Precious Gemstones
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Marc, Thank you so much! You may have thought it took longer than expected but we thought it was quite expedient. Thank you for continually confirming for us our decision to purchase from Africa Gems. This has been a wonderful transaction. We'll be here all day so as soon as it arrives I'll let you know. Happy Valentine's Day, Jennefer P of San Deigo CA (bought custom emerald ring & band)

I'll put them in the mail today. I want you to know that I really appreciate how amenable you have been. Your A+ rating is exactly right. I will continue to do business with you when I have other needs. My sister has also been checking out the site for sapphires based on the excellent service I received. Thanks again, Jim W.of Bangor MI (bought loose emeralds)

Will do! I'm in Denver on business until Saturday. I'll get it shipped out ASAP upon my return - next Monday most likely. Thank you for all of your help. Especially your guarantee and return policy. Made purchasing the gem online much more comfortable. Ironically, my jeweler also loosely knew your father and had a very good opinion of him. Thanks again Marc! Doug M from Camarillo CA (bought loose blue sapphire)

Marc, Your fantastic customer service makes it easy to support AfricaGems! Looking forward to surprising my wife with the Onyx ring. Regards, Michael S. from Boise ID (bought onyx diamond pendant)

Hi Marc, So far I'm very happy with the sapphire I purchased. My plan is to mount it in a tanzanite ring that I have (the tanzanite is very light in color and I've never been happy with it which is a surprise since it's also a Levian purchase). The setting has two sides with the stone suspended in between. I think the light will catch it magnificently! Thanks for checking on my order! Rita K. from Garland TX (bought Chatham emerald stone)

Hi Marc, Just to let you know that the stone was delivered today. Pitty it is dark now so can not see the true stae, but I am happy to see it here with the certs!I hope to do business with you again in the future! Thank you for you help, patience, Regards Wim D. of Dubai (bought loose oval alexandrite)

the rings have arrived they are absolutely stuning ! i thank you with all my heart and i pay no duties thanks to you THANK YOU VERY MUCH I HAVE NO WORDS TO THANKS !! Mencaglia A of Bucharest Romania (bought two blue topaz diamond rings)

Dear Marc, I just received the four turquoise gemstones that I had ordered. They are beautiful. I am very happy with the quality and will be ordering some more gemstones soon.Thanks Baljinder K. (bought loose turquoise gems)

Marc, I just wanted to let you know that I received the ring today and it’s beautiful, she’s gonna love it! Thank you again for all you’ve done. I was concerned about ordering something liker this over the internet but you’ve made this entire process very easy and your communication with me has been outstanding. Everything was exactly as you described it…perfect! David M. of Atlanta GA (bought custom Alexandrite diamond ring)

I received the Tsavorites Friday and I was stunned with the quality of the stones I received. I was worried about ordering calibrated stones without even having a picture of the exact stones I'd be receiving, but you didn't disappoint. The description said to expect some yellow, I didn't detect any yellow at all, if anything I picked up on a slight hint of blue which is very desirable. Anyhow, I had them set today, they hold their color and are bright in even the worst lighting. Thank you! Greg R. of St. Paul MN (bought Tsavorite gemstones)

Thank you for inquiring about the possible upgrade. The ring is too beautiful to jeopardize its integrity. I now will know the next time to use the chart when ordering. It is amazing how it changes color according to the light source. Thank you again, Lisa M. of Spokane WA (bought custom chatham alexandrite ring)

Again, beautiful quality. Am relieved they finally got here! Thanks for your help Cheers, Sonia R. of Tasmania (bought loose citrine gems)

Hi Marc, I received the alexandrite. The quality exceeded my expectations. Your stone was much nicer than anything that I saw locally. You got a repeat customer! Michelle R. of Chicago IL (bought loose alexandrite) My son delivered the stone and Denice was thrilled! Thanks Marc….a loooong road but all ended as we wanted Thank you for following up Michael D. from Naples FL (bought loose spessartite garnet)

