Did you know up until the 19th century three different gemstones where all called Ruby? Spinel, Garnet and ‘corundum’ Ruby, were all considered to be the same gem material. Ruby as we recognize it today is from a group of gemstones called Corundum. A distinct red color with a slight blue over tone is the color that is most sought after when looking for a true gem quality Ruby. Ruby is the second hardest gem material, with a Mohs’ hardness rating of 9; only diamond is harder at 10. Large rubies are rarer than diamonds of comparable size. Often costing considerable more than a diamond; Ruby can be a very expensive gemstone. You might want to consider hiring an experienced gemologist to help you make the right purchase!
Photo courtesy of Pala International