With beautiful tones ranging from soft candy red to deep scarlet red tones, rubies have been personally sourced by Master Jeweller Chris Hood for the Metal Urges collection. Chris has travelled as far as Ratnapura and Beruwala in Sri Lanka as well as Madagascar in search of these precious tones. Most of these stones, however, have been sourced from Burmese deposits produce rubies that are becoming increasingly popular.

Gemstone type

Rubies are part of the corundum group, along with sapphires. Gemstones in this group are highly regarded for their hardness. At 9 on the Mohs scale, only diamond and moissanite are harder. This means that owning a ruby doesn’t require additional care and your stone with remain robust through the years.

Through a good dose of pressure and heat, gemstones in this group consist of pure aluminium oxide which crystallises, forming a gemstone. The presence chromium in trace amounts is what gives rubies their impressive colour. Garnet and tourmaline are two gemstones that also display a red colour, although they have inferior hardness.

How we source ruby

At Metal Urges we take a hands on approach. Chris spends several months a year travelling across the globe, to some of the most remote and wild locations to source his sapphires and rubies. Ruby deposits are located in Sri Lanka, Madagascar, India, Mozambique, Thailand, Vietnam and the US. Despite the many locations they can occasionally be found the ruby is becoming more difficult to find.

On every trip, Chris is mindful of working ethically when sourcing ruby rough. He is committed to leaving every local community a little better off – Metal Urge’s appreciation is shown through donating to education, working closely with locals and injecting funds directly into the local mining communities.

Gauging value

It’s important to know how to identify ruby and ascertain value. Metal Urges has an impressive range in Hobart. Let’s take a look at how colour, clarity, cut and size affect value.

Ruby colour

We are fortunate to currently have a wide range of ruby. When it comes to colour, the more intense it is (with fewer distracting zones of other colours) the more valuable a stone is. Usually ruby are low in saturation. It is the presence of chromium during formation that brings about red hues in a ruby.

Some gem stones are incredibly pale, while others are purple-red and yet others orange-red. These gemstones are available in both faceted and cabochon styles and are particularly popular for rings.

Rarely will you find perfectly clean rubies, therefore even expensive stones can have slight inclusions. Highly saturated medium or darker ruby gemstones are considered best, and rubies that are too pale are considered lower in value.

Ruby clarity

It is much rarer to find a ruby with high clarity, therefore this adds considerable value. Usually these stones have some inclusions, whether it be needles (long thin mineral inclusions), healed breaks or colour banding. In some instances, inclusions can increase a ruby’s value, where in other cases the durability is compromised. Metal Urges can talk you through any inclusions and what they mean for a particular stone.

Ruby cut

The cut of each ruby at Metal Urges is influenced by the shape of the rough ruby – and how best to highlight its features. We keep in mind maximum weight, good proportions and the overall colour when choosing the cut.

Rubies are often faceted and cut in the round brilliant shape, but there are plenty of other options including square, emerald cut, oval and pear shaped cuts. The most typical crystal form is a barrel or spindle-shaped hexagonal pyramid. As such, rubies are often cut deep.

Ruby weight

Size does matter when it comes to rubies! These stones can range from hundreds of carats to just a few points, but high-quality stones in larger sizes are rarer these days. Most you’ll find weigh below 5.00 carats.

Ruby symbolism

When looking at rubies, you’ll notice that these stones are feiry to the eye. As such, the ruby is known as a stone of passion. They are believed to bring romantic love, fidelity and integrity to the life of the wearer. Loyalty and trust are also symbolic of this stone.