The aquamarine stones arrived yesterday. Lovely color, as are all stones I have received from Africa Gems! They are already set in gold earring mounts and in my ears. Love them! Thank you! Renny B. from Province MA (bought loose aquamarines)

Marc, The ring is magnificent! Well worth the wait. Betty is very happy. The full cut diamonds make a world of difference and show off the alexandrite very nicely. I can't thank you enough for your excellent sales and service. --- If your up to it, I have another job for you. Eugene M from Albany NY (bought custom alkexandrite ring)

Hi Mark, I received the ring today and can not express enough how happy I am with it; great quality and design; it is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you, P.S. gummy bears was a cute touch, Bianna F. from Staten Island NY (bought quartz diamond ring)

Ok no problem. Thanks again for being so great. You have really helped to make a great experience for both of us. Brendan G. of St. Paul MN (bought heart shape blue sapphire)

Marc, The ring is great! We always wanted those alexandrites to stay together, and the bypass ring was the perfect solution. It's always a pleasure to work with you. Your attention to customer satisfaction and quality workmanship are first rate. Thanks, Eugene M. from Albany NY (bought custom alexandrite diamond ring)

Marc, I received my replacement alexandrites today and I absolutely love them. They are perfect. Thank you so much for your quick response, attention to detail and wonderful customer service. Doing business with Africa Gems has been a lovely experience and I look forward to doing business with you in the future. God bless. Lisa L. of Dover PA (bought loose alexandrite gems)

Received ring, sharp. Weird how the cognac diamonds make the silver look gold. Good job. Might have just made a sale for u with the ups man! She is gonna love it. When the shirt man gets my shirts made i will shoot u one out. Mark C from Birmingham AL (bought custom silver diamond ring)

Hi Marc, I hope you remember this ring, one year and a bit later, thought I'd send you some pics. It truly is gorgeous! My baby girl is a May flower, I'll be getting her something in the future! Thanks again! Cheers, Natalie B. of London UK (bought alexandrite diamond ring band)

Hi Marc The jewelry & gems have arrived. Well.....what can I say....Holy Sh... Absolutely stunning! Janetta is in her own little Nirvana! Now she will really bankrupt me! A great big thanks Karl K. from Manitoba Canada (bought many gems)

No worries, I'm thrilled with your service and the quality of gems.I will definitely be back whenever I need more! Thanks much, Rob G of Gary IN (bought loose aquamarines)

The purchase i made was well worth it , i bought a band had it put in the band and asked my girl friend to marry me. She said yes . Thanks again Paul H. from Charlotte MD (bought white sapphire gemstone)

My alexandrite ring was way beyond my expectations. It’s absolutely beautiful and I truly love it. I have waited a long time to get an Alexandrite ring. Well worth the wait. The service was outstanding and the quality was outstanding. Paula L. from Bethesda MD (bought large alexandrite diamond platinum ring)

RUBIES
Rubies - Gem Quality Genuine Ruby Gemstones - Natural Loose Ruby - Finest Grade Rubies - Mozambique Rubies - Thai Rubies
Serious About A Gem Quality Ruby? So Are We - Let Us Help You Find Your Perfect Ruby at AfricaGems
Unbelievable Selection of Stellar Ruby Gemstones
A new, out-of-this-world collection of beautiful Ruby gems have just made their way to AfricaGems. Boasting gorgeous color, cut, and clarity, these Burmese Ruby beauties will truly steal the show. These valuable gems are not only breath-takingly beautiful but they are good investments as well as Burmese Rubies will only increase in worth. This new selection offers dazzling loose ruby faceted gems with great color as well as unbelievable matched pairs- perfect for ruby earrings! You must take a look at these stunning ruby gems, and remember that as striking as each piece is online, they are only more outstanding in real life.NEW! - Selection of Really Fine Gem Rubies
A brand new selection of fine quality loose rubies have arrived in our vaults. The quality of these ruby stones is exceptional. Deep vivid red colors, excellent cuts and fine clarity. In fact some of these rubies are the finest quality available-anywhere. These rubies would be ideal candidates for a 5th Avenue quality and look ruby engagement ring for a fraction of the cost! All of these new rubies have tier 1 gemological laboratory certificates such as GIA, GRS, AGL. Keep in mind that these rubies look 10x better in real life. Enjoy!Ruby Gemstones - The Ultimate Red Gemstone

