Ruby is one of the most sought after (and expensive) gemstones on the market. This gem’s exceptional hardness makes it very resistant to scratching. This quality makes it possible to wear ruby jewelry every day for any occasion. The highly-prized deep, red color of the finest rubies is popularly associated with love and passion. A ruby can make a strong symbolic statement. Inclusions, which would detract from the allure of other stones, can bring a unique character to a ruby and, in rare cases, a beautiful “star stone” effect.

However, because gem-quality natural rubies are rare and the demand so great, synthetics and imitations are common. Rubies are also subjected to more treatments and enhancements than most other gems. Before you embark on a ruby buying adventure, learn how to evaluate a ruby’s quality and avoid potential pitfalls.

Ruby Buying And The 4 Cs

Color and carat or size have the greatest effect on a ruby’s value. Rubies from Myanmar (formerly Burma) possess the highly coveted “pigeon blood red” color. (In October 2016, the US lifted its embargo on Myanmar rubies. Previously, only Myanmar rubies imported prior to 2003 were available for sale in the US).

The International Gem…