You may have noticed on our website or in our blogs, Gold Arts is celebrating 40 years of successful trading, from humble beginnings in a little shop in the heart of Brighton Lanes, to now a chain of independent stores across Sussex.
To mark this special occasion, we have some amazing offers for our customers and deals on our beautiful range of Ruby jewellery.
We’re very proud to be celebrating our Ruby Anniversary – 40 years of Gold Arts! We’re also very excited to announce our Ruby anniversary celebration, to coincide with July, the birthstone month of Ruby.
For the whole month of July we are offering:
20% off ALL Ruby jewellery in store and online, use the code RUBY40 at the checkout
Half price clean and polish on all Ruby jewellery in our in house workshops
What is a Ruby?
Ruby takes its name from the Latin ruber meaning Red. Gemmologically speaking it’s part of the mineral family known as Corundum, which is a relatively common compound found all over the world, but when traces of different minerals are present, plain corundum can transform into a whole array of beautiful colours. Colourful Corundum is better known to us as Sapphire when it is blue, or with the prefix of the colour it is e.g green sapphire, yellow sapphire etc. Ruby is very special as it is the only coloured corundum to have its own name ‘Ruby’ rather than Red Sapphire.
Rubies are not one standard red colour, they can range from dark red to pinkish, purply, orangey or brownish. The location of the mine determines what trace minerals were present and in what strength. The presence of Chromium creates the vibrant red colour, and iron can also influence the colour.
Historically the best rubies have been mined from Asia, but deposits have been found in USA, Australia and Africa. The most desired colour is termed as ‘pigeon blood red’ which has a dark tone with a vivid saturation, a little purplish and with a strong red fluorescence. These sought-after gems have been mined from the Mogok region of Myanmar for over 1000 years. It is not always possible to identify where a ruby was mined from, but it is often found that Thailand and Cambodia produce high clarity darker/brownish stones, Sri Lankan fine rubies are lighter but more brilliant and African stones may be orangy-red.
Interesting Fact: When does a pink sapphire become a ruby? Various associations have tried to implement a fixed standard of colour saturation with little success. The joke in the gem trade is that it comes down to whether you’re buying or selling! Generally, though to be considered a Ruby, the stone must show a good true red colour, paler specimens are pink sapphires which have a lower value.
The value of rubies is much like diamonds, it is based on the 4 C’s: colour, clarity, cut and carat. All rubies have present needle-like inclusions which is known as the rubies ‘silk’ and is caused by rutile crystals. Too many can cause the stone to be dull and almost cloudy, but the absence of any is more of a concern as this would indicate the stone is a synthetic or simulant rather than natural ruby.
Interesting Fact: if the silk (rutile inclusions) are all aligned in a certain way when light hits the stone a 3 or 6 pointed asterism or star appears as the stone is rotated. This is best displayed when the gems are cut en cabochon, which is a domed polished style rather than faceted.
It is not only the sumptuous red colour of ruby which has made it a popular choice for jewellery. It is one of the hardest most durable gemstones, second only to diamond. For this reason, its durability has made it a choice for heirloom jewellery, engagement jewellery and centre pieces of regal crowns and religious altarpieces.
High clarity, high quality ruby is very strong and is usually faceted and cut into traditional shapes we see in most high end jewellery. The stones are rich in colour, are clean to look through and truly sparkle and dazzle. Lesser quality stones, tend not to be a strong because of the internal inclusions or fractures, which make the appearance milky and they may not have uniform colour. These stones are never wasted as they can be cut into beads, or decorative trinkets or used in less expensive silver jewellery ranges.
Interesting Fact: A top quality ruby can be worth more than diamonds, because of is rarity. The world’s most expensive coloured gemstone is known as the Sunrise Ruby, weighing 25.59 carats it sold for £19.5million in 2015.
As is the case with most coloured gems, as science develops, we learn techniques to improve gem quality. Heat treatment of rubies replicates a natural process and is commonplace, as it enhances the clarity and colour without affecting the durability. More invasive enhancements such as colour diffusion or polymer filling should always be disclosed as it affects the value of the stone. Rubies have however synthesised using the powdered chemical ‘ingredients’ in a laboratory setting. You will even find synthetic rubies in Victorian jewellery as flame fusion was developed in the late 1800’s and announced by Auguste Verneuil in 1902. This method is still used today to make synthetic rubies.
Interesting fact:The term ‘jewels’ in watches refers to the use of Jewel Bearings, which are lined with ruby in high quality mechanical watch movements. The properties of ruby provides low friction, durability and accuracy.
Rubies have often been associated with wealth and power, documented throughout history they have adorned monarchs, clergy and deities across the world. Each culture attributing their own versions of lore and magic, whether the wearer could be protected from injury, ill health or other misfortune.
We still attribute special meaning to stones, traditionally Ruby is gifted for a 40th wedding anniversary, said to renew passions and represent enduring love through hard times. Those born in July have the birthstone of Ruby and it is said to bring the wearer good fortune and represents love, health and wisdom. Whether your birthday is in July or not, a beautiful red ruby is a joy to wear.