Ruby Gemstones Are Sapphires with a Twist
Rubies and sapphires are both aluminum oxide which is more commonly known as corundum in the gemstone community. So why the different names? It was only after advancements in gemology at the beginning of the 1800s that it was understood that ruby and sapphire were both corundum and that all red gemstones were not rubies. One can find references in many historical documents that refer to "carbuncle" or "carbunculus" a now obsolete word meaning "small coal, charcoal or ember". The definition of carbuncle has been dated back to the 13th century, but red gemstones have been use for jewelry and artifacts for thousands of years. The name ruby comes from the Latin word "ruber" or "rubeus" which means red. Until the 1800s, ruby was a name that was used and mistakenly applied to many red gemstones including red spinel and red garnet gemstones and the term carbuncle was used frequently for what we now know is red garnet. In spite of the confusion in names, ruby has been used for at least 2000 years and has been thought of as regal and / or sacred depending on the culture but it has always been highly prized. Ruby is the only corundum that has its own name. Corundum that is any other color is called sapphire and a color descriptor is used as a prefix.
Round Gem Ruby mounted in Diamond 5 Band Ring in 18 kt White Gold

Ruby Gemstone History
Like most gemstones, ruby was valued as a talisman or for its medicinal value as well as for it beauty. It was said that rubies could boil water and that they brought good luck and good fortune to their owners. They are supposed to safeguard against evil, give peace of mind, courage and insight. Over the centuries, warriors have worn rubies to make themselves invincible. Some say that rubies kill poisonous reptiles and are an antidote against snake poison but I sure wouldn't want to put a whole lot of faith in that. Rubies were supposed to prevent bad dreams, and provide peace of mind and insight. It is often thought of as the gemstone of passion and love. And there are even more attributes ascribed to the ruby that are not covered here.

It has been said that in ancient Imperial China, bureaucrats wore badges to show rank. The top ranking bureaucrats wore red stones which included ruby and red or pink tourmaline. Ruby is referred to in the Bible (usually as carbuncle) not only as one of the 12 Stones of the Breastplate, but in Exodus, Ezekiel and Isaiah. Ancient Sanskrit writings celebrate the ruby as the most precious of all gemstones. In India, it was believed that ruby was the "King" of gemstones and that they possessed the power to allow the owner of the ruby to live in peace with their enemies. In England, ruby was the stone for coronation rings and also set into crowns. Rubies were also set in rings for bishops and cardinals. There is no question that it is a regal and royal gemstone. Burma Ruby Gemstone mounted in Platinum Diamond Ring

Rubies - It's All About Color And That Color is Red, Red, Red!
As with all gemstones, one needs to consider color, clarity, cut and carat weight. When thinking about rubies, color is the most important factor with clarity second and cut and carat weight after that. One of the hardest things to pin down when looking at rubies is the dividing line between ruby and pink sapphire. After all, pink is in essence pale red and it is not a distinct hue. There is no official dividing line but there are general guidelines. It is all about hue, tone and saturation. The debate among gemologists and gemstone dealers continues with some feeling that all red corundum including pink should be called ruby and others want to keep the distinction between ruby and pink sapphire.

Hue
Ruby is red and the more true the red hue, the better. Rubies have primary and secondary hues so pure red with no secondary hue is just about impossible to find. Believe it or not, the secondary hue of a ruby can help a gemologist determine the country of origin of a ruby. For a ruby from Burma (now officially the Union of Myanmar) the secondary hue is pink; ruby from other localities can have pink, orange or violet secondary hues. Some experts use a guideline of 85% to 90% red (primary hue) to 10% to 15% secondary hue for the most desirable, expensive and rare rubies. These gemstones are truly collector's gemstones. Using the GIA rating system, a ratio of 80% / 20% is probably the average for good rubies on the market today.

