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Ruby engagement rings

Ruby Engagement Rings

How to choose a ruby


Major ruby deposits are found as far afield as Myanmar (Burma), Afghanistan, Madagascar, Tanzania and Greenland. Named from the Latin word for ‘red’, the ruby was the most valued gemstone in the ancient world. In Sanskrit, it is called ratnaraj, or “king of precious stones”, and there are records of rubies being traded on the North Silk Road of China as long ago as 200BC. 

Scoring 9 on the Mohs hardness scale, ruby is hard enough to withstand everyday wear and tear (only diamond at 10 scores higher), and until the 1930s, ruby was the most popular gemstone for engagement rings. 

So if you're interested in sourcing a ruby, what are the key things you should look out for?

The finest rubies are a vibrant red

The colour of a ruby is perhaps the first thing to consider, and a major factor in determining its value. Like sapphire, ruby is formed from a mineral called corundum, but the presence of trace amounts of chromium give it a red colour.

Rubies come in hues ranging from orange-red through pure red to purple-red. The best rubies are an intense, vibrant red, with a faint hint of purple, that are neither too dark, nor too light — known in the trade as "pigeon's blood" red.

Three lose rubies

Flawless rubies are exceptionally valuable

Clarity is another factor that heavily influences how valuable a ruby is. Most rubies have visible blemishes or inclusions, which can come in many forms: pinpoint or grain crystals; fine fibres of titanium oxide (rutile), known as silk; long thin tubes filled with gas or liquid; feather-like cracks; and various others. The fewer inclusions there are, and the less prominent they are, the rarer and more valuable a ruby is.

Most rubies are heat treated

It is possible to improve the colour and clarity of rubies by heating them. This technique has been practiced for hundreds of years, and is completely stable (the enhancements are permanent). For this reason heat treatment is very widespread, and you should assume that a ruby has been heated unless you are told otherwise. Unheated rubies tend to trade at a significant premium, and so will normally be supplied with a gemological certificate confirming that there is no evidence of heat treatment.

If it seems too good to be true, it probably is

Aside from heating, there are various other treatments that rubies can be exposed to. These include lead glass filling, flux healing, and beryllium diffusion, all of which disguise problems with a stone’s colour or clarity and in some cases can cause structural weaknesses in the gem. All of these treatments significantly undermine the value of a ruby, and should always be disclosed.

If a ruby seems unusually well priced and you can’t see any obvious problems with colour or clarity, then most likely it has been subjected to one or more of these treatments. If you are in any doubt, you should get the stone checked by an independent gemologist — no reputable supplier would object to this request.

Ethical rubies

At Ingle & Rhode, we only source rubies that have been produced in a socially and environmentally responsible way, and which we can trace back to mine of origin. The only treatment we accept is heating, and we also offer unheated rubies.

 

In the gallery below, you can view a selection of some of the ruby rings that we've made for previous clients. Please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions, or to discuss commissioning your own bespoke design.

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  • INSPIRATION GALLERY

    Browse bespoke designs

    Be inspired by bespoke rings we've created for previous clients. To discuss your own design, schedule a free consultation.

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  • Ruby & Diamond Trilogy Ring

    Ruby & Diamond Trilogy Ring

    A beautiful trilogy-style engagement ring in Fairtrade 18ct yellow gold. Set with a 0.70ct diamond, and a matching pair of rubies.

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  • Ruby & Diamond Art Deco Ring

    Ruby & Diamond Art Deco Ring

    An opulent Art Deco-inspired ring in platinum, set with a 0.96ct octagonal ruby and a pair of matching Canadian diamonds.

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  • Ruby & Diamond Ring

    Ruby & Diamond Ring

    An astonishing platinum ring, set with a 1.50ct cushion cut ruby. Small diamonds are cutdown set into the halo and shoulders.

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  • Ruby & Diamond Comet Ring

    Ruby & Diamond Comet Ring

    A unique engagement ring in platinum, set with a 1.20ct oval ruby surrounded by eight small diamonds.

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  • Four-Claw Twist Ruby Ring In Yellow Gold

    Four-Claw Twist Ruby Ring In Yellow Gold

    A charming engagement ring in 18ct yellow gold, set with 0.6ct round cut ruby in a twist setting.

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  • Diamond & Ruby Ribbon Ring

    Diamond & Ruby Ribbon Ring

    A unique engagement ring in 18ct white gold. Set with fifteen square cut rubies, and twenty-five small diamonds.

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  • Diamond & Ruby Trilogy Ring

    Diamond & Ruby Trilogy Ring

    A beautiful trilogy engagement ring in 18ct yellow gold. Set with a 0.70ct round brilliant cut diamond, with matching pear cut rubies.

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  • Ruby & Diamond Cluster Ring

    Ruby & Diamond Cluster Ring

    An exquisite vintage-style ring in platinum. Set with 2.10ct oval ruby, surrounded by small round diamonds.

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  • Ruby & Diamond Trilogy Ring

    Ruby & Diamond Trilogy Ring

    A remarkable trilogy-style engagement ring in platinum. Set with a 1.5ct oval ruby and matching round brilliant cut diamonds.

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  • Ruby & Diamond Ring

    Ruby & Diamond Ring

    A spectacular engagement ring in 18ct white gold, inspired by the jewellery of India. Set with small rubies and diamonds.

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  • Oval Ruby & Diamond Cluster Ring

    Oval Ruby & Diamond Cluster Ring

    A beautiful vintage-style engagement ring in platinum. Featuring 1.70ct oval cut ruby, with fourteen round brilliant cut diamonds.

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