Ruby – Red is the colour of love. It radiates warmth and a strong sense of vitality. And red is also the colour of the ruby, the king of the gemstones, the undisputed ruler. Ruby is the red variety of the mineral corundum, one of the hardest minerals on Earth, of which the sapphire is also a variety.
These gemstones have excellent hardness. On the Mohs scale their score of 9 is second only to that of the diamond. Only red corundum is entitled to be called ruby, all other colours being classified as sapphires.
The gemstone experts refer to a “Burmese Ruby“, they are talking about the top luxury category. However, it does not necessarily follow that the stone is of Burmese origin. It is basically an indication of the fact that the colour of the ruby in question is that typically shown by stones from the famous deposits in Burma (now Myanmar): a rich, full red with a slightly bluish hue. The colour is sometimes referred to as “pigeon-blood-red“, but the term “Burmese colour” is a more fitting description. So rubies that are in good colours and larger sizes often achieve top prices at auctions, surpassing even those paid for diamonds in the same category.
Thailand is another classical supplier of Rubies, which often shows a darker colour of red that tends towards brown. This “Siamese colour” – an elegantly muted deep red – is considered second in beauty only to the Burmese colour, and is especially popular in the USA.