Dictionary of Jewelry Terminology


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Introduction to Ruby

This article is about, "ruby." We will try to explain what it is, what it does, and how it is used in the jewelry industry.


A ruby is a precious gemstone that's all about the color red. Imagine the most vibrant red you've ever seen – that's how a ruby looks! It's like having a piece of a magical red potion in your jewelry. Rubies are known for their beautiful red color. They can be a bright red, like the color of a stop sign, or a deep red, like the color of ripe cherries. When you think of a ruby, think of the color red!

Rubies are found deep in the earth. They're like hidden treasures waiting to be discovered. People have been amazed by rubies for thousands of years, and they've been used in all kinds of fancy jewelry. Rubies are not only stunning, but they're also tough. They're often used in things like rings and necklaces that we wear every day. People love to wear rubies to show off their style and add a splash of red to their outfits.

Rubies are made from a mineral called corundum. It's like nature's recipe for creating beautiful red gems. The reddish color comes from a special ingredient – chromium. It's like the secret sauce that makes rubies red and awesome.

So, the next time you see a shiny red gemstone in a piece of jewelry, you'll know it might just be a ruby, the gemstone with the power of red!

More Depth

Rubies, the captivating gemstones renowned for their striking red hues, hold a profound significance in both gemology and human history. In this discourse, we shall uncover the geological, chemical, and cultural dimensions of rubies, exploring their nature as well as their roles in jewelry and beyond.

Rubies are gem-quality varieties of the mineral corundum, composed primarily of aluminum and oxygen atoms. The vibrant red color arises from the presence of chromium impurities within the crystal lattice. This alteration of the corundum's typical colorless state to shades ranging from vivid red to deep purplish-red creates the mesmerizing gemstone we recognize as the ruby.

The formation of rubies requires specific geological conditions. Typically, rubies emerge in metamorphic rocks, such as marble and schist, where the presence of aluminum, oxygen, and chromium facilitates their crystallization. Inclusions of mineral inclusions like rutile needles, known as silk, are common in rubies and contribute to phenomena like asterism (the star effect) in cabochon-cut rubies.

Rubies have commanded reverence across various cultures and epochs. In ancient times, rubies were associated with vitality, courage, and protection. Their brilliant red color symbolized power and nobility, making them sought-after gemstones among royalty and the elite. Throughout history, rubies have been embedded in crowns, scepters, and amulets, signifying strength and authority.

Rubies' remarkable hardness – measuring 9 on the Mohs scale – renders them excellent candidates for jewelry that demands durability, such as rings and necklaces. The alluring combination of their lustrous red hue and resilience makes rubies an elegant choice for statement pieces. Beyond adornments, rubies have found utility in industrial applications. Their hardness and resistance to wear have led to their incorporation in specialized tools and technologies, such as laser equipment and scientific instruments.

Rubies are known for their unique inclusions, ranging from silk-like rutile needles to fingerprint-like growth patterns. While inclusions lend character, excessive inclusions might affect the gem's transparency and value. Additionally, heat treatments are often employed to enhance the color and clarity of rubies. It is important for gemologists and buyers to be aware of these treatments for accurate evaluation.

In conclusion, rubies, as exceptional corundum gemstones, exemplify the mesmerizing interplay of geological processes and cultural symbolism. Their rich red hues not only adorn jewelry pieces but also carry with them tales of human history and geologic history. The allure of rubies, embedded within their captivating depths, continues to intrigue gemologists, historians, and enthusiasts alike.

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