Ruby: A Classic That Stays Modern

July 26, 2018

Ruby: known in ancient Sanskrit as ratnaraj, or the king of the gems. The first working laser beam was created with a synthetic ruby in 1960. Ruby, like its cousin sapphire, is harder than every other gem except for diamond.

Rubies are a form of corundum. Corundum in its pure form, it is often used in abrasive industrial applications. You’re most likely to know it from the sapphire crystal on your wristwatch.  Mixed with trace amounts of iron, titanium, copper, or magnesium, corundum becomes sapphire in a wide range of colors. When chromium in the Earths mantle turns the corundum red, you get ruby.

Are all reds created equal?  That’s the rub. Something pale and pinkish can be classified as ruby but it isn’t as desirable. Too pink and the stone will be called a pink sapphire.  Get the right blend of saturation— ranging from pure vibrant red to something with a slight purplish tint, you’ll have the ideal color for rubies.

Some of the most desirable rubies came from a country called Myanmar. Maybe you know it as Burma.

They were mined for centuries in an area known as Mogok, or the Valley of the Rubies. These mines were known to produce high quality rubies known to have color like ‘pigeons blood’. More recently, Cambodia and Thailand have been major exporters of gem quality rubies.

Rubies have been used in jewelry a long, long time. They are mentioned four times in the Bible, and the Roman scholar Pliny praised them in his writings. In Medieval Europe, they were worn by royalty as a method to show wealth and class.

While we’re not so austere in the 21st Century, rubies still have an air of sophistication. Here are three ways to wear them:

white gold diamond and ruby drop earrings

Rubies make great candidates for earrings. Set in drops, the flash of red peeking out behind your hair is a great way to add color to your wardrobe. These diamond and ruby drop earrings, set in 18kt white gold, feature easy to use lever backs. Not only are they a comfortable alternative to traditional posts, you’ll never be scrounging the carpets for a missing earring back! Set in the center of diamond halos, these rubies feature a deep, complex red color. The slightly sharpened corners of the setting let these earrings stand out in a tasteful way.

sterling silver bangle bracelet with rubies, diamonds, and 18kt gold accents

Feeling edgy? This bangle bracelet from Rene Escobar is dripping with texture and versatility. Wear it against a high polished gold watch for a vibe that is equal parts casual and chic. Rene Escobar makes highly textured fine jewelry that goes with both denim and silk. The bangle pictured above is made from sterling silver; finished in a matte style. Set in 18kt yellow gold bezels are three round rubies. Not as flashy as the earrings, this bangle is the perfect everyday elegance.

ruby and diamond three stone ring; platinum and 18kt yellow gold

Three stone rings are making a resurgence. Looking for a trendy way to wear one? Put a ruby in the center and wear it on your right hand. With a 3.00ct cushion cut ruby in the center, two brilliant cut diamonds on the sides, and a two-tone gold mounting—this ring will stop you in your tracks. Full cut diamonds accent the sides of the white gold ring shank. The head basket and crown, complete with claw prongs, is constructed from 18kt yellow gold. The yellow gold further brings out the deep, neon red hue that emanates from this beautiful ruby. You don’t have to hide this ring on your right hand; it would also make a great engagement ring….

Rubies have endured for good reason: they are durable, beautiful, and full of lore. Set in both yellow or white metal, they radiate in any light. For more information on the products featured here, or the other rubies in our cases, please contact us here. At JB Hudson, we are able to source rubies for any price level. From $1,000 to $1,000,000, we can source a ruby to round out your jewelry collection.