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 Post subject: Real or Fake Ruby
PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 7:43 am 
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Hello to everybody, and thanks all for making this forum as I have been reading the posts and everyone is so helpful and informative! As for me, my name is James and I am recently new to studying gemstones. As a present I received a ruby and diamond white gold filigree ring. The ruby is from India and the ring is from Iran. The man who sold it to us is a close family friend of my wife's Iranian family in Iran. The ruby is 100% original and antique he explained to me, however I can not see any inclusions in the ruby and I am trying to use a jewelers loupe 10x to get to the bottom of this. This jeweler has always sold our family authentic rings, gold, diamonds, and precious stones for perfect prices but this ruby doesn't have any inclusions. When I took it to him he explained that by heating it with a special torch he could prove it was an authentic ruby as the color would not change to black as it would with a synthetic. He demonstrated for me but it's just that rubies here are not 1000s of dollars like in the US which is why I was skeptical, but in Iran jewelry is 6 to 7 times cheaper than in the west. You don't even pay an extra 20% of what its worth to the jeweler. I looked at it closely with a jewelers loop and in the light there are the smallest ever surface scratches on the stone like little ones on a diamond. As I hold it under a light and loupe it closer I can't see any bubbles in it but very fine like maybe a few .01 mm hair looking threads. Anyone have any ideas on this? I tried to attach a photo as well but the file was too big so here are some links:
http://i40.tinypic.com/2db8q34.jpg
http://i42.tinypic.com/imiat4.jpg
http://i44.tinypic.com/25i7zaa.jpg
http://i42.tinypic.com/294kope.jpg

Thank you so much, James


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 Post subject: Re: Real or Fake Ruby
PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:32 am 
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First of all, welcome to the forum!

Secondly that a synthetic ruby would turn black when subjected to high heat is total nonsense. I have personally subjected flame fusion synthetics to 1200 degrees Celsius with the help from a torch and what was most amazing to me was that nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, happened to the stone. It did not even crack which would be very likely that a natural stone would.

This said, to torch a ruby of unknown origin is really stupid (I'm being diplomatic here).
There is also no way to tell by an image if a stone is natural, synthetic or even if it is what it is supposed to be. This has been stated many times before on the forum.

I would for sure never buy anything from someone that is trying to pull such BS regarding how to identify a synthetic ruby. Microscopic examinations will for sure help out. If you are in Teheran I'm sure there is some type of gemological lab somewhere. In that case, find it and take the ring there to get an expert opinion.

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 Post subject: Re: Real or Fake Ruby
PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 3:01 pm 
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Dear Conny,

Thanks so much for the reply. I opted out of him torching my ruby but he did take out a plate and show me some glass ruby torched to black and an authentic one just returning to its original color. The man is a very close friend and a wonderful man, so I don't believe he was deliberately lying however I just wanted to know if there were any techniques by magnifying it under a 10x loupe so that I could confirm everything. I know for sure the 32 diamonds on the top and sides are natural, I just wanted to know if there was a technique by just louping it to this as well. I can't find any bubbles or that sort. I appreciate your information and I will keep this in mind. However jewelry in Iran is 90% of the time a great value(beware of bazaars where they know westerners will dish out 3 times as much for jewelry) . I am Italian and American, and I find that in Iran you can always get a great value on gold, gems, and diamonds. Yes there is always the gold/silver/diamond rate like anywhere in the world, but you pay virtually nothing for the craftsmanship and markup in comparison to the west. In Italy it used to be like this but unfortunately in the last few decades times have really changed.


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 Post subject: Re: Real or Fake Ruby
PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 4:49 pm 
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I have to admit, I'm not an expert on Indian Rubies, but this Ruby just looks to good to be from India. But as I said, I'm no expert. India probably has produced very fine rubies, but normally their commercial at best. Can't ever recall reading about super fine Rubies from India, though Kashmir is in India, & has produced fine Pink Sapphires on ocassion, as far as Rubies???

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Last edited by ELVIS PRASIOLITE on Sun Dec 25, 2011 12:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Real or Fake Ruby
PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 8:25 pm 
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Hey Elvis Prasiolite thanks for your input. In Iran sapphires and rubies have no set price, and many upon many of people take jewelry as an investment and sell their antique, modern, and whatever jewelry they have in terms of crisis. There are many ruby stones sold because of the fact that it is an Islamic religious stone as well. This ruby especially in the third picture has a typical ruby "look" to it, and when I get back to Buffalo I am going to have it looked at by a professional certified gemologist to get to the bottom of it. I love the ring for the sentimental value regardless as to why I never wear except for special occasion. (Don't want to damage it) I am going to have to buy a silver Peridot ring tomorrow for everyday use. (Peridot and Amethysts are my favorite stones) Thank you


