Rubies have been prized for their brilliantly bold color throughout history and were a favorite among royalty during the middle-ages. This stunning, fiery gemstone is also a symbol of passionate love, making it a perfect choice for an engagement ring.
Rubies come in various colors – from light pink to dark, wine red. However, rubies are considered the most valuable when they are a medium to a dark medium red. These are known as ‘pigeon blood’ rubies.
The first synthetic rubies were dubbed the “Geneva Rubies” and date back to 1885. They were made by melting fragments of natural rubies together. Today, the process of creating rubies in a lab is more advanced.
Natural rubies grow over a long period of time from components within the earth and need to be mined. They don’t require any other treatments apart from being cut and shined. However, they are often more expensive because they are so rare.
These rubies are grown in a lab within controlled and optimal conditions, grow over a shorter period of time, and often require heat treatments. As a result, they are less rare, and therefore, usually less expensive.
These rubies are created by combining certain minerals (such as Chromium to account for the redness of these stones). Two different processes can be used to achieve this.
Flame fusion is the cheapest and easiest way to produce rubies. A solution of aluminum oxide is super-heated and dissolved in a solution of lead oxide. This mixture is then placed in a chemical solution where the crystals grow over the course of many hours. As a result, these stones have minimal inclusions but a glassy appearance that sometimes features gas bubbles. These rubies are primarily used in costume jewelry and inexpensive items, as they are not very similar to natural rubies.
Rubies created using a flux process can take up to six months to grow, and they are much closer to natural rubies. This process combines intense heat with controlled pressure, and together they create an ideal environment for rubies to form. The minerals needed are placed in “flux,” a molten mixture where the rubies grow. As a result, these rubies feature inclusions much like their natural counterparts. They are most often what is referred to with the term ‘lab-grown rubies.’
A new take on the classic solitaire diamond engagement ring, perhaps the most traditional engagement ring, this ring features a single solitaire ruby. So if you love a classic look, but you’re looking for something that is still trendy, this may be a sign for you to get a solitaire lab-created ruby ring.
These rings look stunning as both sterling silver and a rose gold engagement ring.
Rubies also look beautiful nestled between two other stones. For example, when going for an engagement ring with a round or oval ruby center stone, a half-moon diamond on each side can be very eye-catching.
Others opt for a square or rectangular ruby center stone, such as the princess or emerald cut. These angular shapes look good paired with rounded or square cuts for the smaller accent stones.
A teardrop-shaped center stone, also referred to as a pear-cut stone, is a classic and vintage style that has recently come back into fashion. These stones are often paired with a halo of accent stones around them, of which the most popular choice is diamond.
This style looks beautiful in rose gold, especially when paired with a ruby as a center stone. However, when the center stone is a diamond, this teardrop halo ring looks better set in sterling silver.
Apart from a diamond, another thing that looks stunning when paired with rubies is a pearl.
While pearls aren’t precious gemstones, their simple elegance is undeniably beautiful. In addition, they make a bold statement in an engagement ring, especially when combined with rubies.
One of the more alternative styles, the Toi et Moi ring, is a kind of cluster ring- where the band simply coils around the finger rather than closing entirely. The stones are then set at the edges of the band. While more flexible when it comes to ring size, as these rings are sometimes adjustable, they can be more prone to catching and bending.
They are striking, but to prevent damage, they work best when made using a harder precious metal, such as white gold or platinum, rather than a softer metal, such as sterling silver.
While created rather than mined, lab-created rubies have the same chemical composition as natural rubies. They are generally less flawed than natural rubies, however. Both lab-grown and natural rubies are considered authentic and valuable.
To clean your ruby pieces, you can use warm water and mild soap.
However, it is a good idea to double-check and discuss the cleaning with an experienced and qualified jewelry consultant or jewelry expert, as using water for cleaning may result in tarnish or oxidization on certain precious metals. Depending on which precious metal your pieces are made of, you may need specialized cleaning supplies.
For example, sterling silver is much softer and prone to wear and scratching than metal like platinum. It, therefore, requires more regular and more gentle cleanings.
Most jewelers also offer cleaning services – either as part of the purchase of your ring or for a fee. You could make use of these annually if you aren’t confident in cleaning your jewelry yourself.
Rubies may be resistant to scratching or chipping, but if they come into contact with a harder stone, like a diamond, they can still get damaged. An excellent way to protect your ruby ring from wear and tear is to store each piece separately in something soft- such as a velvet pouch.
Doing so will prevent damage to your stone. In addition, it will improve the longevity of your pieces so that they will require less regular cleaning and polishing. This is also an excellent idea for an engagement ring made of one of the softer metals, like sterling silver.
Rubies represent good fortune, prosperity, good health, and invigoration. They are also stones of passion and protection, and they stand for integrity and confidence.
In general, jewelry containing rubies is more expensive to purchase than those containing sapphires or emeralds, as rubies are higher up on the Moh’s Hardness Scale. In more general terms, rubies are much harder than almost all other gems. A diamond is the only other gemstone that is harder than a ruby. Rubies are, thus, excellent for rings that will get frequent use- such as engagement rings that are worn every day.
Lab-created rubies are reasonably common and can be bought from the most reputable jewelry stores. They are also available for online purchase from sites that sell jewelry via a website. Many of these sites offer virtual consultations with a jewelry expert.
On these sites, you can scroll through their stock or use a text search function and type in one or two words to describe what you are looking for. Some sites even have a visual search function, where you can use an image or photo to search for something. This is great for times when you know what you are looking for but not what the specific stone or cut is called.
More often than not, you can sign up using your e-mail address, and the site will send you news and updates regarding any future discount you may want to make use of. You can also create an online wish list and save items you like for later.
How much these pieces cost usually depends on where you shop for them, the ring size, ring style and stone you choose, and whether or not the piece is on special offer at the time and date of buying it.
These pieces will then be shipped to your delivery address, either as part of the price or for a delivery fee. Some sites offer free standard shipping, which usually takes longer than paying for express shipping or a specialized courier service. In some cases, these online stores will have local centers where you can go pick up your order without paying for delivery, so it is worth finding out whether you live near a distribution center.
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