What Are The Physical Characteristics of a Ruby Gemstone?

08 February, 2021
natural ruby stone

Rubies have a rich history shrouded in splendor and mystery. 

Historically, they have been mined in India for thousands of years. 

The name ruby comes from the Latin word "ruber," which means “red.” The glowing red of ruby once suggested an inextinguishable flame burning in the stone.

It is a part of "navaratna" and in ancient India, it was called the “ratnaraj” or the “king of precious stones. It is also called “maanik” or “maanikya.”

The beautiful vibrant red gemstone is said to give people name, fame, vigor, virtue, warmth, and the capacity to command. 

Many cultures across the globe have considered rubies as gems suited for royals. To date they are one of the most precious gemstones in existence, commanding the greatest price per carat of any other gem. 

The mystery and mysticism of rubies arise from the inability of experts to express how they came about to be because the conditions required for their creation are extremely rare. 

In the 1st century AD, the Roman scholar Pliny included rubies in his Natural History. 

Ancient Hindus believed that offering rubies to Lord Krishna would grant them the blessing to be born as kings. Ancient Hindu Kings would also encrust a ruby to enhance their crown and sword. Not only that, but families would also use rubies on royal pieces to showcase their position in society, symbolize glory, attract prosperity, and enhance magical powers. 

People in India also believed that rubies enabled their owners to live in peace with their enemies. 

In Burma (now Myanmar), which has been a ruby source since at least 600 AD, warriors possessed rubies to make them invincible in battle.

Ruby is the birthstone for people born in July. With the popularity of birthstones worldwide, the popularity of rubies has also increased. The problem, however, arises from the abundance of fake stones, online and offline. So, if you want to buy gemstone online or offline, your best bet will be trusting a renowned name in the industry like Brahma Gems. 


Physical characteristics of ruby

The beautiful gemstone fit for kings and queens will rarely go unnoticed. 

However, for ruby stone online purchase and offline verification, we're giving you insight into the physical characteristics of the exquisite gemstone. 

  • Hardness and Chemical Composition

It is also highly durable, extremely hard, and resistant to acids. 

The excellent toughness and no cleavage (tendency to break when struck) make it a great choice for rings and other mountings subject to daily wear.

Ruby/Manik stone’s hardness on the Mohs scale is 9. 

The chemical formula for ruby is Al2O3, its specific gravity 3.9 - 4.1, and its refractive index 1.76 - 1.77.

The stones that are bigger than five carats are one of the finest. The best quality rubies come from Myanmar. 

  • Imperfections and Treatment

Natural/Original ruby stones, also called maanikya, do have imperfections. Imperfections may include colour impurities and something called "silk needles." This is a network of tiny, oriented needles of rutile crystals. These are highly sought after because scientists and gemologists rely on these needles to determine the authenticity of the stones. If the stones have these imperfections then they are not heat treated. However, today although sold for large sums of money, most rubies are treated before being set or sold. Why? Because that dissolves the needles and gives the stone a clearer, brighter glow. 

So, want to buy maanikya online or offline? Go for it, but with caution. 

  • Colour and Asterism

As we've discussed above, rubies get their name from their colour, red. 

The reason behind the colour is trace amounts of chromium. However, the colour (the type of red) can vary. Secondary hues include orange, purple, violet, and pink. 

The deeper and more intense the colour, the more desirable the ruby. Typically, the best colour of a ruby is a deep, vivid red. It is called "pigeon blood red.”

Some rubies display a three-ray six-point star. This often happens when the orientation of the "silk needles" falls on more than one axis. The phenomenon is called asterism and is caused by the light reflected off of the rubies' needles giving the stone a glistening aura. 

What characteristics to consider for determining the authenticity of rubies? 

  1. Colour

A certified ruby gemstone/ good quality ruby gemstone turns bright red under the light while stones with purple hues turn red. Also, check for consistency. If the stone is dull or light coloured, be wary, it might not be authentic. 


  1. Clarity

Natural/Original ruby stones come with inclusions, except a few rare options which are highly-priced. The inclusions affect the transparency of the stones and impact how it emits & reflects light. Be aware that treated or fake stones often also come without these inclusions. 

  1. Ratti

Ratti is the unit of weight by which it is measured. Since rubies are rare and highly valued gemstones, they are priced higher than many precious stones. The higher the ratti, the higher the price. Original rubies are available in 2 to 100 ratties. 

According to astrologers, the ratti will also determine how effective the stone is. 

So, when you search for "manik gemstone online," don't forget to check the ratti. 

  1. Cut

While the most popular cuts are cushion and oval, rubies are available in all types of cuts. 

  1. Price

The price of the precious gemstone is determined by the colour, authenticity, hue, and the Ratti. While it is a very pricy gemstone, it is also highly effective. 

  1. Shine/Luster

A good quality ruby will have a deep yet glorious luster. It will look like it has a shimmering and fiery liquid inside. 

Ending the gem-journey on a high note

Rubies can bring positivity, fame, and popularity into your life, but only if it is authentic. So, when you want to buy ruby stone online in India, you should only trust a reputed seller like Brahma Gems who sell certified ruby gemstones. With a trusted partner, you will get the best quality gemstones for the best price.

Affiliations & Certifications

Brahmagems is proudly associated with world’s leading gemology institutes and organizations

GJEPC Certificate Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council
GIA Certificate Gemological Institute of America
IGI Certificate International Gemological Institute
GUBELIN Certificate Gübelin
Gem Lab
GRS Certificate Gem Research
IGI-GTL Certificate The Indian Gemmological Institute – Gem Testing Laboratory
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