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 Post subject: Re: Real or Fake Ruby
PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2011 12:10 am 
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Location: Karachi, Pakistan
This may be a bit off topic. But I don't seem to recall any preference for certain type of gemstones in Islam, (and I happen to be a Muslim). #-o

I did however just now search Google for a better answer (as I'm not a religious scholar). And sure enough, I did find lots of pages where many things are said in favor of the fact that many stones have some significance in Islamic. :|

But the notion of Red Ruby being an Islamic religious stone (or any other gemstone for that matter) - Actually goes totally against the very core of Islamic teachings. Which in really encourages everyone to not be materialistic. Which is why, no one that I know wears any type of stone on the account of religion. I mean, anyone who says that in public over here, will end up looking very silly. :lol:

Some of course argue that they are actually wearing gemstones for protection from evil, or for good fortune (not because they are falling in love with a gem's value :^o ). But I personally feel that this too is actually nothing but an attempt of trying to find a loophole in Islam, so they can wear gemstones with ease. :oops:

Anyway, this argument (of wearing gems for protection, or on the account of religion) also goes against Islamic teachings. As in Islam, putting your faith in anything other than God Himself, is considered borderline blasphemy... Which is why, one is taught at a very early age, to not be materialistic. Because in times of need and/or despair, no amount of material worship will be of any use. Only God and God alone will be your savior.

That anyway is the type of Islam that I have known here in Pakistan. Really don't know what they practice in Iran. But from the looks of it, I think your jeweler is just indulging in some made up Jibber-Jabber to sell his stuff. Therefore don't trust him anymore please... Since the actual concept of Islam is still very much misunderstood in the West - He (your jeweler) seems to be getting away with it!


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 Post subject: Re: Real or Fake Ruby
PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2011 4:58 am 
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Hi there..

Its hard to tell what it could be, by just looking at the picture..

but it looks like it could either be the commercial quality coming from Thailand..which is glass filled & heated.. or its synthetic..

I see a few etch marks on the lower right side of the stone which are often seen in synthetics & glass.. but can not be judged with accuracy, of what exactly it could be.

Regards,
Akshat


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 Post subject: Re: Real or Fake Ruby
PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2011 1:47 pm 
akki4i wrote:
Hi there..

Its hard to tell what it could be, by just looking at the picture..

but it looks like it could either be the commercial quality coming from Thailand..which is glass filled & heated.. or its synthetic..

I see a few etch marks on the lower right side of the stone which are often seen in synthetics & glass.. but can not be judged with accuracy, of what exactly it could be.

Regards,
Akshat


OK, as a relative newbie, you have lost me already...

In what way(s) does a synthetic Ruby show the same/similar diagnostic characteristics to a glass-filled natural Ruby?


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 Post subject: Re: Real or Fake Ruby
PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2011 9:30 pm 
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As far as I know (and I am no expert), synthetic Ruby comes in 3 types. First and the most common one (also the cheapest) is from the Verneuil process, which is today more commonly known as flame fusion.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verneuil_process

Now I could be wrong about this, (as I am no expert), but I've heard that nearly all Rubies (over 99%) in the jewelry industry are from the flame fusion process. Also true for the machine tool industry (from where I have come to know of them). A company named DJEVA in Switzerland is one of the best sources of them.

http://www.djeva.com/

OK, now when it comes to identifying this type - One requires a microscope to spot it's traits. Sometimes, a little un-fused power can be seen locked up in the crystal. Other times small gas bubbles can be spotted. Prominent growth lines too are an easy way to tell if a stone is natural or synthetic. But all of these differences are very small, and so require a microscope. Therefore by just showing pictures at an ordinary magnification is not really helpful.

I found this video on YouTube which explains all of what I've said above. Please have a look at it.
http://youtu.be/TWAO8x29v78

Other 2 types of synthetic Rubies, one of which happens to be from the pulled crystal method - Are often used in very high tech stuff. Like in those multi-kilowatt Ruby Lasers (utilized in the defense industry). So those type of Rubies hardly ever show up in jewelry items. Mostly because they are not cheap to produce.

Now judging by just the photograph alone. That Ruby looks too big and too clear to be a natural one. So I assume that it must be a synthetic one, produced by flame fusion. And as stated by the gentleman who started this thread - The jeweler is ready to "test" the Ruby by touching it with a hot flame. Saying that if it is a synthetic one, it will turn black. This (to me anyway) clearly seems like a deliberate attempt to deceive the customer.

Because everyone knows that synthetic Rubies and natural ones are chemically and optically the same. In fact, synthetic ones have far fewer imperfections in them (as they are made by an industrial process). Perhaps this is why the jeweler is so confidant that the Ruby will not shatter when it will be touched by a hot flame - The very notion of which (as mentioned in this thread by another gentleman), is not the mark of an intelligent person...

