One of the latest trends in formal jewelry is engagement rings that feature a splash of brilliant red flash. Gone is the virginal row of white diamonds that used to identify the old fashioned wedding ring. Today you are just as likely to see diamond and ruby wedding rings embracing the fourth fingers of new brides.
These diamond and ruby wedding rings come in all kinds of interesting and creative designs. One of the most popular styles of engagement ring is the single large solitary ruby that is set in a band of diamonds. This color scheme then can be complimented by a ring of white diamonds, red rubies or a ruby and diamond circlet that serves as the wedding band. The visual effect of the blood red ruby wedding band is particularly startling against the whiteness of a diamond. It is also flattering on any color of skin.
So why choose a ruby and diamond wedding ring over just diamonds? It might just have to do with the symbolism of the color red. Red symbolizes love, warmth and vitality. In Feng Shui it is considered to be the color of prosperity. It also looks particularly good cut in a heart shape and surrounded by diamonds in the ring. The diamond and ruby wedding ring is also very romantic. The glittering red ruby provides stark contrast to the glittering white diamonds, kind of like Snow White and Rose Red.
The word ruby comes form the Latin word “rubens” which means “red.” Ruby red is a color in itself and is used to refer to brilliant reds that are warm and fiery in color. The stone also symbolizes fire and blood, which of course equates to erotic and sexual passion. The flashing of its natural fire also symbolizes the beating of the human heart. A diamond and ruby wedding ring set is the perfect mix of Fire and Ice.
Rubies are also rare gemstones and much rarer than diamonds. In a way their specialness says something about that once in a lifetime love. It is also a very durable stone with excellent hardness so like a diamond it is worth your investment.
Diamond and ruby wedding rings also have a bit of a cachet when it comes to being popular with the funky or new age set. A ruby band is the perfect gift of jewellry for a woman who is a Buddhist or Hindu. This is because for the longest time, rubies came from India. In fact in Sanskrit, the Ruby is called the “ratnarj” which means the “King of the Gemstones.”
Officially the ruby is the red variety of the corundum mineral. The sapphire also belongs to this family of minerals, which are among the hardest on earth. On the Moh scale of hardness they register a 9, which is second only to the hardness of diamonds.
The red color of a ruby can be attributed to the presence of a combination of or any number of the following elements in the stone: iron, titanium, vanadium and chrome. Chrome is the element responsible for the tinting of most fine quality ruby gem stones. Rubies that contain chrome have the deepest red color. However they are also the smallest rubies as too much of this element causes the stones to crack while they are growing. That is why it is so rare to find a large bright red ruby. In fact the smaller the ruby you buy, the more chrome it is likely to contain and the redder it is likely to be.
The fact that chrome causes so many fissures in the brightest and reddest of rubies is also why it can be hard to find a stone that does not have any inclusions. The ruby simply cracks before it can be harvested as a large rock. Unless it is made in a laboratory (the Russians have perfected this art) you are not likely to find a ruby gemstone for a ring that is larger than 3 carats. Rubies that are larger than this and especially ones that have no flaws or inclusions are more expensive than even the largest of diamonds.
The absolutely most expensive rubies are the Star Rubies. When cut in a half shape it displays a star with six rays that moves across the surface of the stones. If such a stone does appeal to you keep in mind that the ones with the best value have a star that shines in the center of the stone and not slightly off to the side of the gem.
When shopping for a diamond and ruby wedding rings you might want to consider what professional jewelers refer to as “the silk of the ruby.” This is a deep glow that some rubies have that also gives them a soft yet brilliant appearance. This effect, which is caused by a hundreds of microscopic scars in the stone, is also sometimes referred to as “asterism.” The rubies that boast complete asterism are the Star Rubies.
Compared to most stones, rubies also express a great deal of “personality”. This is because they come in different qualities of silkiness, asterism and also in different hues of red. The color of a ruby is greatly determined by where it comes from. For instance the orange and bluish hue of the Burmese Ruby is particular to gem stones from Burma and the ancient mines from the Mogok Stone Track (also known as the Valley of Rubies) in the North of Myanmar India.
Another interesting and quite trendy ruby are the blue black varieties that are mined near the city of Mong Hsu in the North-East of Myanmar. These rubies often appear to be purple or black in the center. Sometimes these rubies are treated with heat to get rid of the dark core and give the stone a lustrous deep blood red color. These heat-treated rubies are among the less expensive choices if you are looking for a ruby band.
Other color variations include purple rubies from Vietnam and the orange and brown hued “Siam” ruby color from Thailand. The raspberry red ruby, originally from Ceylon, is incredibly rare today as the mines in that region have been depleted of their precious stores.
What is nice about a ruby is that you can match the color of the stone to suit the preferences of the bride. Like people, rubies display quite a bit of personality and like a soul mate, the ruby with the perfect hue can take a lot of time and effort to find.