Bling of the Month: Ruby

The color red rocks this month with rubies!  Yes, this month's bling is the ever classic ruby, and it's as hot as ever. Rubies are considered one of the four precious stones, together with sapphires, emeralds and diamonds.  Their color is caused mainly by the presence of chromium, making them close cousins to sapphires, since they are both a variety of the mineral corundum.  Fun fact:  since they are the same mineral they could be classified together, but rubies are so special that they get their own classification.

I love using rubies in my work, especially when I am doing more classic pieces like this one.

Historically speaking , rubies have always been coveted due to their deep red color.  As you know, red is the color of love, making them one of the most popular gemstones.  In ancient times it was though of as "the king of gems," and represented devotion, happiness, healing, courage, generosity, inspiration, prosperity and of course romance.

Even in our own pop culture, rubies are extremely relevant.  How do you think changing the color of the "ruby slippers" in the classic movie The Wizard of Oz would have changed the movie?  I don't think "diamond slippers" has the same pizzaz.

Rubies have long been a favorite of royals, having been used for coronation rings and jewelry.  In England, Prince Andrew gave the infamous Fergie a ruby sparkler for their engagement, in contrast to the late Diana's sapphire one.  I happen to think that rubies are a great choice for engagement rings, since their blood-red color has been sign of love and devotion for centuries.

The rubies ties to queens and princesses is not only reserved for those of noble blood.  For many years I have been designing crowns for another type of royalty: Miss Ecuador.  Here is one of my favorite tiaras I have done for the pageant.  Rubies are definitely fit for a queen.

All natural rubies have imperfections in them; in fact, that's how jewelers and gemologists are able to tell them apart from man made stones.  These imperfections are referred to as "silk."  Rubies are tough and durable.  The only other stone harder than a ruby is a diamond, making them highly desired in the world of jewelry.  Since rubies are so rare, a ruby is more valuable than a diamond of the same size.

When buying rubies, the four C's of diamond buying are still applicable, although clarity is less strict for rubies than for diamonds.  A diamond that has zero imperfections is very likely to be a fake. The cut is your choice, of course, and as far as clarity goes, do not purchase a ruby that is cloudy or opaque.  The most important feature is the color, which should be a deep red.  The richer and deeper the color, the more valuable the stone is.

Have a great holiday weekend!

Dani K

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