CORUNDUM (RUBY AND SAPPHIRES) AS USED IN ESTATE JEWELRY AND VINTAGE JEWELRY
Rubies and Sapphires are both from the same mineral, corundum, and they have the same physical characteristics. Color is what separates ruby from sapphire. Rubies are limited to red, where as sapphires may come in a variety of colors - except red. Sapphires in colors other than blue are called "fancy" colors. Sapphires are more commonly found than rubies and are generally larger crystals.
BIRTHSTONE AND ANNIVERSARY
Ruby is the birthstone for January and is the gemstone used to celebrate the 15th and 40th anniversaries.
Sapphires are the birthstone for September and the gemstone used for celebrating the 5th and 45th anniversaries.
RECORD SALE PRICE PER CARAT
The record setting price per carat for a ruby in a piece of estate jewelry was achieved through Christie's sale on February 2006 in Geneva. A Bulgari designed ring, The Graff Ruby, sold for $3,637,480 USD. This cushion-cut, Burmese 8.62 carat ruby ring, sold for $425,000 USD per carat.
ORIGIN OF NAME
Ruby is derived from the Latin word "rubeus", which means red. "Sapphire" is from the Greek word that means blue.
VIEW OUR RUBY ESTATE JEWELRY COLLECTION
1940s Vintage Star Set Ruby Ring
Ruby Diamond Antique Ring
Antique Ruby Diamond Ring
Art Deco Star Ruby Cabochon Ring
Estate Ring Ruby Diamond 18kt 750 yellow Gold Band Ring
Retro Ruby Diamond Ring
Ruby Diamond Platinum Gold Ring
Ruby Diamond Platinum Ring
Ruby Gold Filigree Ring
Star Ruby Diamond Ring
Turquoise Ruby Diamond Earclips
Vintage Ruby Cabochon Earrings
X Ruby Gold Ring
VIEW OUR SAPPHIRE ESTATE JEWELRY COLLECTION
Estate 4 Carat Blue Green Sapphire Diamond Dinner Ring
Estate 4 Carat Blue Sapphire Cocktail Diamond Dinner Ring
Vintage Sapphire Engagement Ring
Vintage Blue Sapphire Gold Earrings
1930s Big Blue Sapphire Wedding Ring
Estate Blue Sapphire Pin Cushion Ring in 18KT Gold
Retro Estate Yellow Sapphire and Pearl 14KT Ring
Diamond Sapphire Filigree Ring
Vintage Diamond Sapphire Wedding Band
Estate Sapphire Buckle Ring
Estate Snake Blue Sapphire Cabochon Ring
Many other stones have often been considered to be rubies or sapphires, when they were judged by their color. Many of the famous rubies have turned out to be spinel. The Black Prince Ruby, the Timur Ruby and the Cote de Bretagne Ruby all turned out to be spinel instead of ruby. The ruby called the "Catherine the Great Ruby" was in fact tourmaline.
The use of sapphires dates back to the seventeenth century BC, when it was used by the Etruscans. During medieval times sapphire was used for kings in Europe. In the eleventh century it was often used for ecclesiastic rings. During the renaissance both rubies and sapphires were chosen by those that could afford the gemstones.
ESTATE JEWELRY AND ANTIQUE JEWELRY USAGE
During the Victorian Jewelry Period, rubies and sapphires were used for jewelry making jewelry. Art Deco Jewelry Designers frequently used rubies and sapphires. The Retro Modern Jewelry Period often used a mixture of rubies and sapphires.
LEGENDS - RUBIES
Rubies were considered by the early Burmese to bring invulnerability when the ruby was inserted into the bearer's flesh. During the 16th century, it was considered that rubies would preserve health, remove evil thoughts, reconcile disputes or warn that there was impending danger.
LEGENDS - SAPPHIRES
Sapphires were believed to protect king's from harm and envious people. In thirteenth century France, the stone was believed to prevent poverty.
LEGENDS - STAR SAPPHIRE
The star sapphire has been called the stone of destiny, because its three crossed lines represent hope, faith and destiny.
High temperature metamorphism of claystones and limestones can form corundum. Sapphires are also found in some quartz-free igneous rocks. After weather, corundum will concentrate in placer gravels.
Most rubies are found in Thailand, near the Cambodian border. The finest rubies are from the Mogok region of Myanmar. True Burmese rubies are a fine, deep red, called pigeon blood.
