So you've decided to invest in a ruby - an excellent choice! Rubies are stunning gems that add beauty and meaning. But before you start shopping, you need to determine if you want a natural ruby or a lab-created ruby. While both are real rubies and share similar properties, there are some key differences that can impact beauty, value, and price.
As an avid gemstone enthusiast, we want to give you the lowdown on natural versus lab-created rubies so you can find the perfect precious stone to suit your needs. Both natural and lab-created rubies are beautiful and meaningful, so this comes down to your priorities and budget. Read on to explore how these rubies are formed, how to spot the difference, and factors to weigh in your decision. By the end, you'll be a ruby expert ready to find the gemstone of your dreams !
When it comes to rubies, you have two options: natural or lab-created. While both are beautiful, there are some key differences to be aware of.
Color:- Natural rubies get their distinctive red hue from traces of chromium. The exact shade can vary from orangey reds to purplish reds depending on the chromium content. Lab-created rubies have a consistent, saturated red color because the chromium content is carefully controlled during the manufacturing process.
Cost:- High-quality natural rubies are rare, so they tend to be quite pricey. In contrast, lab-created rubies have a more affordable price point since they're synthetically produced. If budget is a concern, lab-created is a great option to get the ruby look you want without the hefty cost.
Quality:- In terms of quality, natural rubies exhibit slight imperfections and asymmetries that lab-created rubies lack. Natural rubies also have distinctive natural inclusions like tiny mineral crystals that lab-created versions do not possess. Some people see these natural imperfections as part of the gem's beauty and character.
Origin:- Natural rubies are mined from the earth, usually from deposits in places like Myanmar, Kenya, Tanzania, and Thailand. Lab-created rubies are produced in a controlled scientific environment using a combination of extreme heat and mineral-rich solutions to stimulate crystal growth.
Whether natural or lab-created, rubies make a stunning addition to any jewelry collection. By understanding the differences between natural and lab-created ruby gem options, you can choose the ruby that best fits your style, beliefs and budget. At the end of the day, what matters most is that you select a ruby you find personally meaningful and beautiful.
Natural rubies are formed over millions of years through intense heat and pressure deep within the Earth. As the Earth's crust shifts and folds, aluminum oxide and trace elements become trapped in rock formations known as ruby deposits. Over time, these elements crystallize into gem-quality red corundum-ruby. The rare conditions needed to form natural rubies are what make them so precious and valuable.
Lab-created rubies, on the other hand, are manufactured in a controlled scientific environment using a high-tech crystal growth process. Raw materials are heated to extremely high temperatures until they melt into a liquid. Then, the liquid is carefully cooled and seeded with a ruby crystal nucleus. This triggers the liquid to crystallize into lab-grown ruby. The entire process only takes a matter of days or weeks.
While chemically similar, there are some key differences between natural and lab-created rubies:
Origin: Natural rubies are found in nature, lab-created rubies are synthesized in a lab.
Rarity: Natural rubies are rare, precious gemstones. Lab-created rubies can be produced in large quantities.
Price: Due to their rarity and natural formation process, natural rubies command a much higher price per carat. Lab-created rubies are more affordable.
Inclusions: Natural rubies often contain distinctive inclusions that provide evidence of their natural formation. Lab-created rubies have a nearly flawless appearance due to their controlled growth environment.
Color: The red color of natural rubies tends to be uneven in tone and intensity. The color of lab-created rubies is usually very consistent and vibrant.
Certification: Natural rubies can be certified through reputable gemological institutes. Lab-created rubies may or may not come with official certification of their synthetic origin.
So if you're in the market for natural ruby's captivating beauty and symbol of passion, natural ruby is the way to go. But if you want an affordable red gemstone without sacrificing quality, consider a lab-created ruby. Either way, you'll have a sparkling red gem to treasure for years to come!
Read also:- Difference Between Old Burma and Burma Ruby
The easiest way to tell natural and lab-created rubies apart is to examine their appearance and properties. Lab-created rubies will often look too perfect, with an unnatural vividness in color and lack of inclusions or imperfections. They also tend to have a slightly different chemical composition. Below are some most important differences to be aware of:
Color:- Natural rubies exhibit a range of red hues from pale pinkish red to deep crimson. The color is often uneven, with lighter and darker areas. Lab-created rubies frequently have an overly bright, intense red color that looks too vivid to be natural. The color is very even and uniform.
Inclusions:- Natural rubies contain mineral inclusions, fractures, and imperfections that are visible under magnification. These imperfections give natural rubies a slightly uneven, dappled appearance. In contrast, lab-created rubies are nearly flawless, with few or no inclusions visible even under high magnification. Their clarity is almost too perfect.
Fluorescence:- When exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light, natural rubies typically do not fluoresce or have a faint red fluorescence. Lab-created rubies usually fluoresce a bright red or pink color, due to the presence of flux or other additives used during the manufacturing process.
Refractive Index:- The refractive index measures how much a gemstone bends light. For natural rubies, the refractive index is usually between 1.762 and 1.770. The refractive index of lab-created rubies is typically slightly higher, ranging from 1.757 to 1.785 due to their different chemical composition.
Specific Gravity:- The specific gravity compares the density of a gemstone to water. For natural rubies, the specific gravity is normally between 3.97 and 4.05. Lab-created rubies tend to have a slightly lower specific gravity in the range of 3.86 to 4.00.
While these properties can help distinguish natural from lab-created rubies, for the most accurate identification, it is best to have the stone examined by a qualified gemologist. They can perform advanced testing to determine a ruby's origin with a high degree of certainty.
Read more:- Everything You Need to Know About Rubies
When it comes to buying natural rubies, Navratan is the premier destination. They have over many years of experience sourcing and selling high-quality natural gemstones. At Navratan, you can find an amazing selection of untreated natural rubies from Burma (Myanmar), Mozambique, and Tanzania.
Burma is famous for producing the finest rubies in the world. Navratan has an excellent collection of vivid red rubies from the legendary Mogok mines. These premium gemstones are untreated, with a bright red hue and striking fluorescence. While expensive, a natural Burmese ruby is a rare treasure that holds its value.
In recent decades, Mozambique has become an important source of ruby. Navratan features beautiful Mozambique rubies with a deep crimson-red color and strong saturation. Although more affordable than Burmese rubies, Mozambique rubies from Navratan still meet the highest quality standards with no heat or glass-filling treatment. They offer an attractive option for jewelry and gemstone collectors.
Tanzania is also producing fine natural rubies in vivid shades of red. Navratan’s collection includes top-quality Tanzanian rubies that are untreated, with an intense color and clarity. While Tanzanian rubies tend to be more pinkish red, they can still be a gorgeous choice for an engagement ring or other special piece of jewelry.
At Navratan, you can shop for natural rubies with confidence, knowing you are getting authentic, high-quality gemstones at a fair price. Their customer service and expertise are unparalleled. For the finest natural Burmese, Mozambique, or Tanzanian rubies, Navratan is the best place to buy. You simply can’t go wrong!
So now you know the key differences between natural and lab-created rubies. While both are stunning gemstones in their own right, there’s just something special about owning a rare natural ruby that was formed deep within the Earth over millions of years. If budget is a concern, lab-created rubies offer an affordable and ethical alternative with nearly identical properties. At the end of the day, you need to go with what fits your priorities and values. Whichever type of ruby you choose, make sure you buy from a reputable dealer that provides authentication and certification. And if you do opt for a natural ruby, consider it an investment that may gain value over time. Now get out there and find your perfect ruby!