Ruby is the birthstone of July, it is a gemstone of beautiful depth and colour, with its name deriving from the Latin word for red it is one of the four original precious gemstones, alongside diamond, emerald and also sapphire, which like ruby is part of the corundum family.
Ruby is extremely hard wearing, with a hardness of 9 which is very hard when you compare it to Diamond which has a hardness of 10, This makes it popular for eternity rings and items which ladies like to wear every day alongside their diamonds, they are just as resilient as sapphires and only slightly softer than diamonds. The most desirable shade of red for a ruby is a deep red with a slight hint of blue which is sometimes referred to as "pigeon's blood red."
Most rubies tend to have slight inclusions, seen as natures fingerprint on these gemstones, making each one individual, it is extremely rare to find a ruby with no imperfections, so rare in fact they can command prices even higher than diamonds of a similar weight and quality. A vast majority of the world’s finest rubies have been mined in Burma, hence the term ‘Burmese ruby’.
Some rubies can display what is known as an asterism and we know these as a ‘star ruby’ if a ruby with an asterism is also very clear it can be highly sought after. The Delong Star Ruby which is now in the Natural History Museum in New York City weighs 100.32 carats. In 1964 the Delong Star Ruby (along with the ‘Star of India’) was the object of an infamous burglary, carried out by Jack Murphy and the two rubies were ransomed for $25,000 and both recovered. The Delong Star was found at a designated drop off site which was a phone booth in Florida.
At G Collins and Sons we stock Ruby pieces of jewellery across a variety of price points to ensure we can provide something for all of our clients.