Rubies are amongst the most coveted of colored gemstones and are often associated with passion, warmth and devotion. Corundum is the name given to ruby and sapphire, although ruby is colored by chromium and blue sapphire by a combination of iron and titanium.
The ruby's rich color, often described as 'pigeon's blood' red, is the most coveted. Clarity is also an essential ingredient of beauty and sometimes there are fine needles within the stone that reflect the light and give it a hazy shimmer at the surface.
The traditional sources for rubies are Burma (now Myanmar ), Ceylon ( Sri Lanka ) and Siam
(Thailand). The Mogok mining region of Upper Burma is synonymous with the very finest gems. Vietnam and East Africa also produce fine stones. Kashmir sapphires were first discovered in 1881, due to a landslide in a village at 5000 meters. Sri Lanka has been an excellent source for sapphires for over 2000 years.
ESTATE JEWELRY AND ANTIQUE JEWELRY CARE INSTRUCTIONS
Because yellow or orange sapphires are often treated they may be sensitive to light and may fade when exposed to frequent sunlight. Exposure to cleansing agents, even mild soaps, can cause the sealants to fail leaving the stone with a matt or dull finish. Rubies and sapphires in rings should always be removed prior to washing one's hands, cleaning house or swimming. Likewise, ultra-sonic cleanings are generally safe if stones are not filled, flawed or cavity filled.
RUBIES: red corundum. in general the highest qualities of rubies come from the Mogok region in Myanmar. Rubies are also found in Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Tanzania and Madagascar. Generally the most valued stones will have a high translucent quality and minimal spots or discoloration. A fine colored ruby is of high value even if a blemish may be seen. High quality rubies should have color that is good in any light. Rubies with intense and uniform red to slightly purplish red (the pigeon blood ruby) demand the highest price. Large rubies are rarer than large diamonds. Rubies are very frequently heat treated to improve color and clarity. Rubies are often given diffusion treatments to which include glass fillings and red oils or dyes.
SAPPHIRE: in general blue or violet-blue are considered the more valuable sapphires. A blue-green sapphire is considered less valuable. Medium to deep cornflower-blue sapphires demand the highest price in sapphires. In addition to color, to demand the highest price it is important for a sapphire to be even in color. Kashmir sapphires are generally considered to be the best and the most valuable. Sapphires are found in Kashmir, Madagascar, Australia, Thailand, Cambodia, US, China, Sri Lanka and Burma. Most sapphires come from Madagascar. Sapphires are often heat treated to improve color or clarity. The lowest quality and lower priced sapphires come from Australia, as they are generally dark and opaque.
PADPARADSCHA: this is a rare gemstone, it is the most rare of the fancy colored sapphires. This sapphire is a pinkish-orange color. Often an orange sapphire will be miscalled padparadscha, however, to be a true padparadscha sapphire it must be pinkish-orange in color. Only found in Ratnapura, Sri Lanka.
PINK SAPPHIRE: this is the second most valued of the fancy colored sapphires. Pink sapphires are often by mistake called, "rubies".
PURPLE, ORANGE, YELLOW OR GREEN SAPPHIRE: these sapphires are generally found in Thailand, Madagascar, East Africa, Sri Lanka or the US. Green sapphires are often from Australia. Natural orange is generally considered the most valuable of this group of four sapphires.
COLORLESS SAPPHIRE: These sapphires are often called white sapphires. They are created with heat by treating pale sapphires. Clear or white sapphires are now being used as a lower cost alternative to diamonds. In the sixteenth century, a colorless sapphire was considered an unripe ruby, that if it had been left alone would have matured and become a ruby.
STAR SAPPHIRE OR STAR RUBY: blue or red star sapphires are rare, they are more frequently found in black or gray.
Crystal system: trigonal
Cleavage: none, twinned stones may show parting
Refractive Index 1.76 - 1.78
Double Refracting, uniaxial negative
Specific Gravity: 3.95 - 4.05
With a hardness of 9, on the Mohs' scale, rubies and sapphires are harder than all other gems except diamonds. Their hardness and lack of cleavage makes them very strong. Corundum is often heat treated. It is estimated that 90% of sapphires are heat treated. In rubies, it is common to fill fractures with oil, epoxy or glass. Often you will see irradiation done to change colorless sapphires to yellow or orange.
The specific gravity is the ration of the density of an object when compared to water. In the simplest testing, it is simply the weight of a mineral compared to its volume. The volume of the stone is measured by the amount of water in displaces. Visit the ruby estate jewelry at Ten Two Three.