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Dahl Jewelers, Woodbridge, VA
Ruby, Rubies

The ruby has acquired more lore and legends than probably any other gem. As an example, who has not heard a story about a giant ruby stolen in the dark of night from the eye of an idol, somewhere in the exotic East? Such rubies usually are accompanied by a curse that follows the stone from person to person until some brave hero manages to overcome the hex.

In reality, ruby is the foremost member of the corundum family. The most desirable color for a ruby is deep red with a hint of blue known as "pigeon's blood". Other types of ruby that are also appealing are the rare cat's eye and the more common, though no less beautiful, star ruby.

The ancient Hindus of India revered the ruby above all other stones and believed that a flame burned within the stone which could not be extinguished and would shine through any clothing or other material in which it was wrapped.

In old Burma, ruby was the favorite gem and was also believed to confer invulnerability on a person. This feat was accomplished by cutting the skin and inserting the ruby into the wound. When the ruby was worn in this manner, it was believed that the wearer could not be harmed by spear, sword, or gun.

Fourteenth century writer, Sir John Mandeville, wrote that the owner of a ruby "will live in peace and concord with all men, that neither his land nor his rank will be taken from him, and that he will be preserved from all perils."

While today's ruby owner might not agree with all of that, they would certainly concur that the ruby is a gem of gems.

The distinction between ruby and pink sapphire should be mentioned. Somewhere along the color line, a ruby gains enough pink that it is called a pink sapphire. Likewise, a pink sapphire gains enough red that it is called a ruby, because they are different colors of the same stone. As little as ten years ago, what is selling as ruby now, was then sold as pink sapphire. A stone classified as pink sapphire would sell for less than ruby.

Description of Ruby Qualities That We Sell

High quality: Deep bright red and lively. Not too dark or light. Very well cut to fine cutting. Clean and transparent.
Medium quality: Red with pink to slight purple overtones but still lively and cleanish. The more the pink or purple overtones, then the cleaner the stone. The more the stone is a true red color, then the more cloudy the stone, but not opaque.
Low quality: Light pink/red or purple/red overtones, included or cloudy looking stones, but some life. If true red color, then stone�s transparency will be close to opaque, but some life.
Very low quality: Pinkish/red to purple/red in color but very poorly cut. The more red the stone the less life/luster and opaque the stone will be and totally lifeless.

Please check here for a note about colored gemstone qualities.

Ruby Properties

Birthstone: July
Hardness: 9
Toughness: Very good
Specific gravity: 4.00 (+/- .03)
Refractive index: 1.76 to 1.77
Double refraction: -0.008
Main sources: Thailand, Burma, Vietnam, India
Reaction to heat: Very good, should remain stable
Treatment: Heat and sometimes fracture filling

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Open Monday through Friday, 9:30am to 5:30pm; Saturday, 9:30am to 3:00pm.
3138 Golansky Boulevard, Suite 102, Woodbridge, VA 22192. Phone 703-878-0888.