Perhaps the jeweler is trying to show-off the difference between a real Ruby and an artificial one (made from glass or plastic). But when it comes to synthetics, they are chemically, optically, and in hardness too - Almost exactly the same as the real thing. I am no expert, yet I too know this. So a jeweler (with a lifetime of experience) not knowing this basic terminology is a bit unlikely. Which is why I called it an attempt to deceive the customer.

Another thing which I see as one more attempt of deception by the jeweler - Is the statement that Ruby happens to be an Islamic stone. Now I am from Pakistan (which is over 90% Muslim). Yet I have never hard anything like this in my life! So exactly what's going on?

Usually, one tiny slip-up is enough to make me walk away from a deal. But here in this string, we have spitted 2. Therefore I (without even being a Gemologist) can clearly sense that something is not right in this. Which is why if I was ever offered that ring. I would politely say no thank you, and just continue to walk.


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 Post subject: Re: Real or Fake Ruby
PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2011 3:30 am 
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Kerensky wrote:
OK, as a relative newbie, you have lost me already...

In what way(s) does a synthetic Ruby show the same/similar diagnostic characteristics to a glass-filled natural Ruby?



Hey.. sorry for the misunderstanding!! i didn't mean to say both these qualities have identical inclusions, by any chance whatsoever!
however, prima facie.. if someone is looking at two such specimen without a loupe, they would appear to look almost the same- no obvious inclusions, even color & no feathers.

Indian rubies, on the other hand, are pretty full of inclusions.. pretty opaque(to the best of my knowledge!)

but again, as everyone said, its hard to tell by just looking at the picture.. I'm just speculating on what is obvious in those pictures- that its even colored, no obvious inclusions(and the stone is pretty big too!)


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 Post subject: Re: Real or Fake Ruby
PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2011 8:38 am 
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Thanks so much everybody. I am going to take it to a certified gemologist. In respect to a Ruby being an Islamic gemstone in Shia Islam, with a reference to Imam Ali who wore 5 different rings with gemstones (Turquoise, Ruby, Agate, Dur-e Najaf (quartz from Najaf Iraq) and on occasion Hematite when confronting an enemy. The jeweler never stated that it was an Islamic gemstone, but by Shia muslims it's significantly known to be a very powerful gemstone that symbolizes beauty. Just wanted to put this correction in.


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 Post subject: Re: Real or Fake Ruby
PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2011 11:01 am 
akki4i wrote:
Kerensky wrote:
OK, as a relative newbie, you have lost me already...

In what way(s) does a synthetic Ruby show the same/similar diagnostic characteristics to a glass-filled natural Ruby?



Hey.. sorry for the misunderstanding!!....


Many thanks. I understand better now.

Quote:
....but again, as everyone said, its hard to tell by just looking at the picture.. I'm just speculating on what is obvious in those pictures- that its even colored, no obvious inclusions(and the stone is pretty big too!)


I agree. Beyond what you have already said, it is not possible to say much that is sensible from just those photos.

With regard to curved striae in flame fusion Ruby I made my first photo image of that some while ago and, to be honest, I found it confused me more than it helped. The striae are approximately straight and not well-curved as in many text-book images. Rather, the striae seem partially to over-lap each other (see pic below). Only lying in bed this morning, reading the G&K PhotoAtlas of Inclusions in Gemstones (a Christmas present), was the significance of this appearance finally made clear to me :o Information is like a jigsaw; one builds the pattern a pice aty a time and, sometimes, the order of building is strangely erratic :lol:
Attachment:
Synth Ruby 1-05b.JPG
Synth Ruby 1-05b.JPG [ 47.76 KiB | Viewed 20320 times ]


Last edited by Kerensky on Wed Dec 28, 2011 12:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Real or Fake Ruby
PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2011 11:05 pm 
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jtres wrote:
Thanks so much everybody. I am going to take it to a certified gemologist. In respect to a Ruby being an Islamic gemstone in Shia Islam, with a reference to Imam Ali who wore 5 different rings with gemstones (Turquoise, Ruby, Agate, Dur-e Najaf (quartz from Najaf Iraq) and on occasion Hematite when confronting an enemy. The jeweler never stated that it was an Islamic gemstone, but by Shia muslims it's significantly known to be a very powerful gemstone that symbolizes beauty. Just wanted to put this correction in.


Oh I see now, this has to do with the Shia sect of Islam... Well, here in Pakistan the majority is Sunni Muslim (heavily influenced by Sufism). So I guess that is why the concept seemed a bit alien to me. However thanks for clearing this up.

Anyway, I am a bit curious to know what a certified gemologist will have to say about that ring. So please do share the verdict with us too. However on a personal level, I hope that the ring turns out to be authentic (because it is after all a gift). Therefore I really wish the sentimental value of it is not ruined. [-o<


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 Post subject: Re: Real or Fake Ruby
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 1:18 pm 
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And the verdict is... natural ruby.


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 Post subject: Re: Real or Fake Ruby
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 1:22 pm 
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Most interesting indeed - And congratulations! =D>


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