How do you know if a ruby is real?

Oftentimes, natural gemstones are so beautiful, it’s hard to believe they are “real,” i.e. did not involve the intervention of man. That is why many people ask whether or not a ruby is real. The answer, of course, is that genuine, natural, unheated rubies are very real and absolutely breathtaking!


Rubies and Diamonds

Rubies and colorless diamonds


They have been found in nature with their phenomenal red color and natural shine. Though most ruby gemstones have been cut and polished, transforming them from their rough state into regal and prestigious jewels, they are still as real as they come. Lab-grown versions, however, are not real. They are not real because they aren’t genuine and are not natural. These stones did not come to be as a result of a painstakingly long natural process, but rather, were produced in a lab with the help of various materials and instruments, many of which were only introduced in the last century or so. This is why it is important to differentiate between a real, natural ruby and its lab-grown counterpart.


Natural Rubies

Rubies are minerals from the corundum family that have formed beneath the earth’s surface over millions of years. Sapphires are also from the corundum family. In fact, the red color is the only aspect that separates these two gemstones from one another. Rubies, like sapphires, rank 9 on the Moh’s scale of hardness, coming in right after the diamond’s 10 ranking. This indicates that rubies are fairly sturdy stones and make a fabulous choice for jewelry given their durability. Natural rubies are far more valuable than synthetic ones and are also far more unique. It may be much harder to come across one with a high clarity level and for an affordable price, but what you are getting is something remarkable and irreplaceable. A cultured ruby may look the same to you, and provide you with a perfect-looking gem, but that is not what precious gemstones are all about. Natural rubies are the real deal, and like diamonds, they are forever.


Mozambique Ruby and diamond necklace

A Mozambique Ruby and diamond necklace


Real Rubies Vs. Lab-Grown Rubies

Not ever ruby that you will come across is a genuine ruby. While most stones are clearly marked, plenty are still marketed as natural when in fact they are lab-grown. In order to prepare yourself to identify a synthetic imposter, you must know a few things about natural rubies. For starters, most rubies have some sort of inclusion. A professional can help you identify whether or not your ruby is flawless because it is one in a billion that is perfect, or that it was lab-grown and therefore has been developed to be as perfect and as flawless as can be. The biggest giveaway for such a case is a flawless ruby being sold for an unusually low price. The same goes for a low price in general. Rubies are precious gemstones, and like real diamonds, emeralds, and sapphires, they can cost quite a bundle. A cheap price might very well indicate that you have a fraudulent piece on your hands. The size of a ruby can also help inform you of your stone’s genuineness. Large rubies are hard to come by and very expensive. If you have come across one or several rubies that do not have exorbitant prices, chances are they are cultured and not real.


An unheated red ruby

An unheated natural red ruby


Lab-grown rubies have been made to look identical to real rubies, so differentiating between the two can be extremely difficult. The only way to know for certain is to look at the stone’s structure through a microscope. This must be done by an expert in the field. Another thing that can help protect you from buying a fake is asking for the certification. Only genuine, mined rubies receive such paperwork and can help prove their status.


The most important thing to do is to identify a seller you feel you can trust. With the widespread of the Internet, you can always look for other people’s reviews and testimonials. The idea is to feel absolutely comfortable with your purchase.