Site Contents

Gemstone Crystal System Density Hardness Refractive index Treatments
hexagonal 4.00 9 1.762-1.770 heat, fracture filling;
bulk diffusion with beryllium



Red with orange or violet modifiers


Burma, Madagascar,
Sri Lanka, Viet Nam,East Africa and

Ruby has been the world's most valued gemstone for thousands of years. Rubies are today still more valuable and rare than the top quality colorless diamonds.


powered by FreeFind


(Aluminum Oxide)

Ruby is the red variety of the mineral corundum. When corundum occurs in any other color it is referred to as a sapphire. Rubies are mined primarily in Burma, Madagascar, India and Eastern Africa. More important than the gems' locality of origin is the actual color and clarity of the stone. Rubies that are the most valuable will be a dead red in color, without any modifying tones of violet, orange or brown and are transparent in clarity. A fine ruby still commands the highest price of any stone in the world! The brilliant red color of the ruby has supported many tales. One is that rubies store vast quantities of heat and when placed in water, they will cause the water to boil. Obviously this is an exaggeration, but I know some that swear if you hold a ruby in your left hand, you'll feel bursts of heat. I'm a bit skeptical, so please let me know if you experience this phenomenon. Ruby, none the less, is a powerful stone and has long been considered a magnet for prosperity, attracting abundance both materially and spiritually.

The most famous source of fine rubies is Burma, now known as Myanmar. The ruby mines of Myanmar are older than history: stone age and bronze age mining tools have been found in the mining area of Mogok. Rubies from the legendary mines in Mogok often have a pure red color, which is often described as "pigeon's-blood" although that term is more fanciful than an actual practical standard in the trade today. Myanmar also produces intense pinkish red rubies which are almost electic in color. Many of the rubies from Burma have a strong fluorescence when exposed to ultraviolet rays like those in sunlight.