crystals, gas bubbles, or other minerals, are crucial indicators of a genuine ruby. In contrast, synthetic rubies may be nearly flawless under magnification.


Color: The Essence of Authenticity

The color of a ruby is perhaps its most defining characteristic. A true ruby boasts a vibrant red color, ranging from a deep crimson to a more purplish-red hue. This red is a result of the presence of chromium in the crystal structure. To identify an original ruby, one must be familiar with the variations in color and be wary of stones that exhibit an overly uniform or unnatural shade.


It’s important to note that some rubies may have secondary colors, such as pink or purple. However, these secondary hues should not dominate the stone. If a ruby appears too pink or purple, it may be an indication of a lower-quality or imitative gem.

Clarity: Examining the Heart of the Ruby

Inclusions, often seen as tiny crystals or lines within the stone, not only authenticate a ruby but also contribute to its unique beauty. While synthetic rubies may appear flawless, natural rubies typically contain some level of imperfections. These inclusions can take on various forms, such as needles, clouds, or fingerprint-like patterns.

The presence of these imperfections, when examined under magnification, can help distinguish a natural ruby from a synthetic one. However, it’s essential to note that not all inclusions are alike, and the type and location of inclusions can vary widely among natural rubies.

Cut: Unveiling the Brilliance

The cut of a ruby plays a significant role in its overall appeal and can offer valuable clues about its authenticity. A well-cut ruby will exhibit brilliance and a vibrant play of light. In contrast, poorly cut stones may appear dull and lackluster.

Original rubies are typically cut to enhance their color and maximize their visual impact. Paying attention to the proportions, symmetry, and overall finish of a ruby can provide insights into its authenticity. Synthetic rubies, while often well-cut, may lack the nuanced craftsmanship found in natural stones.

Carat Weight: Balancing Size and Quality

Carat weight, a measure of a gemstone’s size, is another factor to consider when identifying original rubies. It’s crucial to recognize that larger does not always mean more valuable, especially if the quality of the stone is compromised. Natural rubies of high quality are rarer, and as such, their value may exceed that of larger, lower-quality stones.

When assessing carat weight, it’s essential to strike a balance between size and quality. Be wary of stones that seem disproportionately large for their quality, as they may be synthetic or of inferior grade.

The Importance of Certification

To alleviate uncertainties and ensure the authenticity of a ruby, obtaining a certification from a reputable gemological laboratory is highly recommended. Certifications, such as those from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) or the International Gemological Institute (IGI), provide detailed information about a ruby’s origin, color, clarity, cut, and carat weight.

A certified original ruby not only gives buyers confidence in their purchase but also serves as a valuable documentation of the gem’s characteristics. When in doubt, always ask for a certificate and verify its authenticity with the issuing laboratory.

See Also: A Comprehensive Guide on Polishing Raw Rubies

The Scratch Test: A Cautionary Approach

While not foolproof, the scratch test can be a preliminary method to identify certain imitations. Rubies are one of the hardest gemstones, scoring 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness. This means they can scratch most other minerals. However, this test should be approached with caution, as it may damage the ruby or other gemstones.

To conduct the scratch test, use a sharp object such as a knife or a piece of quartz to attempt to scratch the surface of the ruby. If the ruby shows no signs of scratching, it is likely a genuine stone. However, this method is not definitive and should not be the sole basis for authentication.

UV Light Test: Revealing Fluorescence

The UV light test is another tool in the gemologist’s arsenal. Many natural rubies exhibit fluorescence, emitting a red glow when exposed to ultraviolet light. This fluorescence is often a result of the presence of chromium in the ruby’s composition.

While the UV light test can be informative, it is not foolproof, as some synthetic rubies may also display fluorescence. Therefore, this test should be used in conjunction with other methods for a more comprehensive evaluation.

Heating and Treatment: Unraveling the History

Rubies are sometimes subjected to heat treatment to enhance their color and clarity. While this is a common industry practice, it’s important for buyers to be aware of the treatment history of a ruby. Reputable dealers will disclose any treatments, and a certification from a recognized gemological laboratory will provide this information.

Synthetic rubies are often created in a controlled environment, allowing for precise control over their characteristics. Therefore, the absence of any treatment history may indicate that a ruby is synthetic. However, it’s crucial to note that some natural rubies may also be untreated, so this factor should be considered alongside other authentication methods.

See Also: The Price of Large Rubies: Everything You Need To Know

Conclusion: Navigating the Ruby Landscape with Confidence

In the quest to identify an original ruby stone, a multifaceted approach is key. By examining factors such as origin, color, clarity, cut, and carat weight, along with employing additional tests like the scratch test and UV light test, buyers can make informed decisions. Seeking certification from reputable gemological laboratories adds an extra layer of assurance.

As the market for gemstones continues to evolve, staying informed and adopting a discerning eye are paramount. With this comprehensive guide in hand, enthusiasts and buyers alike can navigate the ruby landscape with confidence, ensuring that the gem they acquire is indeed a precious and authentic ruby, born from the depths of the Earth and crafted by nature’s extraordinary forces.


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