Tone
Red tone in a ruby should be between 75 and 80 percent to be ideal. Rubies should not be too dark or too light in tone. If they are below 60% they will appear washed out and those with tone above 80% will be very dark. Gems that are less than 50% tone are by definition pink sapphire and not ruby.

Ruby Gems - Different Ruby Color Tones

Saturation
Saturation ranges from "grayish / brown" to "vivid". Think of the word "intensity" when evaluating saturation. There are 6 levels of saturation. Most experts believe there is nothing that can compare with the saturation seen in Burma-type rubies. Many experts will tell you that no other red gemstone can match the over the top saturation of a Burma-type ruby. There comes from a special fluorescence in Burma-type rubies. But that doesn't mean that top quality Ruby can only come from Burma. There are fantastic Burma-type rubies being mined in Kenya, Tanzania, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam,Madagascar, and Sri Lanka.

Bottom line, a buyer should look for a bright luminescent crimson (deep purplish) or fiery vermillion (vivid reddish - orange) red color in a ruby. Many years ago, the term "pigeon blood" was first used to describe the most ideal ruby color which is slightly bluish or slightly violet red. But this is the Holy Grail, the stuff dreams are made of, the most rare and expensive of ruby colors. There are many beautiful and valuable rubies available that at not "pigeon blood" in color.

Clarity
Ruby is a Type II gemstone and by nature has natural inclusions. Rubies have rutile inclusions - threadlike inclusions often called "Silk". Those inclusions are noted in a range from VVS (Very Very Slightly included) to Included 3 - Prominent (Inclusions which have a pronounced affect on the beauty of the stone and possibility the durability). Unlike the clarity scale for diamonds which starts at IF (Internally Flawless), the GIA clarity chart for colored gemstones starts at VVS. Other types of gemstone reports can show a ruby with more descriptive report - for example, an AAA Grade and a description of eye clean, medium dark pinkish red to red, brilliance, excellent cut and polish would be a real prize and very expensive - a true collector-connoisseurs gemstone.

Rutiles can be important player if one is considering a "star" ruby. Star rubies are usually cabochon cut rubies, which are very included. The rutiles are the things that create the star. Ideally, when one is considering a star ruby, the star should have six "legs," the legs should be as straight as possible and the star should be centered to the gemstone but which "moves" as the gemstone is moved. While there are some very large and incredibly valuable star rubies in museums and crown jewels around the world, the average star ruby is not large or extremely expensive.

Cut
The cut of a ruby is almost as important as the clarity. Well cut rubies will show off the color and clarity and the ruby will be positively brilliant. Rubies are cut in just about every shape with some gemologists believing that oval, pear and cushion cut are the best for ruby because those shapes work best with the outline of the rough. But round shapes can be more brilliant but are not commonly found in larger carat weight rubies.

Rubies - Different Quality Ruby Gem Cuts - Faceted Rubies



Carat Weight
Carat weight is arguably the least import of the 4Cs when it comes to rubies. Just be aware that a smaller ruby of top color and clarity can be much more valuable than a larger ruby of lesser color / clarity. In fact a top quality ruby can be more valuable per carat than a diamond of similar size because there are far fewer top quality rubies than there are top quality diamonds, especially when one is looking at carat weights over 3 carats.

Like all corundum, ruby is a 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness and is suitable for everyday wear.

Buying A Loose Ruby?
A buyer who is considering the purchase of a loose ruby gemstone should request a professional gemological report in order to help them know exactly what they are purchasing. Grading reports may be shown using a numerical value and / or percent or be given an overall letter (B thru AAA to GEM) and description "grade" for the clarity and color - it will depend on with which laboratory the gemologist trained. There are several recognized laboratories like Gemological Institute of America (GIA - uses the numerical scale), International Gemological Institute (IGI), International Gem Society (IGS), European Gemological Center (EGC) and more.

