How to recognize a real ruby?


When you are shopping for gemstones, it is important to know how to recognize the real ones. Otherwise, you might get ripped off. There are thousands of fake gems that are not genuine in the market, and it can be hard to tell. So buying something that is not real for a fortune can leave you regretting and no way to get back your money. A ruby stone is a good example of a gemstone that had dominated the jewellery industry, and so there are both non-original ones and original one’s going around everywhere.

Rubies are one of the most popular precious mineral in the market today, and they have been like that for hundreds of years. Here is a guide on rubies and some of the ways on how you can recognize real rubies. Before starting, you should know more about Rubies before you even decide to go shopping for some. Rubies can be natural, synthetic, or imitation.

Natural Rubies

Natural rubies are probably what you think of when you think about buying an expensive red jewel. It is the best type of jewel since it is formed naturally through geological processes. They have been in the ground after forming over a long period. Since they have formed over millions of years, getting them out of the ground needs a mining process that is very technologically advanced. This is one of the reasons why natural rubies are expensive.

It is mainly formed from a substance called corundum which is part of the elements where sapphires come from. Sapphires have different colours, and the red sapphire is what makes the jewel. The red colour mainly comes from the chromium in high amounts, which comes during the formation of the jewel. These characteristics of natural rubies make them very valuable and popular among other people. Since they are also rare, rubies tend to be expensive, among other reasons.

Synthetic Rubies

On the other hand, synthetic rubies are less valuable than natural rubies since they are made in laboratories by humans. Their structure is identical to natural rubies, so they are not considered to be fake rubies. They are just artificial, and they look as good as the natural ones. Synthetic rubies only take a couple of months to create, while natural ones take millions of years.

This makes synthetic rubies less expensive than natural ones so that the prices can be very competitive. The controlled environments they are created in make the rubies almost perfect. They can easily remove any imperfections or stains that natural rubies tend to have.

Some jewel lovers love the scientific side of synthetic rubies, but those who only embrace natural rubies see them as less important since they haven’t gone through the natural processes.

For imitation rubies, they are just a gem made to look like the real one. They are not the best in terms of quality, so they are less valuable than synthetic and natural gem crystals. These are the ones most people will consider to be fake, and they can be used to rip you off since they are hard to tell if they are fake or not.

As much as the imitation rubies may not be a serious issue, if you buy them with much money thinking they are real, then that’s a huge problem.

Recognizing Real Rubies

If you are not experienced in dealing with precious minerals, then telling a real jewel from an imitation is not easy. There are different types of tests you can do to determine the type of jewel, but it is better to follow ways that have proven to work in the jewellery industry.

1. Professional Help for Rubies Analysis

It will never hurt to be certain that your rubies are natural and of the highest quality by just investing in a professional gemologist. Professional gemologists are experienced in everything to do with jewellery, especially when identifying real or fake gem crystals. For rubies, they have the right tools to look at the crystals and tell you everything, including their origin.

Make sure your jeweller is reputable to give you the right type of jewel that fits your budget. Remember to get your gemologist to issue you with an appraisal certificate which will show evidence of the value of your rubies in case you want to sell them in the future.

2. Identifiable Flaws

It may seem like a weird way to identify natural rubies, but they tend to have minuscule flaws and stains. These flaws are generally not visible when you look at them with a naked eye, but you can identify them when you look at them through a microscope. Due to their formation in harsh natural environments over millions of years, the rubies can’s be perfect.

If the flaws are too tiny, you might have to get them checked out by a gemologist who can use more specialized processes to check for the imperfections. Through spectroscopy, the flaws seen can determine if the rubies are natural or not. If you don’t want to get a professional or don’t have the time, you can always buy your tools to check for these flaws anytime you buy new rubies.

If your rubies are flawless, the chances are that they are an imitation or synthetic. Be aware and avoid any scams.

3. Tests

There are a couple of tests that you can consider trying out to determine if your rubies are natural or not. They are a very popular method for rubies authentication. Some of these tests include the scratch test and the rub test.

• The Scratch Test

Compared to diamonds, rubies are also very hard, second from diamonds in the Mohs scale, which determines the hardness of minerals. So other objects cannot scratch it unless it’s a diamond. You can try scratching your rubies with any metal. If there is even a slight scratch, that is probably an imitation jewel. If the rubies themselves have a scratch, that is a clear indicator that it is not a natural jewel.

• The Rub Test

The rub test is mainly about colour. The red colour on rubies is unique, and it never fades or gets rid of its colour easily. The test should show if your stone leaves any traces of color on any surface. It is as easy as scratching the rubies on a hard surface and check if it leaves any color on the surface or not. In case it leaves any color, that is a direct indication that you probably have an imitation.

It is possible that the stone might not leave any colour, and that should not be an assurance that the rubies are natural. So you will have to use another method to be certain about its origin.

4. Jewel Size and Price

The price of rubies can give you an idea of the type of jewel it is. Natural rubies are quite expensive, even much more than synthetic ones. Fake rubies can be a fraction of the price of natural rubies, while synthetic rubies can be up to 20% or less cheap. So when you see a jewel that is very cheap, much less costly than you would have thought, then it is probably fake. Synthetic rubies tend to be affordable and are not as overpriced as natural rubies.

It is important to note that the cost should not be the only way to know if the gem is natural since even synthetic rubies can be overpriced. If someone is trying to rip you off, they may try to use the market price to show the value of the rubies. The chances are that if it is not natural, the rubies are probably cheaper than the price you are getting.

Size is also a key consideration for rubies. The naturally occurring rubies don’t tend to be very large. Their sizes are very standard, but they would be very expensive compared to normal-sized rubies in case you find large rubies. If the jewel is large and not so expensive, they are probably synthetic or even an imitation. Always check the sizes and compare them with the price, and you will be on the right track to knowing the type of jewel you are planning to buy.

5. Fake Rubies

Another way to avoid buying fake rubies is by knowing how they look. There are common fake rubies that you can always know just by looking at them. Some of the most recognizable rubies include red-coloured glass, garnets, tourmalines, and jewel composite. No matter how good they look, know that you would probably not get what you are looking for and regret if you end up buying them.


Just using one method may not always be enough to prove that your jewel is legit. It is recommended that you use a couple of these methods anytime you are buying a jewel. Keep them in mind anytime you come across a valuable jewel that you can’t leave. Remember to take your time when analyzing your rubies and look into every aspect of them before making the purchase.

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