How Are Rubies Valued
There’s no denying that rubies are beautiful stones. In fact, in India, ruby is called the “lord of the gemstones.” are the most valuable and rarest blue colored natural gemstones. Why? Ruby gemstones have long been associated with royalty, wealth, and power. But they’re also seen as protective stones.
Their deep red color is believed to stir up love, make the wearer invulnerable to wounds in battle, and even collect more wealth. For European royal houses, rubies have long been considered essential in royal jewels. For example, the Black Prince Ruby is set in the imperial crown of the United Kingdom.
Of course, there are many other magnificent rubies in the world, as well. So, what if you want to own a ruby yourself, or buy one for the special woman in your life? Here’s what to consider before you purchase ruby gemstone.
Quickly and to the point, rubies are the most expensive colored gemstone on the planet. Besides the legendary history and reputation of rubies discussed above, they’re incredibly rare stones. In fact, much rarer than natural diamonds. Maybe that’s one reason why ruby gemstones are often set alongside diamonds. Although rubies can be much smaller in carat weight, they are still showstoppers. When you find rubies, then, how are they priced?
Color, or in this case hue, is incredibly important for rubies. For example, the most expensive rubies are pigeon bloodstones from Burma. These are a very vibrant red with a tiny contrast of blue, which makes the red color look more vibrant. If you want something truly legendary, you should know that for a long time they couldn’t be imported into the US. Now, the circumstances have evolved. Price? The sky’s the limit, but specific Burmese ruby price information isn’t readily available.
On the other hand, there are less expensive options with rubies. For instance, you could choose a stone containing a bit of yellow. This hue is less valuable than pigeon’s blood red but can still be lovely if skillfully cut and set. Truthfully, while these less popular ruby hues are less expensive, there’s nothing “wrong” with them. Your choices in this matter are largely a matter of taste.
One more thing needs to be said, however: if the color saturation of a “ruby” isn’t sufficient, at some point, it will become a pink sapphire. That’s because sapphires and rubies are both varieties of corundum, and all colors besides red are called sapphire. These are much less valuable than rubies. Fortunately, if you’re buying here in the United States, certain standards apply for determining if you have a ruby gemstone or a sapphire.
Rubies are famous for not having much clarity. In fact, the vast majority of even higher-quality rubies have inclusions or fissures that can be seen with the naked eye. Unlike diamonds, these red stones remain highly desirable, even if they are less expensive. In other words, inclusions influence the value of rubies but not necessarily their perceived beauty. From the standpoint of value, it’s more important to have a nice color than an eye-clean stone. In fact, star rubies are nearly opaque but very expensive.
As with other gems, the price of a ruby is affected by its size. Want to buy 2 carats of rubies? You’ll spend less money if you buy four stones of half a carat each than if you buy a two-carat ruby. There’s a reason that so many settings out there use a whole bunch of small rubies! They’re still beautiful, though.
Here’s a concrete example: the Graff Ruby, which is a Burmese ruby gemstone and about 8.6 carats, sold for $8.6 million in 2014. That’s a ruby price per carat of a million dollars.
The following image is is an especially fine ruby: the eye-clean, Burmese pigeon blood, and impeccably well-cut.
The most expensive ruby ever sold was the Crimson Flame Ruby (as seen below). This ruby stone weighs around 15 carats, and cost about $18.3 million in 2015.
On the other hand, at With Clarity, we offer heat-treated ruby gemstone rings for around $2,500. A one-carat, untreated Mozambique ruby with a dark color and close to eye clean, can be had for around $4,500 from another retailer. That’s not a pigeon’s blood color, but it still has nice color saturation. This gives you an idea of how total carat weight affects the price of rubies.
Country of origin
Unlike many other gemstones, the price of a ruby gemstone is heavily influenced by its country of origin. It seems that for centuries the Burmese ruby has been most famous and valuable. Currently, ruby gemstones certified to be of Burmese origin command to double the price of their similar counterparts.
While many labs hesitate to certify the origin of ruby, the GIA recently published a report about red rubies from western Kenya. These rubies were fairly included but had a saturated color. Accordingly, the GIA believes this discovery will help identify gem origin in the future because trace elements help decipher its country of origin.
As with diamonds and other precious stones, synthetic ruby gemstones are available. Naturally, the prices are much lower than the natural ruby price per carat. After all, these don’t have to be mined.
It’s worth mentioning that lab-created rubies are generally eye-clean, with only the occasional bubble to be found. Of course, lower-quality rubies compare differently, but they’re still much more expensive than synthetic.
Rubies vs. Diamonds
Price-wise, the ruby vs diamond price is favorable for rubies. There are several reasons for this, such as the insistence that diamonds have smaller flaws than rubies. It’s also the case that rubies could be cut with less precision. The previous statement is true only if you’re looking to maximize the color of a ruby, not its sparkle. Here’s an example from our company: a one-carat ruby ring costs $2,050, while a comparable one-carat natural diamond solitaire ring can set you back approximately $3,400. In the previous example, a consumer can save about 40% on our site if you buy a ruby engagement ring, rather than a natural diamond engagement ring.
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