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Updated on August 25, 2011

Sounds like a pretty exotic gemstone doesn’t it? Well in fact it is. But it is a “synthetic” gemstone that has been on the market since 1983 and the one big problem it faced was that it was so good it was difficult to distinguish them from Natural Rubies! Of course for an unscrupulous group of gem dealers this was great. But for Judith Osmer, the creator, and her partner Virginia Carter, it was a dilemma. Gemologists complained and Judith did something no other company has ever done. She included an identifier in the growing process that easily identifies her stones to gemologists with the color of its fluorescence under ultraviolet light. Judith Osmer and Virginia Carter own J.O. Crystal Co. the makers of “Ramaura” Cultured Rubies, “Nicholas” Created Alexandrite and “Empress” Cultured Emeralds. All “flux” grown synthetic gemstones. The rubies are what She is best known for in the gem and jewelry business throughout the World.

It took Judith 25 years of experimentation and crystal growth research for the Ramaura Ruby to be what it is today “the best the world has to offer”. The development of imitating the natural growth pattern of Ruby has reached its zenith with Ramaura Ruby.

"...The art of crystal growing has reached a point where the distinction between natural and man-made may have become, for all practical purposes, meaningless" David Federman, Modern Jeweler, Nov. ‘96.

National Geographic was so impressed with the Ramaura Ruby they featured it an a special  called “Splendid Stones”. It’s not hard to understand why all the fuss over these synthetic rubies. They are technically the same as a natural ruby having all the same physical, chemical and optical properties of natural ruby, even down to the inclusions. They are “grown” in the lab under similar conditions found in nature that form natural ruby.

This is Judith’s recipe for her synthetic rubies:

“Preheat electric oven to 1300 deg. C. (2340 deg. F.) In an ungreased solid Platinum crucible, mix together one handful Aluminum Oxide, a small amount of Chromium (double the amount for a pigeon blood red), and a pinch of Iron. Leave Iron out if you want a Burma Ruby. Stir in a very large handful of secret Flux material (made from eye of newt, toe of frog and hair of kitty), Place carefully in center of slowly cooling oven for about 3 months. NO PEEKING. Remove when oven temperature has reached approximately 1000 deg. C (1800 deg. F) and immediately pour off Flux. Remove crystals from crucible using a 2 lb. ball peen hammer. Send to Thailand for cutting before serving. Usually makes enough to pay for lights, heat, cat food and underpaid, but overworked employees.”

This process takes a considerable amount of time but the results are spectacular. I have seen many synthetic rubies on the market over the years but very few even approach Judith and Virginias quality and beauty. I have had the privilege to meet and speak with them both many times at the Tucson Gem Show held every year in Tucson Arizona in February. The price of Ramaura Ruby starts at around $200/carat and natural ruby of the same quality runs from $750 to over $50,000.00 per carat and as high as $450,000.00 per carat.

The moral of this story is sometimes “woman” made is just as good as nature made particularly when it comes to the Ramaura Ruby.

Footnote; The business is up for sale at last I heard. Judith and Virginia are retiring. No offer has ben made. Virginia says if they don’t get one soon they will just close the doors!



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    • PETER LUMETTA profile image

      PETER LUMETTA 4 years ago from KENAI, ALAKSA


      Thanks for the question but unfortunately I don't know the secret flux makeup. That is why they call it "secret".


    • profile image

      Julio 4 years ago

      Do you know the composition of the secret flux, the real secret flux, not the joke in this description.....?

    • PETER LUMETTA profile image

      PETER LUMETTA 6 years ago from KENAI, ALAKSA

      Thank You for a very insightful comment. Please come by anytime. Thanks


    • Trish_M profile image

      Tricia Mason 6 years ago from The English Midlands

      At a time when there are worries over 'blood rubies', this stone seems like a perfect choice :)

    • PETER LUMETTA profile image

      PETER LUMETTA 6 years ago from KENAI, ALAKSA

      Your Welcome. Thanks for visiting

    • Jillian Barclay profile image

      Jillian Barclay 6 years ago from California, USA

      Wow! I will take one 31.03 carat ruby from Tanzania! Put it on my tab! So many poor quality rubies around, that when you see one with that intense red color, it is love at first sight! At least for me!

      Always say that they are all my favorites, emeralds, rubies, sapphires and brilliant diamonds, especially those of the canary yellow variety! I guess I am a lover of rocks, but I had never heard of Ramaura cultured rubies! I learn new things everyday! Thank you!