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The potential quest for a ruby/“ ruby like” stone

Discussion in 'Colored Gemstones' started by Rubybrick, Apr 25, 2019.

  1. Rubybrick
    Shiny_Rock

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    by Rubybrick » Apr 25, 2019
    563D0C90-B694-44F1-9403-FB15792927BE.jpeg
    fellow colored gem lover and ruby owners. How important is an actual ruby for you? What are your thoughts on the ruby like gems? I didn’t really care too much for rubies before, but I recently started to really love my moms ring shown here, which I am pretty sure is a Burmese ruby, it kind of has a understated charm being somewhat sleepy. But a the same time I am not sure the premium is “worth” it per se. I am looking for one in the 6.5mm-7mm range so that will make a difference in price.. thoughts?
     
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  2. Rubybrick
    Shiny_Rock

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    by Rubybrick » Apr 25, 2019
    Oh I wanted to add for what it’s worth, I certainly can not tell a ruby from a rubylike stone :cry2:
     
  3. lovedogs
    Ideal_Rock

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    by lovedogs » Apr 25, 2019
    Rubelite is an option, and so is spinel. Is it important to you that it's a Ruby vs something else? What about synthetic Ruby?
     
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  4. T L
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by T L » Apr 25, 2019
    Natural ruby is a minefield of various treatment, nuances of color, origin premium and exponentially expensive even on tiny increments in size. There are also dealers who take advantage of novice buyers by not informing well on any of the above.

    If you’re a novice, I would go for a rubellite, even if it’s treated, because in my humble opinion, ruby is the most difficult gem to shop for. Red spinels are also really up there in price unless you’re getting a subcarat gem.

    Ruby is probably the only major gem I do not own, not because I don’t like them, but even meh rubies are too expensive for me.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
    


    


  5. Rubybrick
    Shiny_Rock

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    by Rubybrick » Apr 25, 2019
    I am not sure at this point if it is important that it is a Ruby. The spinel that I see so far are quite a bit crisper than my moms, i kind of like the glow factor a bit more. The only other ruby like item I own are rubelite/tourmalines which somehow doesn’t look quite as rich. Again more sparkling so to speak. I am looking for something similar to the feel of my moms, which she believes to be Burmese from a family jeweler, but I certainly don’t know if that’s a hallmark Burmese look? I am not committed to the jeweler/certainly not going to suggest she test it and confirm, just going for a similar look...but bigger :lol:
     
  6. lovedogs
    Ideal_Rock

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    by lovedogs » Apr 25, 2019
    What is your budget?
     
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  7. strawrose
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by strawrose » Apr 25, 2019
    Yes, rubellite won’t have the glow. I have them in both mediocre and top colors, but they can’t compete with spinel in glow. I second the spinel recommendation.
     
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  8. voce
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by voce » Apr 25, 2019
    The way to test for Burmese would be fluorescence under UV and telltale Burma-only inclusion types under the loupe/microscope. Even then, it should be left to people who are truly experts and have inspected rubies for a livelihood. Take fluorescence for example. While as a general rule Burmese ruby is more fluorescent than African ruby, occasionally there will be the "freak" African ruby that matches the level of fluorescence found in Burmese ruby, and synthetic ruby will have even more fluorescence than any Burmese ruby. I think a safer bet is seeing when your mom acquired the ring. Someone fact check for me, but I think prior to the 1990s all mined rubies were Burma or Thai or Vietnam in origin? If your mom acquired the ruby in the 1970s, it's safe to say it's Burmese if it's fluorescent. If 80s, there's a possibility it's top Vietnamese ruby.

    I've personally been drooling over AureliaGem's spinels, for instance this one.
     
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  9. Rubybrick
    Shiny_Rock

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    by Rubybrick » Apr 25, 2019
    At this point, I prefer under 4K for the stone. The spinels look pretty intriguing, I have not see one in person... are spinels actually more rare?
     
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  10. lovedogs
    Ideal_Rock

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    by lovedogs » Apr 25, 2019
    spinels are wonderful (IMO), and can be suer saturated/glowy/bright. But they are expensive, so not a lot easier to find than ruby. But I can look around!
     
    


    


  11. Rubybrick
    Shiny_Rock

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    by Rubybrick » Apr 25, 2019
    my best guess is early 1990s, but I thought all gems are “traded” how does one know if the gem is newly minded so to speak? Reading more on spinels, sounds intriguing.
     
