A Guide to Ruby

A Guide to Ruby

For many of us, red flowers, accessories, and jewelry have positive associations. Often, we get red roses from our partners, or red carnations from our parents during certain seasons of the year. Likewise, red stone jewelry, and especially ruby jewelry, is prized for many reasons including its romantic appeal and bold fashion statement. Let’s look at the red ruby gemstone, including its meaning, quality, and use in jewelry. The Enchanted Disney Fine Jewelry collection uses fine rubies in its Princess Snow White and Evil Queen collections, symbolizing the poison apple and the colors that are woven throughout the story.

What is Ruby

Rubies have been a prized gemstone for well over a thousand years. In fact, we know that the color of a ruby gemstone is always red because the Latin name for this stone means “red.” Many ancient cultures believed that rubies had a measure of control over life and death, at least because their color is the same as blood. For other cultures, ruby became connected to our inner passions-a belief that influences the modern connection between red and love. To this day, passion is an important part of the ruby gemstone meaning.

Over the centuries, red ruby gemstones have been prized possessions. For instance, soldiers used to carry rubies for protection in battle, which was one of the ruby gemstone benefits. Nobility, royalty, and wealthy people all over Europe have considered rubies to be a symbol of their wealth and power. If you look at the crown jewels and tiaras of multiple countries, you’ll see a lot of red gemstones. This shows the extent to which rubies were sought-after gems for the highest social classes.

Rubies are valuable because the gemstone remains extremely popular with cultures around the world. Even with the development of created rubies, the allure of natural rubies remains. Also, natural and created rubies have the same symbolism in many ways, even though the created ones are modestly priced. Even so, natural and created rubies alike tap into the storied history of this beautiful, glowing gem. Red color, combined with the inner glow, is what makes rubies special.

What makes a Ruby unique?

While we’ve already discussed a ruby’s red color, this isn’t the only red gem out there. For instance, most of us know about red garnets, and a lesser-known gem that can be confused for a ruby is spinel. However, despite their color neither of these gems are rubies. That’s because they are different minerals. Rubies are the red variety of corundum, or aluminum oxide crystals. Ruby gets its color from chromium impurities during crystal formation, which happens in lava cavities and marble deposits. With other corundum varieties, rubies have a hardness of 9-just below diamond. Unlike other corundum, rubies have a fluorescence that makes them glow.

Evaluation of Rubies

Unlike some other gems, however, rubies are often treated to improve their quality. By far the most common treatment, and the most accepted, is heat treating. This process changes the stone to have a higher clarity level, is permanent, and doesn’t damage the integrity of the gem.

However, there are other ruby treatments that are less accepted and that, if used, produce rubies that are not worthy of being included in jewelry. For instance, fracture filling injects glass into the surface cracks of a ruby crystal, which conceals the fault. However, glass isn’t as hard as ruby, and it’s relatively easy for the glass to come out of the stone over time. Finally, beryllium diffusion can permanently alter the color of any corundum variety.

Within natural rubies, there’s significant variation in value. The value determiners, even considering treatments, are the same as diamonds: cut, color, clarity, and carat. The better your cut, color, and clarity, the more valuable your stone. Likewise, a larger carat weight stone is worth more than a smaller one. The most important part of how to buy a ruby gemstone is making sure you select one from a reputable company and that the price is commensurate with quality. Other than that, pick something you love for your budget.

Nowadays, most gemstones can be lab created to mimic the vivid colors that you see in nature. Rubies can also be lab created to showcase the gorgeous red color, be relatively free of inclusions and also be available at a much more affordable price point. The pieces in the Enchanted Disney Fine Jewelry collection are crafted with lab created rubies.

What looks nice with a ruby?

Rubies are classic stones, so they go with a wide variety of metals. At Enchanted Disney, we use 14k white gold, 14k yellow gold, 14k rose gold, sterling silver, and diamonds in our created ruby jewelry. For example, we have ruby earrings that feature sterling silver, black diamonds, and white diamonds. There’s also a simple ruby gemstone necklace that features Snow White’s apple set in silver. Looking for something that showcases the balance between good and evil, take a look at the pieces in our Evil Queen collection.

Care and cleaning

Use soap and lukewarm water, with a gentle brush. Anything else can damage the stone. However, since our jewelry is made with created rubies, this isn’t an issue. Soap and water work fine, but you don’t need to be as careful. Either way, store your jewelry in its manufacturer’s box or a purpose-built jewelry box with other gems. This way, it’ll be protected from scratches and excess dirt.


1. Is ruby a hard gemstone?
Yes. Only Moissanite and diamonds are harder.

2. Which month has ruby as its gemstone?
Ruby is the gemstone for July, but can be given at any point of the year and for any occasion. It’s also a great choice for an engagement ring.

3. Is ruby an expensive gemstone?
Fine quality rubies are the most expensive colored gem. Sapphires, emeralds and diamonds are also considered fine gems.

4. Which gemstone pairs well with the ruby?
Diamonds are a classic combination. In addition, black diamonds, garnets and spinel can be a great choice too to accentuate the deep red beauty of a ruby.