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How to Buy Ruby Jewelry: 5 Tips for Success

How to Buy Ruby Jewelry

Those blood red stones shimmering with an inner light have been sought for centuries for their beauty and value. Red rubies can be breathtakingly beautiful and just as expensive! Here are some pointers on how to buy jewelry with inset rubies.

Tips on buying ruby jewelry

  1. Rubies are very hard and do not deface or scratch easily. Rubies are very durable and the buyer need not worry about being careful of minor knocks and impacts. These gems may or may not have inclusions. This means that the stone will display fine lines or spots within itself when held up to the light. A good quality ruby will be clear and the inclusions, if any would be minimal, or at least not visible to the naked eye. The presence of inclusions does mean that the stone may crack or chip, especially with a hard impact with another material. Do not wear rubies while doing any strenuous work, or while working with appliances.
  2. The size, the quality and the color of the ruby will decide the price that you pay. Larger stones are more expensive; similarly, clear rubies with little or no inclusions will cost more than those with visible inclusions. A ruby without inclusions can cost you twice as much as another that is much bigger but with some inclusions within. The most prized rubies have a blood red color, though the stones can come in almost all shades of red, including pink.
  3. Unlike diamonds, there can never be a totally flawless ruby. Therefore the guidelines for choosing rubies are not as stringent as those for diamonds. You must shop around for the best deal on a particular ruby of specific size and with defined inclusions. Try and compare prices on similar stones (in weight and clarity) at different jewelers to get an idea of the best deal. Vivid and blood red rubies will be the finest and the most expensive.
  4. Always ask the jeweler to see your ruby under a loupe or a microscope. Do not buy the ruby if it shows a cloudy appearance due to the inclusions. Also look for inclusions that reach the surface as these make the ruby weaker and with a tendency to split along the crack.
  5. Always view your prospective ruby purchase under proper lighting. We are constantly amazed at how many jewelers have improper lighting for viewing gems. Fluorescent lights work wonderfully for doing paperwork in the office; however, they are "red deficient" and so make assessing colored gems a nightmare. Ask to view the ruby under a variety of lights, such as incandescent and daylight.


Very often, rubies have some form of a surface coating that is used to camouflage surface fractures. Such coatings will wear off in time. Always ask your jeweler if the ruby has been treated or coated in any manner in order to enhance its appearance.

Where to buy ruby jewelry

You can buy ruby jewelry from a number of jewelers online. Try these links for some good deals and offers:

Jewelry Central is a great place to shop for rubies. They have a good range of rubies and ruby jewelry.

Blue Nile offers an eclectic range of ruby jewelry at good prices.

Gillets offers some great designs on ruby inset jewelry in a wide price range

How to Buy Ruby Jewelry: 5 Tips for Success