Origins: Burma (Myanmar), Afghanistan, India, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand

Birthstone: July

Wedding Anniversary: 40th anniversary

A Ruby is a variety of the mineral ‘corundum’. More specifically, they are the red variety, coloured by chromium. Corundum found in other colours are sapphires. As with sapphires, Rubies are 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness, just under Diamonds, making them a good durable choice for all jewellery.

Rubies And Raw Crystal Gems

The colour of a Ruby is always a hue of red, although the hue can vary from ‘pigeon blood’ red to red with tones of orange, purple and pink.  A light coloured ‘ruby’ will be classified as ‘Pink Sapphire‘  Colour is the most significant factor affecting a ruby’s value. Fine rubies can vary in colour according to source but should radiate warmth, depth and liveliness. In most markets, pure red colors command the highest prices but ruby with overtones of orange and purple are more commercially affordable. The colour must be neither too dark nor too light to be considered of finest quality. Gemstone traders expect rubies to have at least some inclusions because inclusion-free rubies are practically non-existent. Due to this, top quality Rubies can command the highest per-carat price of any coloured stone or even diamond, particularly if over 1ct in weight.  This makes ruby one of the most important gems in the coloured stone market.

Red Ruby Natural Gemstone Oval Cut

The wonder of rubies starts with the fact that most gem-grade corundum occur in metamorphic rocks (rocks that have formed due to high pressure and heat) under specific conditions, rock formed from lava flows that have cooled and solidified such as basalt or syenite. The highest quality rubies typically form in marble. The low iron content in marble allows it to produce rubies with especially intense red colours and this process will have taken millions and millions of years with erosion over more millions of years releasing many rubies.


The colour of ruby will be judged by the hue, the tone and the saturation. The hue specifies how red the gemstone is, are there any hints of yellow, blue or brown for example. The redder, the better. The tone is simply how light or dark the stone is. A ruby should be solid in colour but not too dark and not too light as to appear pink. Dealers, buyers and scientists can argue for hours over when a ruby stops being a ruby and becomes a pink sapphire when the tone gets too light.  Thirdly, colour saturation, does the gem have a vivid,  strong or intense colouring.   The perfect coloured ruby has been described as pigeon blood red, usually sourced in Myanmar (Burma), this rather gruesome description does capture the most desired colour for rubies.  However, the true beauty of the gem lies entirely with the delight of the owner.

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My wife and I purchased a lovely bespoke entwined engagement & wedding ring from Michael Platt, 28 years ago. We visited in February this year to enquire about an eternity ring. Jordan was inspirational and used diamonds from a family heirloom. The design full complemented and sits beautifully with the original rings. It was a very pleasurable experience and we are both delighted with the result. Fantastic to know they are still offering great service and bespoke design.

Robert Vose

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I cannot recommend Michael Platt more highly to anyone looking for an engagement ring. I walked in knowing nothing about what was involved and was expertly guided through the design process by Jordan over a series of 4 visits. At no point did I feel pressurised to make a decision or spend more than felt comfortable and Jordan has created the most stunning ring that my fiancé is delighted with.

George Lenon
East London

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I have had several pieces designed by the lovely staff at Michael Platt in Wimbledon. The pieces have been much admired. My first visit was several years ago so when I wanted something designed and made with stones from other pieces of jewellery which were very sentimental I had absolutely no hesitation about bringing the project to the shop in Wimbledon. The staff are so helpful, warm, welcoming and informative. Great service and a delight to do business with. I have never been disappointed.

Frieda Houghton
New York

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Brilliant personal service every step of the way. I wanted a diamond engagement ring and was able to easily discuss different stones and design options with Grace sending sketches back and forth. I decided on an emerald cut stone with a platinum ring. Communication was excellent and the ring delivered on time and discreetly to an agreed address. I proposed by Lake Windermere having hidden the ring in the sandwich tin. A beautiful ring - my partner loves it!

Alex Boyce

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The service we have received here has been second to none. We first came to the shop a few years ago and had my engagement ring designed and created. It really is incredible what they do. The design was perfect to me and my style and the final product exceeded our expectations. So much so we finally came back recently and had both wedding rings made. Thanks again to the members of staff at Michael Platt you really are a fabulous bunch and make dreams come true!

Hannah Kennedy

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