Dark Pinkish Red to Strong Red to slightly Purplish Red color

Hardness: 9 Toughness: Excellent

Cambodia, India, Kenya, Madagascar, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Vietnam

Ruby is the most valuable variety of the corundum mineral species, which also includes sapphire. Rubies can command the highest per-carat price of any colored stone. This makes ruby one of the most important gems in the colored stone market. In its purest form, the mineral corundum is colorless. Trace elements that become part of the mineral’s crystal structure cause variations in its color. Chromium is the trace element that causes ruby’s red, which ranges from an orangy red to a purplish red. The strength of ruby’s red depends on how much chromium is present. The more chromium, the stronger the red color. Chromium can also cause fluorescence, which adds to the intensity of the red color.

The most renowned rubies, like those from Myanmar, the Himalayas, and northern Vietnam, typically form in marble. In other locations, rubies can be found in basalt rocks. 

Ruby is one of the most historically significant colored stones.  In the ancient language of Sanskrit, ruby is called Ratnaraj, or “king of precious stones. Color is one of the most important factors in determining a ruby’s value. Rubies range from an orangy red to a purplish red. Historically, the name “pigeon’s blood” has been used to describe vivid red rubies.