How to choose rubies for a professional wardrobe

Ruby/pearl statement jewelry

Ruby/pearl statement jewelry

Just in under the wire here as we come close to the end of July, but here is the next in my birthstone series…RUBIES!

With its deep red color and brilliance, rubies would make a great addition to any professional or formal wardrobe. You choose the style and piece of jewelry!

I recommend more simply set rubies to wear with your professional wardrobe for day. Save the more delicate and intricate pieces for going out.

Business appropriate rubies

Business appropriate rubies

Business casual ruby earrings

Business casual ruby earrings

"Raw" rubies

“Raw” rubies

For example, I met a woman tonight at a networking event who was “dripping in rubies.” Well, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it was clear by the look of  her outfit that red is her signature color. In addition to a daytime appropriate, ruby necklace and earrings, her wedding set had rubies along with diamonds set in gold. It was unique and tasteful. When we asked her about it, she mentioned she’d seen the ring in a jewelry store while she was anticipating her engagement. By the time it happened, the ring was gone; however, she was able to have her dream ring designed! Moral…if you love red and you love rubies, go for it!

Before I go much further, I’d like to thank my good friend Kelly Graham, Jewelry designer from Rocky Mountain Jewelers for providing me the photos and great info on all of the birthstones. Let me know if you’d like Kelly’s contact info.

Here are some things to know and consider when investing in rubies; and how to care for them:

Rubies are an extremely hard stone like a diamond, so you can clean them the same as your diamonds. A little mild solution and a toothbrush work wonders!

Rubies are among the most expensive gems that can rival or exceed the value of diamonds. (Wow! I didn’t know this!)

Ruby Pendant 1

Prices are determined by:

  1. Color: hue, tone, and saturation
  2. Clarity: lack of inclusions
  3. Cut and carat weight

The most desirable color  for rubies is “pigeons blood” red, pure red with a hint of blue. Chrome is the substance that provides ruby its color; the color is often uneven and spotty. In the rough, ruby is dull and almost greasy looking, but when cut, the luster is almost diamond-like.

rubies raw cut

The ruby contains many inclusions (minerals, fractures, cavities, growth structures), which help determine the authenticity of the gem and its source. Some inclusions are rutile needles that may create an asterism, which may be cut into a star ruby, or cat’s eye in a cabochon cut.

Heat treatment of rubies is commonplace and expected, bringing out more vivid color. A non-heated gem may be more expensive if the color is desirable. Beware of glass treated rubies, also common. Such treatment dramatically increases the transparency of the gem.

Be aware of synthetic stones. These treatments legally need to be disclosed, but many times are not. Be sure to purchase from a reputable jeweler or source that can provide you with the necessary documents for authenticity.

More interesting and fun facts:

  • Medieval Europeans wore rubies to guarantee health, wealth, wisdom, and success in love.
  • Along with being the July birthstone, the ruby is the gemstone for the 15th and 40th year anniversaries.
  • One of the largest rubies in the world is a 23.10carot, Burmese ruby, and is now displayed at The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C.
  • Elizabeth Taylor had in her collection a 8.32carot ruby ring valued at .$4.2 million, and a necklace at $3.7 million.
  • The largest ruby in the world was the Liberty Bell Ruby that was stolen in a heist in 2011.
  • The most valuable ruby in the world is the Sunrise Ruby that sold at auction in Switzerland for $30 million.

I sure noticed a lot of my Facebook friends with July birthdays. And a lot of my clients’ favorite color is red. The truly lucky “July babies” can choose rubies surrounded with diamonds. And of course, you can wear rubies no matter when your birthday is. My question is…Would you spend more for a ruby than a diamond?

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