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Ruby Buying Tips

Gregg Ruth

Whether you’re showing your love for someone born in July, or celebrating a 15th or 40th wedding anniversary, there’s no better gift than ruby.

Popular since ancient times, these precious gems are said to rouse the senses, amplify positive energy and guarantee health, wisdom, wealth and success in love.

Like diamonds, rubies are evaluated using the 4Cs, plus size and geographic origin. The most important feature of a ruby is its red color, as other hues of this gem species are considered sapphire. The finest ruby is a vibrant purplish red, losing value (and classification as a ruby) as it leans toward brown, orange or even pink.

Rubies also require good transparency. Opaque rubies are much less valuable, even if they display cat’s eye or asterism.

All natural rubies contain imperfections, like rutile inclusions called “silk.” These can actually increase the value of ruby (when displaying a rare cat’s eye or star effect) and are often used to determine a gem’s authenticity.

The Sunrise Ruby is the world’s most expensive gemstone other than a diamond. A 25.6-carat Burmese Pigeon Blood Ruby set between two diamonds weighing 2.5 and 2.7 carats respectively, it sold at auction in 2015 for nearly $30 million, setting a new record price-per-carat.

Lower quality rubies are heat treated to improve color saturation and minimize inclusions, making these varieties more affordable.

A valuable gift to symbolize passion, protection and prosperity, ruby is the perfect way to express powerful emotions.

Find an AGS jeweler near you who can help you choose the perfect ruby or explore more birthstones