Usually, the rough stone is heated before cutting. These days, almost all rubies are treated in some form, with heat treatment being the most common practice. Untreated rubies of high quality command a large premium. Some rubies show a three-point or six-point asterism or "star". These rubies are cut into cabochons to display the effect properly.
Asterisms are best visible with a single-light source and move across the stone as the light moves or the stone is rotated. Such effects occur when light is reflected off the "silk" the structurally oriented rutile needle inclusions in a certain way. This is one example where inclusions increase the value of a gemstone. Furthermore, rubies can show color changes—though this occurs very rarely—as well as chatoyancy or the "cat's eye" effect. Generally, gemstone-quality corundum in all shades of red, including pink, are called rubies.
Often, the distinction between ruby and pink sapphire is not clear and can be debated. The Republic of Macedonia is the only country in mainland Europe to have naturally occurring rubies. They can mainly be found around the city of Prilep. Macedonian rubies have a unique raspberry color. The ruby is also included on the Macedonian coat of arms.
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Spinel , another red gemstone, is sometimes found along with rubies in the same gem gravel or marble. Red spinels may be mistaken for rubies by those lacking experience with gems. However, the finest red spinels can have values approaching that of an average ruby. That region has produced some exceptional rubies, however in recent years few good rubies have been found.
In central Myanmar, the area of Mong Hsu began producing rubies during the s and rapidly became the world's main ruby mining area. The most recently found ruby deposit in Myanmar is in Namya Namyazeik located in the northern state of Kachin. Rubies are also mined in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
In Pakistani Kashmir there are vast proven reserves of millions of rubies, worth up to half a billion dollars. Rubies, as with other gemstones, are graded using criteria known as the four Cs, namely color, cut, clarity and carat weight. Rubies are also evaluated on the basis of their geographic origin. Color: In the evaluation of colored gemstones, color is the most important factor. Color divides into three components: hue , saturation and tone. Hue refers to color as we normally use the term.
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Transparent gemstones occur in the pure spectral hues of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet. Ruby is defined to be red. All other hues of the gem species corundum are called sapphire.
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Ruby may exhibit a range of secondary hues, including orange, purple, violet, and pink. Improving the quality of gemstones by treating them is common practice. Some treatments are used in almost all cases and are therefore considered acceptable. During the late s, a large supply of low-cost materials caused a sudden surge in supply of heat-treated rubies, leading to a downward pressure on ruby prices.
Improvements used include color alteration, improving transparency by dissolving rutile inclusions, healing of fractures cracks or even completely filling them. The most common treatment is the application of heat.
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Most rubies at the lower end of the market are heat treated to improve color, remove purple tinge , blue patches, and silk. The silk is partially broken, and the color is improved. Another treatment, which has become more frequent in recent years, is lead glass filling. Filling the fractures inside the ruby with lead glass or a similar material dramatically improves the transparency of the stone, making previously unsuitable rubies fit for applications in jewelry.
If a color needs to be added, the glass powder can be "enhanced" with copper or other metal oxides as well as elements such as sodium, calcium, potassium etc. The second heating process can be repeated three to four times, even applying different mixtures. The treatment can identified by noting bubbles in cavities and fractures using a 10x loupe. In , Gaudin made the first synthetic rubies by fusing potash alum at a high temperature with a little chromium as a pigment. In , Ebelmen made white sapphire by fusing alumina in boric acid.
In , Frenic and Freil made crystal corundum from which small stones could be cut. Frimy and Auguste Verneuil manufactured artificial ruby by fusing BaF 2 and Al 2 O 3 with a little chromium at red heat. You are leaving ArcGames. Celeste in Blood Ruby Packs! Looking to become a Dragonborn? Need a head start in your adventures? Purple Worm Cake! Undermountain launch celebration cake pictures! Play with the Devs! Celebrate 6 years of Neverwinter with us!
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