Behind The Gems: Rubies


“Behind The Gems” is a long-running monthly series that takes you on an exclusive, behind-the-scenes tour of our signature collections.

In this edition, it’s time for another precious stone to take centre stage: rubies! Find out what they are, what makes them valuable and how we use them here at McFarlane Fine Jewellery.

General Facts About Rubies

Rubies are some of the most prized coloured gems in the world. For this, they are known as the “kings of precious stones”.

A variety of the mineral corundum (the crystalline form of aluminium oxide), they have the same structure as sapphires. But why are they named differently then? Well, glad you asked! Rubies have their own name because of their rarity as they have over 1% of chromium in their composition which gives them their signature red colour.

In terms of scratch resistance, they are relatively tough – a 9 on the Mohs scale.

Unsurprisingly, rubies are associated with royalty, power, courage and passion. 

What Makes A Ruby Valuable

Rubies are valued based on the following criteria: colour, clarity, cut, carat and origin.

Let’s start with colour: the deeper the red colour and the brighter the shine, the more valuable the stone.

When it comes to clarity, the fewer the inclusions, the more valuable the stone. However, inclusions can be useful for helping to identify the ruby as a ruby and not as any other red coloured stone (a red spinel, for example). They can also indicate origin and they can be used to see if a stone has been heat treated or not.

For us at McFarlane Fine Jewellery, “imperfections” in stones only add to their beauty, if paired with the right design.

The cut of the ruby is important too because some are easier to work with than others. The cut influences the value of a ruby depending on what’s in fashion at the time.

As for carat, you already know how it goes: the bigger the ruby, the more valuable it is.

And, finally, origin. Historically, Asia and Africa have had the largest deposits. In Asia, Myanmar (Burma) has some of the most famous deposits - many auction price world records are from Myanmar rubies. African rubies (from Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique & Madagascar) were only discovered in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Rubies at McFarlane Fine Jewellery

Because rubies are close to our hearts, we’ve used them in some of our most special pieces and we’d like to include them in many more. Here are the ones that are available in our shop right now.

The super fun and mega chic “Lollipop” Ruby Ring. The ruby at its centre originates in Madagascar.

Our studs are perfect for day-to-day wear and the ruby ones stand out the most. Wear them with simple, white tops.

After sundown, step out in a floor-length gown and accessorise with the stunning Ruby Red Earrings. You’ll feel like a royal.

Find the ultimate statement maker in our Ruby Dreamcatcher necklace. Rubies, diamonds and 18ct gold take centre stage in this unique piece.


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