Hi Marc, I have received the ring! It is very well made and gorgeous!! Love the sapphire from you!! Thank you so much for the time and patience!! I would have love it to be bigger, but with the budget I guess this is probably one that I should be glad. Still I am very happy with the overall colour and clarity of the gemstone!! It does exhibit different saturation under different lighting. Most importantly the cut is great!! Attached a few pics taken by mobile phone under shelter in daylight. Thank you once again! Will definitely recommend you to any of my peers if they need gemstones purchases! Jordan W. of Singapore (bought loose sapphire and custom ring)
Marc, The aquamarine stone arrived today. It is truly an exceptional stone. As a collector for the last 14 years, I never thought I would be able to get to own an aqua with such saturation that I could afford. Again, it is a pleasure doing business with you. Best regards, Ted K of Totowna NJ (bought super gem aquamarine stone)
Marc - thank you very much. I cannot tell you how much it means to me for you to go to the effort. Tomorrow is my girlfriend's birthday, and I hope to give it to her at lunch - a special lunch, of course. She loves stones of all kinds, precious and semi-precious. I see stones and I think they're nice, and pretty. But she sees something else, something connected to the Earth, to history, and all things like that. She can stare at the stone for hours. Which, hopefully, she'll do it tomorrow at lunch. Thank you once again for saving me in the last moment. Royston T. of canoga park, CA (bought loose blue sapphire)
No problem at all Marc, These things happen. I really can't speak highly enough of the service you have provided considering the distance. All the best. Jake P of London UK (bought custom green beryl ring)
Hi Marc, Thanks very much for all your help. Finally managed to get a good look at the stone, whilst not perfect, I do love the imperfections! The little swirl in the middle - great stuff. Not sure if there's anything required from my end to complete the sale, would like to get to this to the goldsmiths to be set. Once again, thanks so much - it'll certainly make one girl very happy. Regards, Mike W from Singapore (bought blue sapphire gemstone)
Thank you for everything Marc. I received the FedEx this morning, the stone is beautiful. It's exactly what I wanted for my wife's birthday! All the numbers look good to me. Again I am very impressed with your gems and your customer service. My daughter is already thinking about what she might like for her 16th birthday! All the best, Dave A from Lafayette LA (bought aquamarine studs)
Hi Marc, Thank you, got it. She loves it, and said yes!:) Cheers, Jadel M from Vancouver Canada (bought topaz ring)
Hey Marc Merry Christmas. Just want to thank you for the timely delivery. Lisa adores the earrings and ring and couldn't be happier.They both display quality and beauty, needless to say I'm happy as well. Thank You Ryan S from Peoria IL (bought various custom jewelry)
Hi Marc, I just got home from work and my husband said, Come look. On the window sill in its box was the Blue Zircon. It had just arrived. The invoice and certificate arrived yesterday. How absolutely beautiful, it’s all that I was looking for!!! I love the color and the cut. Is this a step cut? Anyway, I just love it and so does my husband. I really appreciate your expertise and your patience in helping me make this choice. I did look at other sites, but something told me to stick with you and I’m so happy that I did. P.S. My husband, Gary also said that if you ever think of renaming your company, his suggestion is STUNNING GEMS! I second that and will highly recommend AFRICAGEMS to others. All the best to you and your company. Brenda H. of Boston MA (bought loose blue zircon)
Marc, Received the spinel today and was very impressed. Although I do own some spinel, nothing in my collection has the eye-popping color of this stone. I say this knowing that pink isn't necessarily my first choice as a color for a colored gemstone. It will make a nice addition to my collection. Ted K. of Pasadena CA (bought loose pink spinel)
I received my ring today and am absolutely delighted with the colour of the stone and the sizing is nearly as wonderful. Thank you so very much! Sonja C. of Charlotte NC (bought loose aquamarine)
Marc, the ring is amazing! Thank you for everything. The stone is truly incredible. Take care and I will certainly share your information whenever I get the opportunity. Mike B of Detroit MI (bought custom aquamarine ring)
Thank you very much for the work you put into our order, I gotta tell you I've had a blast playing around with the different features of your website, designing different rings and such. Your website is merchandised pretty good. Tracie loves the rings the ruby has got a real good glow out in the sunlight and the spinel looks wonderful in its mount. The only real problem is the chain on the necklace it came terribly tangled and me thinks we just made it worse but no biggie we had an extra chain. Overall very pleased with order. Thanks J. Sitton of Baton Rouge LA (bought 2 custom rings)
