Aurea Apotheosis Ruby and Diamond Ring

Natural Ruby Rings vs. Synthetic Ruby Rings: What You Need to Know

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Since times of old, rubies, with their fiery crimson tones and head-turning beauty have been lust-worthy. This glamour girl gemstone now in our modern era, has evolved. So, we are going to examine natural and synthetic ruby rings in a showdown for that couture sparkle. First up, we’ve got the originals of Mother Nature- these are the natural red gemstones formed under immense pressure and heat over millions of years within the crust of the Earth. These rare rockstars boast unique inclusions and a one-of-a-kind color that gives them an undeniable je ne sais quoi. This rarity however, comes with a high price tag.

Now, let’s talk the new kids on the block- lab created synthetic rubies also serving the iconic red dazzling color but with more affordability. Thanks to the many advancements in technology, these manmade creations mimic the charming essence of the ruby with incredible precision. Can they however emulate the raw, earthy mystique of the ruby?

That is what we are diving into in this guide, a full-on glam undercover journey to spill all the insider secrets on synthetic vs natural ruby rings. Let’s begin the ultimate bling battle.

Understanding Rubies

Rubies are from the family of the mineral corundum, which includes sapphires. While we are here, let’s clear something up, rubies are not red sapphires! The sapphire encompasses all colors under its spectrum except the ruby so the ruby is a red corundum and its own gemstone. Let’s move on. Its beautiful red color comes from the presence of chromium. This trace elements gives it hues that range from a delicate pinkish-red to the highly prized “pigeon blood” red which is usually considered the most sought-after shade. The vividness of the red color is directly influenced by the amount of chromium that is present in the crystal structure of the ruby during formation.

Oval Halo Prong Set Gold Ruby Ring with Diamonds

Gemstone Quality Factors

Numerous quality factors come into play when evaluating rubies whether they are synthetic or natural. The hue and saturation are important, with the most vivid and uniformly distributed reds fetching the highest prices. A ruby is more valuable when its color is closer to the coveted “pigeon’s blood” red. Inclusions (internal flaws and imperfections) can severely impact the hardness and strength of the gemstones so this is also worth considering. With symmetry enhancing the optical properties of the gemstone, the cut quality also plays a crucial role in increasing its fire and brilliance. Carat weight influences the value, since larger rubies are rarer they tend to be more expensive, provided they meet the standards for the other quality factors.

Natural Rubies

Now, let’s talk natural rubies. These are formed through intense pressure and heat over millions of years under the Earth. With significant deposits in countries like Thailand, Sri Lanka and Myanmar formerly known as Burma, they are found only in limited arears. This exclusivity and value is affected due to the many complicated mining conditions and rarity of rubies of natural origin. Assessing their size, color, quality of cut often with the help of reputable gemologists in gem laboratories is a foolproof way to evaluate the quality of natural rubies.

Let’s now explore how natural rubies are formed, because the process is nothing short of fascinating. Rubies become crystals within metamorphic rock formations, often with other gemstones like sapphires. The presence of chromium in the geological environment accounts for its unique red color. The particular chromium concentrations and geological conditions under which the ruby formed are responsible for the precise shade and saturation of the color.

Their rarity and genuineness are the reason they are highly prized because they are considered finite resources with new mining deposits becoming more difficult to locate and extract from the Earth. Coupled with its innate beauty and symbolic meaning, this scarcity adds to its high value and demand, especially with natural ruby rings.

Pear Shaped Ruby Ring with Diamonds

Synthetic Rubies

These manmade marvels, synthetic rubies are those produced using very advanced technological processes in very controlled environments. Due to the fact that these rubies are physically and optically identical to natural rubies, it has become increasingly become difficult to differentiate them without experienced gemologists using specialized equipment.

In the production of synthetic rubies, many methods are used, each with its unique processes and features:

  • Flux Fusion Method: This process sees chromium and powdered alumina which is aluminum oxide, fused under intense heat, usually in a molten solvent. This mixture then crystallizes into ruby crystals when it cools. The advantage of this method is that it allows for precise control over not only the color but the chemical composition of synthetic rubies.
  • Flame Fusion Method/ Vernueil Process:  This process was developed by French chemist, Auguste Louis Verneuil who invented the first commercially viable method of creating synthetic gemstones. Also called the flame fusion method, this process involves a very hot, sorry, high temperature oxy-hydrogen flame used to melt and then fuse chromium and alumina powders.  The hot molten mixture is then cooled and then slowly crystallizes into a seed rod, forming synthetic ruby boules or crystals.

A popular variety of synthetic rubies created using the Vernueil process is Chatham rubies which were named after the entity that pioneered their production. They are prized for their beautiful consistency of color.

Synthetic rubies have the same physical features or chemical composition as natural rubies, however they are more readily available hence more affordable. Most purists don’t consider synthetic rubies as “real” because they do not hold the same investment values as natural rubies.

Durability and Longevity

Both natural and synthetic rubies have exceptional hardness, ranking a very impressive 9 on the Mohs scale, second only to a few stones including diamonds. This hardness means they are very resistant to chips, scratches and daily wear, making them suitable for everyday use in rings and other pieces of jewelry. Let’s note something very important however. While proper care is essential and very important to maintain the longevity of natural and synthetic ruby rings, natural rubies are generally more durable than synthetic rubies due to their formation process because synthetic rubies are rapidly cooled during their production and are hence, more prone to fractures and scratches.

