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Auhhh, Rubies!

Lyle Sopel -

Dear Collector Friend,



While searching for rubies at the Gem exhibit in Arizona (which by the way is the most impressive show in the world), we met a eclectic Paleontologist who’s home was in South Africa as well as Paris. He had attended all of the exhibits around the globe and I have to say I have met few people who were so enthusiastic and enamoured with their work and who wouldn’t find researching for evidence that the whale species actually at one time had limbs and walked on land.  

I won’t digress any further but this is a subject dear to my heart as well. Back to luscious gem stories… The rubies I I like to be able to select the purest colour I can source out by starting with the rough material first – as you will see in this image.

There is a great deal of green matrix that usually surrounds the ruby. This is known as Zoisite when the red ruby and the matrix are mixed. This look can be very appealing as well but this is not what I am after and It’s the purest deepest blood like raspberry colour in the ruby that I seek out when I decided to begin incorporating precious gemstones into my pieces.

The first gem that came to my mind was this highly revered red coloured stone. As you will read further, this gem has caught the eye of many connoisseurs the world over. Besides its beauty I think it compliments whatever other stones I am wanting to use. It gives a radiant colour of pink or red without being to obtrusive to the design detailing or composition.

The inner glow of a ruby hints that perhaps it contains an inner fire and this idea leads to the many interesting legends surrounding the stone. If placed into water, it was thought to make it boil. If hidden in a wrapping, it would shine through and show its presence.

There are many stories of rubies that emit a light of their own, one being described as ‘shining like a torch’. The darker rubies were considered to be ‘male’ and the lighter colored stones ‘female’. All varieties were thought to hold similar properties, in that they kept the wearer physically and mentally healthy, controlled evil and amorous thoughts, dissipated pestilence and reconciled disputes. It was also thought to increase the body’s warmth. Other sources say that rubies and other red stones were thought to be universal remedies for bleeding and inflammation and were believed to have a calming influence to remove anger and discord. Among the multitude of legends and strange beliefs of ancient times, it was thought that the wearer of a ruby was blessed with health, wealth, wisdom and outstanding success in ‘heart affairs’.

Several factors affect the cut and proportion of rubies on the market. A ruby’s crystal shape dictates its suitability for certain cuts and the most common shape is a flat tabular hexagonal shape, but ruby crystals from some sources can be elongated.

To accommodate these crystal shapes, the most common shapes of fashioned rubies are ovals and cushions, with brilliant-cut crowns of kite-shaped and triangular facets, and step-cut pavilions with concentric rows of rectangular or square facets. Round, triangular, emerald-cut, pear, and marquise rubies are also available. But these shapes are rare in larger sizes and higher qualities.

Ruby rough is very expensive, so cutters try to conserve as much weight as possible. They might have flattened ruby rough into shallow stones, even though light escapes through flattened pavilions, causing an unattractive see-through area in the stone called a window.

“The sunrise ruby”, a rare burmese ruby weighing 25.59 carats photo: afp/getty images

Rare coloured stone becomes most expensive jewel that is not a diamond, as pearl necklace also reaches historic price at auction in geneva.

A Burmese ruby weighing 25.59 carats sold for a world record 28.25 million Swiss francs (£19 million – $31,025,983.50 CA) at auction on Tuesday.

Two private telephone bidders intent on buying “The Sunrise Ruby”, which has the rare grading of “pigeon’s blood” colour, went head to head, driving up the price, according to Sotheby’s auction house in Geneva.

It sailed past its estimate of 17.5 million Swiss franc and was among several record-breaking items David Bennett, the chairman of Sotheby’s international jewellery division who conducted the auction, brought down his hammer with the words: “A new record price for a ruby.”

He later added: “It becomes the most expensive coloured gemstone that is not a diamond. “It completely mesmerized me, in a sense for me it is the stone of my career, it’s just a magical stone”.

Art, Nature, and Beauty Always,


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