Yellow sapphire received. I must say I expected the comment about it being very diamond looking to be a bit of exaggeration that tends to occur with sapphire, but it is exactly that, yet unique in its brilliance and flash. I am very pleased with the stone and moved to send a compliment. John H of Indiana PA (bought yellow sapphire loose gem)
My ring arrived yesterday. It is beautiful. I've been running around the house looking for different light sources to view the colour change under. Thank you so much for your help and patience. I hope I have the opportunity to purchase another item from you again sometime. Jacquie A. of Vancover CA (bought custom alexandrite ring)
Hi Marc, My little diamond has just arrived safely by FedEx and it looks beautiful, thank you so much. It's as white as I hoped it would be and the bow tie isn't that obvious because of the size of the stone, I imagine. I'm now going to have the pleasure of thinking up a setting for him. Thank you very much, I'm delighted. I think I'm going to have to keep looking in your discounted stones section! Best wishes, Lynn M of Sufflock UK (bought loose diamond)
Hi Marc, I just wanted to thank you so much for everything you've done for us with the whole ring processes. I proposed to my girlfriend on Friday, and she beyond loved the ring. Everything came out perfectly, the sapphire is stunning, and the ring was set beautifully. Thanks again! Sincerely, Lukasz S. of Chicago IL (bought loose blue sapphire & custom ring)
Hi Marc, My gem has finally arrived and it is fabulous! The colour is exactly what I had hoped it would be.... Resembling sunset and lotus flower. I inspected the packaging and nothing appears to have been tampered with... I was getting concerned but looks like all is ok. My plan is to take the pad to a local gemologist to verify and then on to Designing a ring setting. This is a retirement gift to myself .... My last day at work is just before Christmas...so hopefully the ring will be ready by then. When it's done I will send you some pictures. Thank you for all your support thru this crazy process...although I've not met you I feel like I've known you for some time. I greatly appreciate your awesome Communication with me. I love the gem! Thank you Daria L of Ontario CA (bought loose padparadscha sapphire)
Marc, my ring has just arrived. I am over the moon. It is so beautiful. Thank you and your colleagues so very much. I am hoping it will bring me luck over the coming months as I am off the hospital this afternoon to find out about my operation for breast cancer. I'm sure it will help to protect me. Thank you, once again, for your brilliant contribution to my life. Warm regards, Shoosh S. of Birmingham UK (bought custom pink sapphire ring)
Hi Marc, This is Amazing! I've never experienced such fast shipping! I was noticed on a Wednesday that my items had been shipped, and on already on the following Monday I had the parcel at home! From US to Sweden in Europe! The Tanzanites I ordered are perfectly just what I requested! Thank you very much Marc! This means a lot for me! I will for sure recommend you further and come back for more orders! Wish you a nice day! Best regards, Queenie H. of Stockholm Sweden (bought loose tanzanites)
Hi Marc, I received my ring today. It fits perfectly, the color of the topaz is beautiful! I almost wish I had chosen a larger stone. Thank you, Mary A. of Modesto CA (bought a swiss blue topaz gold ring)
Cardy was AMAZING! It took 45 minutes. Everyone warned me that I would be without my ring for weeks, and you helped me get away from that. You have been extremely responsive and fantastic for all of this. I really appreciate you, and DEFINITELY would recommend you to anyone I can. You are very much running your business very well. Not to mention, my ring is beautiful!!! Exactly what I wanted. Katie F. of San Francisco CA (bought alexandrite engagement ring)
Hi Marc, I got my ring yesterday.. love it! Looks great! I like the way the prongs are done and the ruby is beautiful! Thanks, Brigitte L. (bought Chatham Ruby and AfricaGems made the ring)
Dear Marc, I have a confession to make. I lost my original engagement ring, a Stuller setting for an asscher cut and a cushion Chatham Sapphire. I wanted a ring that looked close to that original one. You made it happen! Actually, your mil grain work and stone setting was better than the original which was off centered. Thank you. Regards, Christine Y (bought Chatham Blue Sapphire and we made the ring)
Marc, Received the stone. It’s beautiful! We now have a new place to order stones from and feel confident in the quality! Thank You, Clayton M. (bought loose pink tourmaline gem)
Hi Marc, Thank you, I received the stone on Wednesday as you indicated. I appreciate the quick turn around time. Pleasure doing business with you and your site will be one of my top gem shopping sites after this business experience. I did enjoy the extra haribo snack. Thank you once again, Danny C. (bought a round 1 carat loose blue sapphire for engagement ring)
First diamonds are in the mail. Had gone away for a week and nobody at home dropped the mail in the box. Apologies. Picked up my pendant with the new ones and they look beautiful. My next purchase will be emeralds...Thanks, Marc. Li B (bought and exchanged enhanced blue diamonds)
Hi Marc, The bracelet arrived this morning and as you said it looks stunning and I know she will love it. Could you please send a Cert of Authenticity (Similar to the one sent for the 2 loose stones) and a full invoice for the total amount for insurance purposes at my end. If you need to send copies by post please send to, Alan H. (bought a tanzanite bracelet)
Hi Marc, I just wanted to say how delighted I was to receive the Tanzanite bracelet for Christmas. I understand from my husband, Alan, that you were extremely helpful with the making of the bracelet, it sounds like it caused a few problems at times, not least due to Alans bank! I just wanted to let you know that I am thrilled with the bracelet, the stones are beautiful and it looks lovely, so thank you for all your help! I hope you and your family had a good Christmas and very best wishes for a healthy, happy New Year. Kind regards, Sue H. (husband bought tanzanite bracelet)
Hi Marc, I just received the opal and it is gorgeous, as always I am very pleased with my purchase. I was looking at different pendants, it's a Christmas present for my daughter. I saw a multi-gem one that I liked. Item pendant 650870s. Should I order it on line or could you just do it. Also will you extend the 25 off discount on that item? Again, thanks for all your help,Terese U. (bought stunning loose black opal gem)
Good Afternoon Marc, Thank you so much selling me this amazing stone, I can assure you it will be well loved. I thought you might enjoy how much people love the blue spinel you sold me. I posted a few photos on PS last night and will likely post more in the next few days. Again thank you, I really do love it and I am wearing it even as I type this! Katherine S. (bought large blue spinel gemstone)
My wifes stone got here this morning. She was in awe of how gorgeous a stone it was. It is replacing a stone in a ring that was stolen and in our opinion we think it is even nicer than the stone it replaced. Once set we will be whole again lol. Again thank you for having the stone available and for you call concerning shipping. We will certainly recommend you to any of our friends who are looking for QUALITY stones. Doc Mc (bought loose oval padparadscha gemstone)
Hi Marc- just wanted to thank you for finding the 4.4mm size for me, and also for the quick refund on the 4mm. So glad I found your website! Cristy S. (bought loose white sapphires)
Hi Marc, I just want to say thank you so much! The pendant is so beautiful..well done! The bale also fits perfectly. I have a question about the negative ions created by tourmaline..now can one just wear it to experience the negative ions or does there have to be pressure applied to release the negative ions? I'm just curious. Thank you Dawn T (bought custom tourmaline pendant)
Marc, The ring arrrived yesterday and it is gorgeous! Thank you so much for creating the perfect piece with this sapphire. This ring will become an heirloom. Henry G (bought custom spessartite garnet ring)
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)
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
Unheated Red Ruby Loose Mozambique Gem in Oval Cut, 7.0 x 5.3 mm, 1.04 Carats - With GRS CertficateThis Genuine Ruby Gemstone Displays A Open Rich RedExcellent ClarityCut And Life. A Gorgeous Stone Of High Grade In A Close To Calibrated SizeVery And Lively. A Rare ItemUnheated With A GRS Cert. Note For A Personal Detailed Description Of This Beautiful Ruby GemstoneIncluding VideoPlease Contact Us And It Will Be Quickly Provided To You. Note The Very Facets That Create The Beautiful Sparkle In A Gemstone May Create Optical Illusion White Or Dark/Black Spots And AreasOr Uneven Coloring When A Gemstone Is Photographed. Single Dimension Photographs Can Not Accurately Display The True Beauty And Life In A Gemstone. Gemstones Must Be Seen In Person To Be Appreciated. Note: Be Sure To Select The Right Gemstone/Diamond By Millimeter Size Only. Selecting Your Gemstone/Diamond By Carat Weight Is Not Accurate. The Best Way To Select The Right Size Gemstone/Diamond Is To Use Our Size Chart ImageOr Consult With A Local Jeweler To Measure Your Setting Or Gemstone. CLICK HERE FOR A SIZE CHART TO PRINT OUT (*Please set your PDF viewer to 100% for accurate results) Please Contact Us If You Have Any Questions.$6,650.00
Experience the Stunning Ruby Quality from 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 breathtakingly 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
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.
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 pinktourmaline. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 jadeite 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 jadeite imported after that date was not mined in or extracted from Burma.