Ruby and Diamond Ring

Inclusions and Imperfections

Rubies of natural origin often contain imperfections and inclusions, which are minute mineral crystals or other irregularities that are formed within the gemstones during the natural process of growth. While these imperfections can affect the clarity and overall value of the ruby, they are also seen as a unique “fingerprint” that attests to the gemstone’s origin.

Synthetic rubies also showcase inclusions and growth patterns on the other hand, these are quite different from the kind found in natural rubies. These inclusions can be identified using special techniques such as examinations under microscopes or certain advanced imaging methods.

As previously noted, while inclusions can impact the overall look and value of a ruby, it does not mean the stone is of a lower quality. Actually, these inclusions are considered desirable by connoisseurs because they add character to the natural ruby.

Color Saturation and Consistency

The ultimate goal for natural ruby shoppers is the favored “pigeon blood “red color. This vivid, slightly bluish-red hue comes about as a result of the exact chromium content and the unique geological conditions in which the ruby is formed. This color in natural rubies is quite rare contributing to their high pricing.

In contrast, due to the controlled condition in production, synthetic rubies can be produced with highly saturated, evenly distributed red colors that are very appealing.

Ethical Sourcing and Environmental Impact

If you are considering buying a natural ruby ring, it is very important to bear in mind the responsible mining practices and ethical sourcing. The mining of natural gemstones has usually been associated with many environmental problems, like conflict regions and worker exploitation.

Credible gemstone suppliers and jewelers are committed to promoting sustainable sourcing, ensuring the rubies they offer are mined under little environmental impact and fair labor conditions. This involves working with mines that adhere to international working standards to ensure transparency and trust throughout the chain of supply. Conversely, the production of synthetic rubies usually have a low environmental footprint compared to traditional mining operations. It is however important to consider the fact that the high-temperature processes involved in creating synthetic rubies are very energy intensive and are also coupled with potential byproducts.

Oval Ruby 18K White Gold Ring

Valuation and Investment Potential

We previously talked about how the value of natural ruby rings are influenced by other factors such as clarity, cut, size and general rarity. For instance, rubies from famous sources, such as the Mogok region in Myanmar are prized and command premium prices due to their quality and provenance.

A finite resource, natural rubies have limited availability and increasing demand from investors. As a result, natural ruby rings of high quality will appreciate in value over time meaning they are a potential investment opportunity for those who seek tangible assets.

On the other hand, synthetic rubies are more affordable and readily available making them a more accessible option for those who want the beauty of rubies without the high cost associated with natural stones. They however don’t have the same investment potential as natural stones because they can be produced in larger quantities.

Note this, the value of any gemstone, natural, genuine or synthetic is determined by rarity, perceived desirability and overall market demand. So while natural rubies have conventionally held higher value due to their scarcity and prestige, the increasing popularity and quality of synthetic rubies influences their market value.

Rubies from historically relevant mining deposits have greater appreciation potential and thus, higher prices. Natural rubies with great quality features, such as the vivid pigeon blood red color will increase in value because demand for top-tier gemstones continues to rise.

Care and Maintenance

To preserve and maintain the beauty and longevity of both natural and synthetic ruby rings, proper maintenance is important. 

Let’s talk some tips to keep your ruby ring in proper condition:

Cleaning:  Regularly clean your ruby ring with a soft brush with a mild soap solution. Do not use harsh chemicals or abrasives as they can damage the setting or the gemstone itself.

Storage: When you are not wearing your ruby ring, store it in a fabric lined jewelry box to prevent exposure to moisture and chipping.

Protection: To protect your ruby ring, remove it before engaging in any form of activity that can expose it to impact like manual labor, sports or swimming.

Professional Care: Periodically, have your ruby ring inspected and examined by a professional jeweler, preferably annually to identify any potential issues or repairs.

Follow these simple care guidelines to make sure your natural or synthetic ruby ring is brilliant and beautiful for years to come.

Ruby Ring in 18K White Gold

Certification and Authenticity

It is absolutely important to obtain certification from credible, renowned gemological laboratories such as the American Gem Society (AGS) and the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). These labs use the most advanced techniques and employ the most experienced gemologists to ascertain the quality and genuineness of natural gemstones including rubies.

These certification reports and documentation from these labs provide comprehensive information about the features of the gemstones including its color, carat weight, origin or any enhancements or treatments it may have gone through. This serves as a valuable reference for buyers, ensuring transparency and quality assurance about the value of their ruby ring.

Synthetic rubies do not need the same level of certification but it is still important to work with jewelers who can give documentation about the production methods used as well as any other assessments.

Differentiating between natural versus synthetic rubies can be quite challenging for the untrained eye, because they are so identical in almost every respect. Advanced methods like spectroscopy are often need to tell the difference. This is where the expertise of certified gemologists and laboratories is needed.

Halo Ruby Ring in 18K Yellow Gold


The choice between natural and synthetic ruby rings can be influenced by factors such as quality, investment potential and personal preferences. The decision lies in the understanding of your priorities and working with jewelers who can properly guide you through the process of selection.

Whether you prefer a synthetic or natural ruby ring, the most important aspect is the appreciation of the symbolism, beauty of the gemstone and the quality craftsmanship used to create it.

You can make an informed choice that matches with your values and preferences to make sure your ruby ring becomes a possession to be treasured for years.


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