Ruby and Rubies
Seen above is a picture of VERY nice round ruby I located for a customer that weighs 1.76 carats. It was one of those rubies referred to as having a "pigeon blood red" color, definitely a deeper red than the photograph depicts.
Above are pictures of two different rubies I located for other customers several years ago when digital photography wasn't as good. The pictures above are obviously not as good.
Ruby is a member of the corundum family, sharing this designation with sapphire. Rubies range from a dark pink to intensely deep red colors. These particularly deep red (not those with an overwhelmingly dark and inky color) are often referred to as exhibiting a pigeon blood red color. A deep red ruby is considered a much finer stone than those exhibiting the pink colors. Those rubies, as with any other colored gem) that appear dark to the point of seeming "inky" are not good choices. Many customers have come to me indicating that they had been told in retail jewelry stores that ruby is supposed to be very dark...and encroaching into this area I refer to as inky. Despite what the sales people at the jewelry stores tell you, ruby can and should be bright and vibrant...NOT a dark, inky black red color, a very poor excuse for a ruby. If you'd be interested in exploring the possibility of locating a great ruby, please feel free to contact me and let me know what general size and quality range you have in mind. I have some great sources from which to acquire some really amazing rubies.
Care should also be taken to locate a ruby with as few internal inclusions as possible, as this will also make the stone both visually brighter and more valuable.
Based on the Moh's scale the hardness of ruby is rated 9, only one step down from the hardness of diamond. Ruby is a very durable gemstone, one that I think is extremely well suited to be incorporated into jewelry, in some respects better suited than even diamond...due to the innate tendency of a diamond to be able to cleave if subjected to the wrong circumstance.
Some examples of jewelry in which rubies have been set: