There is something about the redness of most rubies that really attracts attention. But, not all rubies are a rich red some of them are rather pink in colour. Flawless rubies which are the most desirable are rare and most sort after. The best rubies actually cost more than do diamonds of the same size and are exceeded in value only by emeralds.
Genuine rubies have tiny irregular inclusions. Synthetic rubies come with perfectly rounded bubbles in them and can be further identified by having striae in them rather than curved lines. Some so-called rubies are in fact red Spinel! Sometimes these not-rubies are known as “Balas Ruby or Ruby Spinel.”
Many colours of sapphires
Sapphires are available in a variety of colouring but never in red. They can be yellow, green, white, pink, purple, brown and black. The most popular however range from pale cornflower blue to a deep velvety-looking blue. Sapphires that are not blue are often referred to by jewellers as “fancy sapphires.” Some sapphires tend to change their colour in artificial lighting from that seen in daylight.
Other names given to sapphires can be “Oriental Topaz” for the yellow variety and “Oriental Amethyst” for purple stones. Sometimes, the sapphire colouring is altered by a heat treatment that dulls the colour or by irradiation that tends to fade with time. Synthetic sapphires were developed for cheaper jewellery back in 1910. The term Brazilian sapphire is actually a misnomer for a blue variety of Tourmaline that is found in Brazil.
The richness of emeralds
An emerald is a variety of Beryl and considered as one of the most valuable of the precious stones. The green colour ranges from pale to dark with the most costly being the very dark warm velvety green colour. Flawless stones are very rare and most emeralds contain inclusions. Unlike sapphires, emeralds maintain their colour and are not affected by a change of light.
Amethysts are a variety of quartz and are transparent and crystalline. The usual colouring range from a deep purple, reddish mauve, to a pale blue-violet. Sometimes, the hues come mingled in a stone and some can even show a tinge of yellow. Amethysts are often set pear-shaped in pendants and as pierced beads for necklaces and earrings. Amethysts that are banded with inclusions of agate or milky quartz are known as amethyst quartz.