  12. lovedogs
    Ideal_Rock

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  13. Bron357
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Bron357 » Apr 26, 2019
    I’ve been immersed in Rubies for over a year now and the more I learn the harder it gets.
    Rubies are both very desirable and very valuable hence the multitude of invasive treatments, deceptive practices etc behind rubies.
    A Ruby can be synthetic, highly treated, slightly treated or natural. At one end $1 a carat, at the other over $10,000 a carat. And no, you can’t easily tell the difference with the unaided eye.
    Rubies can come from a number of origins and there can be a huge price differential just on that. You need an expert with sophisticated equipment to sort out a Burmese from a top Madagascar ruby. And thats before you start talking colour hue, tone and intensity.
    To buy safely you have to have a reputable lab report before you buy, anything else is just too risky.
    There are too many sellers out there with “enhanced” natural rubies with “enhancements” not disclosed (oops, I had no idea it was beryllium treated with residue, my supplier told me it was natural, heat only).
    Spinel is an equally beautiful red, though harder to find and there is also Rubelite Tourmalines too.
     
  14. Rubybrick
    Shiny_Rock

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    by Rubybrick » Apr 26, 2019
    Do you find spinels to be a less risky challenge?
     
  15. Rubybrick
    Shiny_Rock

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    by Rubybrick » Apr 26, 2019
    Wow those pack some amazing sparkles!! Thanks lovedogs!
     
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  16. AV_
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by AV_ » Apr 26, 2019
    Just a note,

    It is great to shop with a colour sample at hand, and the beautiful ring in the picture would qualify, IHMO.
     
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  17. T L
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by T L » Apr 26, 2019
    You have to beware of synthetics, but a good dealer should be able to provide a reputable lab report. I know some people are not picky about lab reports for red spinels from highly reputable dealers, but I personally like them for my own peace of mind. Sometimes even the most trusted dealers can get a dud and not know it.

    As for rubies, you have to not only beware of synthetics, but all kinds of invasive clarity enhancement, color enhancement or both. Spinels are typically not treated, but some more included ones might have resin treatment to improve stability.
     
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  18. T L
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by T L » Apr 26, 2019
    You have to beware of synthetics, but a good dealer should be able to provide a reputable lab report. I know some people are not picky about lab reports for red spinels from highly reputable dealers, but I personally like them for my own peace of mind. Sometimes even the most trusted dealers can get a dud and not know it.

    As for rubies, you have to not only beware is synthetics, but all kinds of invasive clarity enhancement, color enhancement or both. Spinels are typically not treated, but some more included ones might have resin treatment to improve stability.
     
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  19. Rubybrick
    Shiny_Rock

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    by Rubybrick » Apr 26, 2019
    Thank you AV, I find it to be lovely.
     
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  20. voce
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by voce » Apr 26, 2019
    Am I the only one who doesn't think buying ruby is particularly a challenge so much as it's a test of your financial ability? I find it simple if you a) stick with unheated ruby that comes with GIA or AGL reports, b) only buy from vendors who specialise in unheated stones such as Enhoerning Jewelry and Wildfish Gems, and c) only buy from vendors with a good return policy in case the gem looks different in hand from what appears on camera, but if you go with vendors such as what I mentioned in b), c) automatically applied. I generally don't think I can trust to buy colored stones pre-loved except where there are lab reports from a reputable lab, and/or the seller is a prominent PS member who is knowledgeable themselves.

    P.S. @Rubybrick did you notice the link in my first reply post here? What do you think of spinels like that?
     
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  21. T L
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by T L » Apr 26, 2019
    I think the biggest problem with most novice ruby purchasers is knowing what a fair cost is for the color. Yes, you can buy a ruby from a reputable dealer with all its “papers,” but do you know you’re getting a fair price for the color? Ruby pricing is so high that I’ve seen very unsaturated stones for huge sums of money for just for being a ruby with either minimal or no treatment, or being from Burma. The same goes for alexandrite and Padparadcha.

    One of my biggest pet peeves is also the “pigeon blood” moniker that is so easily tossed about by sone labs and dealers. Also, their version of “pure red,” does not always align with what I see. I guess after seeing vivid red Burma rubies, it has really made me personally very picky about color grading and the prices of red stones. Blue stones, with the exception of paraiba, not so much. This is because the cost is often many times more than diamond per carat.
     
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  22. AV_
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by AV_ » Apr 26, 2019
    .

