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Ruby Gemstone

Are Rubies more expensive than colourless diamonds?

Diamonds in the D-Z colour range are considered one of the most rare and expensive gemstones worldwide. Their brilliance, lustre and scintillation make them irresistible and as so, they are accompanied by a very high price ticket.

However, diamonds were not always considered as valuable and they have only recently, following their introduction by Tiffany’s as the gemstone of love, become so popular. On the other hand, gemstones such as rubies, sapphires and emeralds have reigned supreme for centuries.

Ruby in particular has been seen as the most valuable of all gemstones throughout history. It’s distinctive red colour, from which its name derives from (Ruber, Latin word for red), is what gives the stone its unique power to magnetize the eye and the hearts of so many. Referred to as Ratnaraj (the King of gemstones), big rubies were considered far rarer than diamonds in the 19th century.

Even today “Rubies more than 5cts are very rare, over 10cts are an exception to the rule”

(Edward J.Gubelin) 

It is clear that high quality rubies of big size are rarer than high quality large colourless diamonds. It seems that rubies could be considered more expensive on a per carat price than colourless diamonds.

Let’s take a look at what rubies are in order to understand their value.

Rubies are a variety of the mineral corundum, meaning they come from the same family species as sapphires. What gives them the colour red is chromium. Corundum’s that don’t have enough chromium in their chemical composition are not considered rubies but are instead pink sapphires.

The most renowned rubies come from Burma from the mines of Mogok. A treasure land of top-quality rubies can be found there. Top quality rubies are referred to as Pigeon’s Blood rubies, creating the connotation of their perfectly red colour. Not all rubies hold the perfect red colour, instead the majority have purple-pink and even brown notes. These rubies are still considered highly valuable.

On the other hand, diamonds are formed of carbon atoms under extreme heat and pressure conditions. The stone itself is a perfect naturally sparkling beauty that millions wish to own. (You can learn more about diamonds by reading the following two articles: Clarity, Colour). A very famous diamond known as the Archduke Joseph diamond is a 76.02ct colourless diamond. Its colour grade is D (the top in its range) and its Clarity Internally Flawless (meaning it has no inclusions). This diamond is very rare given its large size and amazing quality characteristics.

Archduke Joseph diamond

This particular gem was sold in auction back in November 2012 for a whopping $280.000 per carat brining its sale to a total of over 21 million US Dollars.

In the ruby category we can take a look at 3 of the most prestigious rubies of all times and compare their sales price tag with the Archduke Joseph diamond above.

The Graff Ruby

The Graff Ruby

This 8.62ct ruby was sold at auction in November 2014 for 8.6 Million US dollars. Bringing its per carat price at 997.000 per carat. That's 3.5 times more than the Archduke diamond. 

The Sunrise Ruby

The Sunrise Ruby

At 25.59ct this ruby is one of the rarest gemstones in the world. As mentioned above rubies in large sizes over 10cts are extremely rare. A ruby of such size and quality is basically a true wonder. It's price definitely seems to accompany the insanity of the stone as it was last sold in auction in December 2015 for a $1.184.000 per carat price, bringing its total value at 30.3 Million US Dollars. 

The Crimson Flame Ruby

The Crimson Flame Ruby

Finally the piece de resistance the ruby above holds the record price per carat sale of all times. This 15.04ct ruby is perfectly red and retains a certain beauty like no other gemstone. Sold in December 2015 for 18.3 Million US Dollars it reached an incredible $1.222.000 per carat price. 

It is obvious from the sales figures above that these three rubies sold for way more per carat than our perfect diamond.

Why is this so?

Rubies speak to the heart in a way like no other gemstone can. Beginning by their colour, people feel a certain warmth and love towards this stone and have done so for centuries. Adding to this, rubies of large size are extremely rare, giving them an increased rarity when it comes to size. Finally the gemstone brings a history to it like no other. Decorating royal crowns and tiaras, having been worn by the elite and being considered as the King of gemstones.

It can be derived that exceptional high quality rubies like the ones mentioned above have a higher per carat price than diamonds in the colourless range and can be considered more valuable at the high end pieces.

Known for their special meaning of love Rubies are used to celebrate the 40th wedding anniversary and are the perfect gift to express ones love.

See our ruby collection here and find your rare piece.

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