Quality, Origin and Properties of Ruby stone, yellow and blue Sapphires
Ruby cut oval
Corundum, rubies and sapphires
Want to know about quality, properties and origins of beautiful precious gemstones red colored rubies and blue and yellow sapphires? This article is for those who are interested in having in-depth knowledge of these colored gemstones.
Ruby belong to corundum family. Blue sapphire, yellow sapphire, pink sapphire and green sapphires also belong to the same corundum family. Chemically, all these stones are similar.
Properties of corundum: Properties of rubies and sapphires are similar to corundum. Corundum has the hardness of nine in Moh's scale and specific gravity around four.These are the hardest gemstones but diamonds and one of the heaviest too. Corundum contains aluminum and oxygen. Natural corundum is opaque but sometimes it reacts with water in the mines and takes a crystalline form. This crystalline structure converts it into gemstones.
When corundum comes into contact with coloring agents likes of chromium, nickel etc (in a very small quantity) and reacts chemically inside the mines, it converts naturally into Ruby or Pink-blue-yellow or green Sapphires.
Blue sapphire pear cut
Shaping Ruby at Vardhaman Gems, Jaipur
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Origines of rubies and sapphires
The best quality rubies and yellow sapphires are found in Burma (Myanmar). Burmese stuff is beautiful and bright in color. Good quality Burmese are transparent. Burmese rubies are rare and fetch high value. A 5 carats fine ruby may go up to $ 40 to 60 thousand per carat. Burmese sapphires are also expensive.
Kashmir, India produces the best quality blue sapphires. However, these are very rare and expensive. Burmese blue sapphires are also very good in quality. Cambodian, Vietnam, And Kabul rubies sometimes resemble with Burmese.
Rubies and sapphires found in Ceylon are generally transparent but not having the rich color as Burmese. Ceylon produces very good quality of pink sapphire.
Other origins of ruby and sapphire
There are several other origins of rubies and sapphires. Thai rubies and sapphires normally have a black tint due to the presence of iron. They are rich in color and have very hard textures. Thai rubies and sapphires also have good luster.
African and Indian rubies are of inferior quality and generally opaque or translucent. Generally, those are treated as corundum and not ruby. Kenya, Madagascar are rich sources of commercial ruby. Koromoro, Johnson, and Best pockets are other African varieties. Best pocket mines produce very nice quality, an exception in African mines. Johnson is also a good one.
Tanzania has recently started producing very good quality of ruby. Some pieces are extra fine and resemble Burmese quality. Rubies ( corundum) are also found plenty in Orissa, Bastar, Mysore and Andhra regions of India.
The best quality rubies are found in Burma but the blue sapphires are mined from Kashmir (India).These are rare of the rarest gemstones. These transparent stones have a peacock blue color with great luster. A pin-point color tint in the bottom of a cut stone spreads to the whole stone giving it a marvelous look.
Ruby Cabochons and star rubies
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Star rubies and sapphires
Normally Indian and African rubies are used for making beads, drops, and cabs.These qualities are not very good for cut stones. Most of these stones are cut and polished in Jaipur, the pink city of India.
Some foreign materials are found naturally in rubies and sapphires of some origins. These materials embedded within colloidal state gives these stones milky look. This milky inclusions converts into a star like six lined shape in some of the stones and those are called star rubies or sapphires. Stars are costlier than the normal rubies and sapphires because of its rarity and beauty. Americans, Europeans, and Japanese people love star rubies and sapphires very much.
Various origins of ruby and sapphires
Mogok produces best quality of rubies and yellow sapphires.
Mysore produces rubies and star rubies.
Andhra Pradesh produces corundum rubies.
Sri Lanka, (Ceylon) produces good quality ruby, pink, blue and yellow sapphires.
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