    FYI,

    reds www

    &

    pinks www , www

    & worse distraction www
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2019
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  23. lambskin
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by lambskin » Apr 26, 2019
    For over forty years I have lusted for a gorgeous 2+ carat cushion cut, non-opaque pigeon red ruby. Affordability, inclusions, cloudiness, poor color, treatments, embargos and rarity have thwarted my mission. I was even interested in rubies sourced elsewhere as long as the color was excellent. I had high hopes for rubies mined from Mozambique that are beautiful, large and non-opaque. But I found that these were not priced at a point I would consider. ( For example, emeralds mined from Columbia (Muzo and others) fetch premium prices whereas beautiful, large and nice colored emeralds mined from Zambia are far less expensive.) I had high hopes that Mozambique rubies would be priced accordingly. On this forum I have seen beautiful red spinels and rubelites that are prettier than most emeralds. They are, IMHO, a great choice for those who want a beautiful red and affordable gem.
     
  24. voce
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by voce » Apr 26, 2019
    Gem prices can change due to supply and demand. Labels like pigeon blood do not matter to me. You can only judge for yourself with your own eyes, not what people who sell the gem to you. However, there is no such thing as a fixed fair price.

    I have been watching what other people on these forums have paid for their rubies before buying my own, and so far I have to say that I have paid far less than others have paid for what I got. I wouldn't say that they didn't get a fair price though. A fair price, I would say, is whatever a well informed buyer is willing to pay for the color/quality. If it's priced fairly, then it would sell without sitting unsold for very long.

    For rubies and paraibas and spinels, I expect the price to keep increasing, so this is why I decided to buy now, before df and I marry.

    For rubies the price is exponentially higher at the 2 ct and 3 ct sizes. Sorry to disappoint, but there are only so many perfect rubies of that size in the world that are untreated and top color. If other people are willing to pay $30k for a 2 ct ruby and you're only willing to pay $10k, what right do you have to say that the $30k price is unfair? We don't know how much it cost the vendor to find the stone, so the price a consumer believes to be "fair" could well be wrong.

    That said, I think what the OP wants (1.5-2ct range for 6.5-7mm) would cost 7k at least, for ruby, while in a top red spinel it would cost between 1.5k to 5k depending on the vendor. I think red spinels can be pricey as well, because the more people know about this ruby substitute, the more gets bought our and cannot be replaced. Spinels actually occur less frequently in nature than rubies, and it's only because the market knows rubies and demands rubies, that spinel prices are lower.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2019
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  25. T L
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by T L » Apr 26, 2019
    But you’re not a novice gem buyer, your judgement is much better than someone that has no clue. ;-)

    That to me is where the problem lies, and so I think it’s a good idea to browse places where you can see fine rubies in person, to get an idea. Of course I’ve been to museums with sub par rubies on display, while others gasp in awe.:eek2: They’re just so expensive, so I think ruby shopping should be done with patience and education.
     
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  26. T L
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by T L » Apr 26, 2019
    The top qualities in emerald, ruby and sapphire, the big three, are a sight to behold, almost makes me tear up at some of the gems in those species I’ve seen. I’ve never, for example, have seen another green stone more beautiful than a top quality Muzo emerald, and photos just never do them justice. However, yes, there are really subpar specimens in any gem species. I think other gems like tsavorite for example, are much nicer than a lot of emeralds, the same goes for red spinels vs. rubies, or even tanzanite or blue spinel vs. blue sapphires.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2019
  27. voce
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by voce » Apr 26, 2019
    I think for green stones, there are more gem varieties available, and it really depends on what you like. For example, I love top Russian demantoid much more than emerald. They glow just as much as Muzo emerald and glitter more due to high dispersion. Russian demantoids are priced similarly or even higher than emerald though, so we have to make do with smaller beautiful gems if not willing to sacrifice on the quality.
     
  28. Rubybrick
    Shiny_Rock

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    by Rubybrick » Apr 26, 2019
    I guess it sounds like a top color ruby will demand a premium(at least for now), over a top color spinel given the perceived prestige. Whether the premium is fair or not will probably be up for debate. I think given my budget, I should probably stick with a spinel since I do love a good color.

    @voce, I missed the link at first but I did just now see it. It looks on my screen to be a bit of orange tone, so is the mehenge spinel that Yvonne has. I tend to like a cooler/neutral red, but not too purple pink. The colors of the finewater stone looked good, but I am not sure I can see why the 1.59 stone is so much more than the 1.41 stone? any thoughts ? But I am not sure if it’s just my phone screen
     
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  29. Rubybrick
    Shiny_Rock

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    by Rubybrick » Apr 26, 2019
    Wow the prices of those nice rubies, kills any dream of an actual ruby....
     
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  30. lambskin
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by lambskin » Apr 26, 2019
    Oops meant to say that I have seen rubelites and red spinals prettier than some rubies (not emeralds). I did not mean to compare oranges to apples. In that vein, my jeweler friend tried to talk me out of an emerald as she thought that tsavorites were more lively and bang for the buck.
     
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