Rubies throughout history have been known as the “Lord of the Gems”. Their rarity and beauty have made them popular for two dozen centuries. Determining their value has been problematic through the years, because of the numerous hues of the gemstone.
Today’s experts not only have to contend with rubies eighty-four (84) hues and saturations (G.I.A Gemset), but also have to determine whether they are synthetic (lab-created) or genuine. Synthetic rubies are the most difficult gemstone to separate from natural. Additionally, today’s experts have to determine what enhancements have or have not been performed to improve appearance. Common enhancements include heat treatments and fracture fillers. Each factor affects value. Vivid color is the most important factor in genuine rubies, and most graduate gemologists assign 60% – 65% of value for color alone. The rest of the “Four C’s” make up for the difference.
It is important to note that not all Lab-created rubies are created equally when it comes to value. Some cost a lot more than others, and some are mirror images of nature. At this point, it must be noted that many in the trade allege that their rubies are from certain regions, ex. (Burmese rubies, Sri Lanka rubies), to inflate the price. Most retailers cannot guarantee from where the ruby source originated. The F.T.C (Federal Trade Commission) mandates disclosure of foreign origin and prohibits misrepresentation of country of origin in gemstones (Section 23.3(a) and (b)).
Throughout the decades in the jewelry industry, the most common question Dr. Gem® is asked is, “How easy is it to spot fake jewelry?” The answer is not simple and is determined by a variety of factors, including the person’s definition of fake. In rubies, and other hydrothermal synthetic gemstones, detection requires microscopic examination and other gemological equipment.
Simulants mimic the look of a gemstone or diamond. Synthetics have the same chemical composition and are optically identical to the natural gemstone that they are duplicating. Thus, distinguishing a cubic zirconia, or CZ, from a diamond is rather easy to an expert, but synthetic rubies are visually the same with the unaided eye.
Dr. Gem® has created a number of 40 to 60 carat synthetic ruby necklaces that rival royal treasures at a fraction of their cost. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and modern technology makes it impossible to determine to the unaided eye whether it’s a treasure or a great fake.
Jewels and Diamonds™ has some fabulous natural ruby rings, earrings, bracelets and necklaces.
Ruby is the birthstone for the month of July.