Ruby and sapphire are the two varieties of the mineral corundum. Their exceptional hardness is surpassed only by diamonds. Red corundum is called ruby, and all other colors are called sapphire.
The different geographical sources of ruby are known for characteristic colors and qualities, although they all produce a variety of gem material. Burma is famous for producing the greatest amount of top quality ruby-a fine, clear, deep red. Thailand is known for dark red to brownish-red stones. Typical Ceylon (Sri Lanka) rubies are medium light in tone. And Africa is known for small, sheet-like, purplish-red material. Burma is the most important source of ruby today. Other producers are the island of Sri Lanka-(formerly Ceylon), the countries of Thailand, Kampuchea (Cambodia), India and Australia, various localities in Africa and our own state of North Carolina. Some rubies display a luminous star when viewed in the right light. This is caused by the orientation of intersecting needles within the stone. The light reflecting off them forms a star. Stars may be seen on certain translucent stones that have been cut in a dome shape.
A CLASSIC GEM
Since subtle differences in quality can make large differences in beauty (and price), it is important to select your jewelry from a professional who can guide you honestly and ethically in your purchase.
Many gems are processed to enhance their natural beauty. Ask your Certified jeweler to discuss which techniques might apply to the gem of your choice.