Complete Your Collection > SHOP JEWELRY
An oval cut ruby gemstone accented with baguettes featured in a rose gold ring

Ruby Gemstone Guide

Known for their signature red hue, rubies are one of the most easily recognizable 
gemstones in the world. The name Ruby comes from ruber, the Latin word for “red,” 
which includes coloration ranging from pink to the deepest oxblood.

What is a ruby?

Rubies, like sapphires, are derived from the mineral corundum, but whereas sapphires can be any color, rubies are always a shade of red—from the striking, saturated red we most commonly associate with these gemstones to softer shades of pink. Because of their striking color and relative rarity, rubies are some of the highest-priced colored gemstones. Rubies are the traditional birthstone for July.
Ruby gemstones set in diamond heart shaped earring studs
Wikimedia Commons / Cropped from original 

Mineral: Corundum 

Origins: Myanmar, Thailand, India, 
Pakistan, Nepal 

Symbols: Wealth, Passion, Inspiration 

Properties: Protection 

Durability: 9


ENHANCEMENTS

 
Heated and/or infused to improve color and clarity 


CARE

 
Basic Gemstone Care 


SIMILAR GEMSTONES 




A ruby gemstone in unpolished crystal form

What to Look for in Ruby Gemstones

 
Rubies are desirable in any form, whether as a special occasion piece or for everyday wear. Ultimately, you should choose a ruby that makes your heart beat a little faster, whether it meets the standards of the “most desirable” or simply because it captures your eye. We believe that the true value of a gemstone lies in its effect on the wearer.

COLOR

 
Gemstone color is typically the most important aspect of a gemstone. Rubies with a saturation of pure red are less common than other rubies, and they’re more expensive. Rubies that are less red and more pink are more affordable—and just as luscious as deep-red varieties. Rubies in all shades of red may exhibit a secondary tone, including orange, pink and purple, but all other colors of the mineral corundum are classified as sapphires.

An Illustration of 3 differently colored gemstones from the side

CUT

 
A gemstone’s cut should highlight its best aspects and provide symmetry and balance. Our rubies are cut to showcase their distinctive combination of color, clarity and brilliance. To maximize reflection, rubies may have a more shallow cut to allow in more light and sparkle, or they may be cut more deeply to showcase a dark color saturation. 

An Illustration of a well-cut gemstone from the side

CLARITY

 
Gemstone clarity refers to how “eye-clean” a gemstone is. Most natural gemstones contain inclusions, which are materials like gas bubbles, minerals or liquid that are trapped within the stone while it forms. The fewer visible inclusions in a ruby, the more valuable it is. A typical ruby includes needles, an inclusion characterized by intersecting patterns called silk. 

An Illustration of a gemstone with very few inclusions from the side

SIZE (CARAT

Rubies are denser than diamonds, so what we consider a carat weight for a ruby differs from that of a diamond. That’s why the size of gemstones, including rubies, is measured by their diameter in millimeters. A ruby measuring six millimeters in diameter is roughly equivalent to one carat. Rubies over one carat are very rare. 

An illustration of a gemstone from the side with a ruler over the gem's table

ENHANCEMENT

 
Most gemstones on the market today, including rubies, are enhanced with heat treatments or infusions to help improve the color and clarity. Our rubies undergo rigorous internal inspections and are of the highest quality. 

An illustration of a gemstone being treated with oiling enhancement method

HARDNESS & WEARABILITY

Rubies are very durable, earning a 9 out of 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness. A diamond, the hardest of all gemstones at a rating of 10, is the only natural thing that can scratch a ruby. This makes ruby jewelry suitable for everyday wear, whether in a beautiful ring setting, a bold pendant necklace or sparkling earrings.
The Moh's hardness scale showing opal at 5, emerald at 7.5, topaz at 8, ruby at 9, and diamond at 10

Choosing the Right Ruby Jewelry 


Ultimately, selecting a piece of ruby jewelry should come down to what you adore. Red hues are often associated with luck, romance and courage. Rubies, also known as the “protection” stone, are said to imbue the wearer with happiness, passion and vitality, making these gemstones a great symbolic piece for your collection—or a meaningful gift while oval peridot bracelets have more of an elegant appeal. for someone special.


Famous Ruby Gemstones

 
Rubies have long been coveted by collectors and consumers all over the world. At an impressive 23.1 carats, the Carmen Lúcia Ruby was a gift from her husband, Peter Buck, and is currently on display at the Smithsonian. The world's largest mined ruby, the Liberty Bell Ruby, weighs four pounds and is sculpted into a miniature form of the Liberty Bell and embedded with 50 diamonds. It was stolen in 2011 and has yet to be recovered.

How to Care for Your Ruby Jewelry

Keep your ruby jewelry dazzling and in great condition with regular cleanings. Soak it in warm, soapy water, then use a soft-bristled toothbrush to give it a gentle polish. For more information, read our guide on caring for your gemstone jewelry.

LEARN MORE ABOUT GEMSTONES

Rubies are just one of the many stunning gemstones you’ll find in our selection. Learn about other gemstones, and find a new favorite today.

Only at Blue Nile

When it comes to celebrations we strive to make your experience as
brilliant as our jewelry with the perfect pieces for every occasion.

Meet our personal jewelers, explore bestselling styles, pick up an online order, arrange to preview something from our online collection and so much more.
Book a fun and interactive appointment with a diamond expert and get up-close views of diamond and jewelery options from the comfort of your own home.
Amazing Value
The highest-quality design at a great price.
Peace of Mind
30-day returns, diamond price-match guarantee and more.
Expert Guidance
The original online jeweler since 1999.
Inspiring Assortment
The perfect pieces for every occasion.