For centuries, the classic diamond ring has been the go-to option of choice to adorn the hand of a lady. Seen as a great opportunity to store wealth and become a treasured family heirloom, people have opted for the traditional diamond engagement rings even in times of great poverty. In the 17th and 18th centuries, however, the diamond was often paired with rubies. Said to symbolize eternity and love, the glaring contrast of colors was an attractive option for the wealthy and powerful of the time.
Nowadays, ruby rings are having a comeback. With so many people wanting a unique alternative to the traditional diamond, many folks are opting to pair it with the vibrant red of the ruby once again. The birthstone gem for those born in July, the ruby has long been viewed as a gem of passion, love and courage.
If you’re one of the many with a renewed interest in this romantic gem, read on to learn how to choose the best ruby and diamond ring.
Rubies are said to be the rarest out of the big three – rubies, sapphires and emeralds – and as such, you might not know what to look for. Here’s what you need to know to choose the best ruby and diamond ring.
-Color: When choosing a ruby, color is the most important factor to consider. The deeper and more vibrant the red, the better. There are three criteria we look at when measuring a ruby’s color.
-Hue: A ruby’s hue refers to its basic color or where it falls on the spectrum of other colors. The primary color of all rubies is, of course, red but the secondary color may be pink, purple or orange. The redder the color, the more valuable a ruby is.
-Tone: The tone refers to the lightness or darkness of the red color in the Ruby and how evenly it is distributed over the stone. If the ruby is too dark, then it may be difficult to see the color and if it is too light, the color may be too faint. Therefore, the most valuable and high-quality rubies fall in the medium tone range.
-Saturation: A ruby’s saturation refers to the purity of the color, or how intense the red is. If a ruby’s color is vibrant, strong and vivid, with a great depth of color, then it’s value will increase.
-Ruby Clarity: The number of inclusions, or imperfections, in a ruby is what we call a ruby’s clarity. The number, size, location, color and quality of the imperfections are all factors that are considered when measuring a ruby’s clarity. If a ruby is free of inclusions when viewed by the naked eye, then it has a good clarity and will be more expensive. However, there is no such thing as a flawless ruby, so a ruby with no inclusions suggests that is has been treated or is synthetic. Although most rubies on the market have been heat treated to improve the color and clarity, a non-treated ruby that has superb clarity will be hugely expensive.
-Evaluating the Cut of a Ruby: How well a ruby has been transformed from a lump of mineral corundum to sparkling, precious gemstone is what we mean when we talk about cut. The dimensions, how it’s faceted and overall symmetry are all things that evaluate the cut of a ruby. When it comes to choosing diamonds, the cut is the most important factor as it determines how much it will sparkle. With rubies, however, this is not the case. The cut of a ruby falls behind color and clarity when it comes to measuring value and worth. However, when you’re wondering how to choose the best ruby and diamond ring, the cut is still something to consider. A quality cut should maximize color and light, minimize inclusions and adhere to the desired shape the consumer wants.
You should now have a basic understanding of how to choose the best ruby and diamond rings, but there are just a few other things to help you in your search.
Choosing your ring band can be almost as important as choosing your ruby. Although it ultimately comes down to personal preference, many opt to pair the vibrant red of their rubies with the striking contrast of gold – yellow, white or rose – for a dignified royal feel. While platinum and silver are growing more popular as options, gold remains the top band choice for ruby rings.
When shopping for your perfect ruby and diamond ring, it can be easy to get swept up admiring the passionate, vibrant red of the rubies that you neglect the diamond element of the combination. Make sure you consider the diamond’s carat and quality along with the ruby.
Rubies are much heavier and denser compared to other gemstones. So a ruby that is one carat will be smaller than a one carat diamond. Therefore, the bigger the gem, the bigger the pricetag. The combination of ruby and diamonds can offset this a bit as it allows the use of a smaller ruby while the added diamonds maintain the elegance and sparkle of a larger gem.
Choosing the style you want is another important factor. Pear Rings, for example, can have a very slimming effect on fingers, while halo rings can add an impressive bling without the extra cost of a larger ruby. Similarly, the many gems of a cluster ring can have a brilliant sparkle while cutting the cost subcutaneously with many smaller stones compared to one large center ruby. Factor in your lifestyle, vision and personal style when deciding what style of ring you want.
Where the ruby was mined can have an impact on it’s secondary color. For example, rubies mined from Myanmar tend to have a purple hue, while Sri Lankan rubies have a more pinkish hue. In general, purple makes a good secondary color as it can bring out the red of the ruby, making it appear richer. This is another case where a gold band can be the preferred choice as the yellow will neutralize any blue in the purple, making the red appear more vibrant.
Finally, always look for rubies that are sold with certification. A ruby certification is a grading report certifying that the ruby has been properly examined and graded and that you are getting exactly what you’re paying for. For those buying diamonds, a certification is a necessity and it shouldn’t be overlooked when shopping for rubies either. The certification should list the size, shape, color and transparency of the gemstone, as well as any treatments it may have undergone.