What is Ruby?

 
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Cut ruby What is Ruby?

Ruby, like sapphire, is a gemstone variety of the mineral corundum, an Aluminium Oxide (Al2O3). The difference between ruby and sapphire is the color of the stone which arises because of trace impurities in the corundum: rubies are pink or red tinted (the name "ruby" is derived from the Latin "ruber" which means "red"). The red/pink tint isdue to the presence of chromium, whereas sapphires are either blue (pure corundum) or other colors because of other metallic impurities. Lighter pink rubies are sometimes known as "pink sapphires" in the United States. It should be noted that the distinction between pink sapphires and rubies is ill-defined, difficult, and highly subjective - so many gemologists simple prefer to refer to all pink/red corundum gemstones as rubies.

Rubies are considered one of the four precious stones along with diamond, emerald, and sapphire. The value of a ruby comes partly from color - the brightest red stones, described as "blood-red" or "pigeon blood" are the most valuable - but also from cut and carat weight.

For many centuries the world's main source of rubies was the Mogok Valley in Myanmar, but in recent years other parts of Myanmar have become more important. Other areas where rubies have been found or mined include Afghanistan, Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, Colombia, India, Japan, Madascar, Namibia, Nepal, Pakistan, Scotland, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Tanzania, and Vietnam. In addition, some rubies have also been found in the United States, mostly in the states of Montana, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Wyoming.

Natural ruby crystal:
Natural ruby crystal





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