Ruby "Imposters" and Synthetics & Gemstones That Might Look Like Rubies:

In years gone by, other gemstones were called ruby just because they were red gemstones - so be aware that you might see the names below - but reputable dealers will not use these misleading terms:

"Adelaide" ruby which is really almandine garnet
"American" ruby which is either garnet or rose quartz
"Arizona" ruby which is pyrope garnet
"Balas" or "Bales" ruby which is really red spinel
"Bohemian" ruby which is really red garnet
"Cape" ruby which is really garnet (pyrope) found in South Africa
"Colorado" ruby is really garnet (pyrope)
"Mountain" ruby which is really red garnet
"Siberian" ruby which is really dark pink or red tourmaline

Almandine garnet, fluorite, hyacinth, pyrope garnet, topaz, and zircon can also be mistaken for ruby. These are genuine gemstones they just are not corundum.

There are glass imitation and doublets on the market pretending to be rubies. Most of these have garnet crowns and are glass underneath or the top part of the stone may be a natural clear corundum with synthetic ruby underneath.

Synthetics
Synthetic rubies have been around since the beginning of the 1900's so please be aware that that red stone in that piece of antique piece of jewelry may not be a genuine ruby. In this case, there is no guarantee that Grandma's huge ruby ring is a natural ruby. Typically rubies over 3 carats were and are very, very rare and unless Grandma was very wealthy, chances are she couldn't have afforded a huge ruby. Synthetic ruby is still being manufactured but primarily for use in lasers, medical equipment, and watches.

Ruby Treatments
Without question a completely natural, untreated and unheated ruby of top color and clarity will be more valuable than a heat treated ruby. Some will quote a price as much as 3 times the cost of a heat treated ruby of the same size. That said it is estimated that 90+% of all rubies are heat treated. Heat treatment is considered a natural treatment, i.e. a continuation of what Mother Nature started. Heat treatment helps improve the color and clarity of a natural ruby and is considered a permanent treatment requiring no special care.

There are also other treatments to natural rubies such as filling of fractures (flux treatment), surface diffusion (a type of coloring treatment), oiling, dyeing and waxing that are intended to improve the color or clarity of the ruby. Some of these treatments may require special care when setting or cleaning the gem, may affect the overall durability of the gemstone and may not be permanent.

In the US, gemstone treatments must be disclosed. Some large retail chain stores may have a generic statement to the effect that precious and semi-precious stones may have been treated or enhanced but the sales personnel do not have the specifics about any treatments for a specific gemstone or gemstones especially for "accent" gemstones. If purchasing a large gemstone, 1) ask for an individual gemstone report from a gemologist or baring availability of that, ask the sales person to write on the sales receipt any treatment types that they are aware of for that specific gemstone, what the return policy is for the store is and take your gem to an independent gemologist appraiser. If you didn't get what you paid for then take it back to the store. It is best to buy from a gemstone dealer you trust when purchasing an expensive gemstone.

Please be aware of the "Burmese Jade Act of 2008" that blocks the import of gems including rubies and jadite from Burma (Union of Myanmar). It does allow for sale of Burmese Gems in the US before the ban went into effect in September 2008. A gemstone dealer is required to provide records to show that ruby or jadite imported after that date was not mined in or extracted from Burma.

Resources & References for Ruby Gemstones:
Learn About Lead Filled Rubies from GIA
Learn More About Natural Ruby Gemstones from GIA
Learn More About Rubies Gemstones from AGTA

Shop Stunning Ruby Rings
Shop Beautiful Ruby Pendants
Shop Lovely Ruby Earrings
Shop Magnificent Ruby Matched Sets
RUBIES
Rubies - Gem Quality Genuine Ruby Gemstones - Natural Loose Ruby - Finest Grade Rubies - Mozambique Rubies - Thai Rubies
Serious About A Gem Quality Ruby? So Are We - Let Us Help You Find Your Perfect Ruby at AfricaGems
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