Rubies are red, the colour of our most intense emotions – love and passion, anger and fury. It is often associated with objects of power and desire, like fast cars and red roses.
Rubies are from the corundum family with a hardness of 9 on the Mohs hardness scale. Rubies are best viewed under spot or yellow light. However, if a ruby still produces a nice reddish colour when viewed under daylight, it is a very positive point for the ruby because it looks much nicer under yellow light.
The best origin for rubies is Burma; Burmese rubies are traditionally more expensive than similar quality rubies from other localities. This pricing premium of Burmese rubies is attributed to the significant presence of chromium in the stone, thus allowing it to exude the best colour and sparkle under different lighting conditions.
Rubies are graded with the 4Cs of colour, clarity, cut and carat weight with colour being the most important factor. However, different markets have different demands of colour shade. As in all other coloured gemstones, the live and fire of the stone is of great importance and affects the price significantly.
A good quality Burmese ruby of over 5cts in size is one of the rarest items in the world and often commands prices in the hundreds of thousands.