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How to Get a Good Deal Buying Rubies: What Your Jeweler Won't Tell You

Mar 24, 2008
When shopping for a ruby, you want to be sure you buy the best one you can for your money. Salespeople in jewelry stores, though perhaps well-meaning, are usually not gemologically trained. They are not often able to explain the properties or rareness of a particular gemstone, but rather use softer terminology like "beauty" and "sparkle". Before you buy your ruby, read about the common things that jewelers do that can be misleading.

They show you rubies that are the wrong color:

The most important factor in determining the value of a ruby is its color. The most valuable color for ruby is bright bright red. It is nicknamed "pigeon blood red". Most of the rubies that a jeweler will try to sell you are either:

1. Too dark. They are the color of wine, or slightly brown or slightly purple, or
2. Too light. They are dark or hot pink

Now, if you like these colors, then you should buy them. However, you must also make sure that the price takes the "less valuable" color into account.

They don't tell you that the ruby is poorly cut

Most rubies commonly found in fine jewelry are cut too shallow. This means that when you look at it from the side, it is disc-like. A well cut ruby is about as tall as it is wide. You can tell a good cut by the amount of sparkle: a perfectly cut ruby will dazzle you. A poorly cut ruby will either have a dark spot in the center without any sparkle, or more commonly, you'll be able to see through it (in clearer stones).

The quality of the cut has nothing to do with the shape of the cut. If you are shopping for a ruby, look at the stones available to you and examine each one for the amount of sparkle they return.

They make you think that just because it's a ruby, it's precious

This is not the case. You can buy loose rubies for under $10. The value of a ruby completely depends on its qualities as a gemstone (color, clarity, cut and size). The finest rubies can be worth more than diamonds. If you are buying a piece of jewelry because you think the ruby it contains makes it valuable, you have to be careful. Examine it for yourself according to those 4 characteristics.

If you go into the shopping process well educated about what is valuable, you can end up with a precious treasure that will hold its value for generations.
About the Author
To learn more about rubies and how to shop for them, visit ShopGemstones.com - your guide to buying gemstone jewelry.
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