How Much Is My Ruby Worth?

Ruby, the July birthstone, is coveted for its stunning red color. Like sapphire, ruby is a gem variety of the corundum mineral. Hailing from all over the world, including Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, Myanmar, and Vietnam, rubies are prized for their beauty and durability.

ruby jewelry

You may be wondering: just how much is my ruby worth? Let’s answer some of the most common questions regarding rubies and their value:

How Much Is My Ruby Worth?

But first…

A Brief History of The Ruby

Rubies have a long and significant history. The name “ruby” stems from the Latin word “ruber”, meaning red. Since Ancient times, these gemstones have been highly esteemed, believed to provide protection and good fortune. One of the earliest written mentions of this stone was in the Bible were it is referenced four times. Known in Sanskirt as the “king of precious stones”, these precious stones were commonly traded along the Silk Road and used to adorn the armor of Chinese noblemen. Burmese warriors, since as early as 600 AD, believed rubies would protect them in battle; they even embedded rubies in their skin because they believed the stones would help them become invincible. In medieval times, rubies maintained their coveted status, used by European royalty to guarantee health and wealth. Rubies are even included in the British Crown Jewels today.

What Factors Affect The Value Of My Ruby?

In May 2015, the record for most expensive colored gemstone sold at auction was set by a 25.59-carat cushion-shaped Burmese ruby ring, sold for over $30 million. This record sale is a testament to the growing ruby market and the high value that rubies can collect on the secondhand market. When assessing the value of your ruby, the most important factors are:

1. Color

Color has arguably the largest impact on the value of your ruby. By definition, rubies are the pink to red gemstone of the mineral corundum, while all other colors of the mineral corundum are considered sapphire. There is some controversy in the gem industry regarding the classification of rubies vs. pink sapphires. The GIA standard dictates that a sapphire or ruby with red as the dominant color is considered a ruby, not a pink sapphire. The most desired ruby color is a vibrant, vivid, highly saturated red to subtly purplish red color with red fluorescence. This color is often known as “pigeon’s blood” red and is very rare and highly valuable.

The color of a ruby is assessed based on three attributes: hue, saturation, and tone.

  • Hue refers to the actual color of the ruby and any secondary colors that may be present. Rubies often have secondary colors of pink, purple, and orange. A color that is too orangey or purplish is less desirable. The fewer secondary colors, the more valuable the ruby.
  • Saturation refers to the strength of the color. Generally, the more saturated the color of your ruby, the more it is worth.
  • Tone refers to the lightness or darkness of the ruby’s color. Typically, the best rubies are those that are neither too light nor too dark. Sometimes, rubies that are too light will be categorized as pink sapphires, and rubies that are too dark will lack the desired brightness.

2. Clarity

Clarity is another attribute that plays a significant role in determining the value of your ruby. Clarity refers to the internal flaws, or inclusions, that a ruby has. Nearly every ruby has inclusions, but the type, amount, placement, and visibility of these inclusions will determine a ruby’s clarity. Generally the more inclusions and the more visible they are, the lower the value of your ruby. There is one major exception to this rule—some rubies have long, thin mineral inclusions that intersect to form a star shape. This effect, called asterism, can create a visually appealing stone that is actually worth more in value.

3. Cut

The cut of your ruby can greatly impact how your ruby looks. A high-quality cut can minimize the appearance of inclusions and alter the way your gem interacts with light. A good cut will maximize a ruby’s visual appeal, thus increasing its value.

4. Carat Weight

The world’s largest ruby, an 18,696-carat stone, weighs approximately 8.2 pounds. Though it’s likely your ruby is not this large, your stone’s carat weight will still have an impact on its value. In general, the greater the carat weight, the more your ruby is worth. Price-per-carat increases significantly as carat weight increases.

how much is my ruby worth

5. Origin

The geographic origin of your ruby will also affect its price. Rubies that hail from Burma are typically the most valuable. Oftentimes, the origin of your ruby can be determined by analyzing your stone’s inclusions; types of inclusions are generally region-specific.

7. Treatment

Many rubies are treated to improve their appearance. Some of the most common treatments include heating (exposing the ruby to heat in order to remove purple discolorations and remove small inclusions), dyeing (dyes are introduced into the ruby to improve its color), fracture filling (glass, wax, oil, or other materials are inserted into the ruby to improve its clarity and appearance), and diffusion (inserting elements such as beryllium into the atomic lattice of a ruby during a heat treatment to improve the stone’s color). The most valuable rubies by far are natural, untreated ones, but this can be rare in today’s market. Heated rubies are generally worth more than rubies that have been diffused or filled.

8. Market Conditions

Another important factor in assessing ruby value is market conditions. Ruby colors and cuts that are in high demand at the time of sale will be able to fetch a high price on the secondhand market.

How Do I Obtain Information About My Ruby?

Any certificates or appraisals you have can be helpful in determining the characteristics of your ruby. If you are unable to locate any paperwork regarding your stone, you can often visit a jeweler who may be able to provide some basic information such as carat weight free of charge. Any information you can gather regarding your ruby will be very important in determining its value, and this information can be very helpful to provide to any potential buyers.

Where Can I Sell My Ruby?

If you are interested in selling your gem, there are a few popular ways to sell your ruby:

  1. eBay/Craigslist – Websites like eBay and Craigslist are user-friendly ways to sell your ruby from the comfort of your own home. However, many websites like these charge high fees, and it can be very difficult to price your item competitively without the right expertise. Furthermore, selling this way can take a long time with no guarantee of sale.
  2. Auction House – Auction houses will often be knowledgeable about selling gemstones like rubies, but they typically charge high fees, the sale can take a long time, and there is yet again no guarantee of a final sale. Additionally, if the reserve is set too low, your item can be snapped up at a bargain.
  3. Pawn Shop – A pawn shop can be an incredibly quick way to get rid of your ruby for a profit, but pawn shop owners are likely not knowledgeable about the specifics of rubies and the ruby market. Oftentimes, pawn shop owners will simply resell your ruby to a specialized buyer in order to turn a quick profit—profit you would have been able to keep for yourself.
  4. Online Specialist Buyer – Online specialist buyers like myGemma offer a quick, easy service for selling your designer ruby jewelry online in as little as 24 hours. We have the knowledge and expertise to accurately price your designer ruby jewelry and the capital to offer you a competitive price.

How Do I Sell My Ruby Online?

If you would like to sell your designer ruby jewelry (i.e. Tiffany, Cartier, David Yurman etc), myGemma is here to help. We offer a quick, easy and hassle free way to get paid securely. Simply fill out the online form and one of our in-house experts will be in touch promptly with an initial valuation. myGemma is a reputable, BBB A+-rated business that can get you money for your designer jewelry gemstones, jewelry, or watches in as little as 24 hours.

Learn more about selling rubies and other gemstones online.