Ruby is by far one of my favorite gemstones. Not only do I love the color red, but ruby also happens to be my birthstone (July). Many factors come into play when determining ruby quality and value, but as a gemstone, ruby does command some of the highest prices per carat. If you combine the finest color for ruby along with a clean stone, the price can climb even higher.
4 Key Factors of Ruby Quality
Color does remain the most important factor when figuring out a ruby's value. The finest ruby color is a pure red color. You don’t want the ruby to be too dark or too light, as either way it will impact the overall brightness of the stone. If the color is too light, the stone could even be considered a pink sapphire. However, as with all gemstones, I always say the most desirable color is the one that you prefer. When buying rubies wholesale, it is important to take all these things into consideration. For gem-quality materials, even the slightest differences in quality can significantly change the value.
There are different terms used to describe the many unique colors of rubies. One term you may hear the most is “pigeon's blood”. These terms are useful in articulating more precisely what the color of the ruby may look like. Over the years, the trade has come up with these different terms that are helpful not only in describing a stone's appearance, but also from where it was sourced.
Typical ruby clarity characteristics are thin mineral inclusions called needles. When the mineral is rutile and needles are present in intersecting groups, it is referred to as "silk". Rubies also can have zones of color variations or inclusions that look like fingerprints.
When buying rubies wholesale, you can always expect some inclusions. Obvious inclusions lower the value of the stone dramatically. However, there are some inclusions that can actually have a positive effect on the overall appearance of the stone and can spread the color more evenly across the stone.
Needles that intersect can also cause a star effect, called an "asterism" - but this phenomenon only occurs when the stone has a curved surface, called a cabochon cut.
A ruby's crystal shape will determine what the final shape of the cut stone will be. The most common shapes in which you see rubies cut are ovals and cushions.
Ruby rough is very expensive, so many cutters will try to save as much weight as possible when cutting, causing the stone to have an unattractive see-through area called a "window".
4. Carat Weight
Last, but certainly not least, is the carat weight. The price per carat of a ruby goes up as the size of the stone grows.
As with all gemstones, the color, variations of inclusions, cut, and carat weight all play a significant role in identifying ruby quality and value.
>> Explore the full spectrum of colored gemstones - and buy rubies wholesale - from K. Rosengart. Contact us to learn more.