Rubies have been coveted for centuries by jewelry lovers for their deep red color, sparkling clarity, and association with wealth and luxury. The gemstone is also believed to bring passion, love, and good luck to the wearer. Because of these qualities, ruby jewelry is an ideal choice for making a statement. In this article, we will explore the beauty and symbolism of rubies, how to choose the perfect ruby jewelry, some popular designs and settings, and care tips to make your ruby jewelry last a lifetime.
The Beauty and Symbolism of Rubies
Ruby is the red variety of the mineral corundum, which is composed of aluminum and oxygen. The color comes from trace amounts of chromium in the crystal lattice. The intensity of the color depends on the amount of chromium and ranges from pale pink to deep red. The most valuable rubies are pigeon blood red, a term used to describe a bright, saturated, and slightly bluish-red hue.
Rubies have been associated with royalty, power, and passion for thousands of years. They were believed to possess magical powers and guard against evil spirits. In ancient India, rubies were called “ratnaraj” or “king of gems,” and considered more valuable than diamonds. Ruby rings were worn by knights in the Middle Ages for protection in battle and to symbolize courage and loyalty. In modern times, ruby jewelry is still a symbol of wealth, love, and vitality.
Choosing the Perfect Ruby Jewelry
When shopping for ruby jewelry, there are several factors to consider to ensure that you get the best quality and value for your money.
Color: As mentioned earlier, the color of a ruby is the most important factor in determining its value. Look for a stone with a vivid and even hue without any brown, gray or purple undertones. The color should be consistent throughout the stone, and not appear lighter or darker in certain areas.
Clarity: Rubies are expected to have some inclusions or flaws, but too many can affect their brilliance and durability. Look for a stone that is eye-clean, meaning that you can’t see any inclusions with the naked eye.
Cut: A well-cut ruby will enhance its color, clarity, and sparkle. Look for a symmetrical shape, good proportions, and a smooth surface with no visible scratches or chips. The most common shapes for ruby jewelry are oval, round, and cushion, but you can also find emerald, pear, and marquise cuts.
Carat Weight: Rubies can vary in size from small chips to large carat stones. The price per carat increases significantly for larger stones, but you can still find beautiful and affordable ruby jewelry in smaller sizes.
Popular Designs and Settings
Ruby jewelry comes in a variety of styles and settings to suit different tastes and occasions. Here are some of the most popular designs:
Ruby Rings: Ruby rings can be simple and elegant or bold and glamorous. Solitaire rings with a single ruby are timeless classics, while three-stone rings with diamonds or other gemstones on the sides add extra sparkle and symbolism. Halo rings with a halo of diamonds around the center stone make the ruby appear larger and more radiant. Vintage-inspired rings with filigree or milgrain details give a romantic and antique feel to the piece. Cluster rings with multiple small rubies set close together can create a unique and playful effect.
Ruby Earrings: Ruby earrings are versatile and can be worn every day or for special occasions. Stud earrings with a single ruby are perfect for a minimalist look, while dangle earrings with multiple rubies and diamonds add movement and drama. Hoop earrings with rubies on the front or inside the hoop are trendy and modern.
Ruby Necklaces and Pendants: Ruby necklaces and pendants can be delicate and feminine or bold and edgy. A pendant with a single ruby on a delicate chain is a timeless and elegant piece. A necklace with multiple rubies set in a row or alternating with diamonds creates a luxurious and sophisticated look. A choker or collar necklace with rubies set closely together can create a statement piece that draws attention to the neckline.
Ruby Bracelets: Ruby bracelets are often worn as a single statement piece or stacked with other bracelets. Tennis bracelets with a continuous line of rubies and diamonds are classic and refined. Bangle bracelets with a few small rubies or a single larger ruby are simple and chic. Charm bracelets with ruby charms or birthstone charms add a personal touch to the piece.
Care Tips for Ruby Jewelry
Ruby jewelry, like all gemstone jewelry, requires some care and maintenance to keep it looking its best. Here are some tips to follow:
Avoid exposure to chemicals: Rubies can be damaged by exposure to chemicals such as bleach, ammonia, and acids. Remove your ruby jewelry before swimming, cleaning, or applying cosmetics or hairspray.
Avoid exposure to heat: High temperatures can cause Rubies to fade or crack. Avoid wearing your ruby jewelry while cooking, opening the oven, or using hot styling tools.
Cleaning: To clean your ruby jewelry, use only warm water, mild soap, and a soft-bristled brush. Rinse the jewelry thoroughly and dry it with a soft cloth. Do not use ultrasonic cleaners or steam cleaners unless the jewelry has no inclusions or fractures.
Storage: Store your ruby jewelry in a separate compartment of a jewelry box or a soft pouch to prevent scratches or damage. Do not expose the jewelry to direct sunlight or extreme temperatures.
In summary, ruby jewelry can be a beautiful and meaningful way to express your personality, style, and values. Whether you prefer a classic and understated look or a bold and dramatic statement, ruby jewelry comes in a variety of styles and settings to suit your taste and occasion. When shopping for ruby jewelry, remember to consider the color, clarity, cut, and carat weight of the stone, and choose a reputable jeweler with a good reputation. By following the care tips, you can enjoy your ruby jewelry for years to come and pass it on to future generations as a treasured family heirloom.