Last Updated on 17th May 2021
Rubies are some of the most precious and rarest gemstones on earth. They’re beautiful to look at, popular among the affluent, and very expensive. All these qualities make these gemstones very demanding.
As a result, you’ll often hear about counterfeit rubies in the market. People will try to sell you garnets, tourmaline, or even glass as rubies just to make a fool out of you.
However, you shouldn’t let all this prevent you from buying that ruby ring you’ve been eyeing.
If you’re worried about fake rubies (and you should be), you can check the one you’re buying by following the methods discussed below.
1. Look for flaws
Natural rubies will have minor flaws buried deep within the stone. You can’t see these cracks or flaws with the naked eye. For this, you’ll require a microscope or a jeweler’s loupe. Under these instruments, you can see small strains or fissures running small lengths across the ruby. Sometimes, the strains are so small that you can’t even use these tools to see them. Under such conditions, you’ll need to take them to a jeweler for spectroscopy.
These cracks are formed in rubies since they were buried deep inside the earth under heavy pressure. As a result, they developed cracks and accumulation of debris over time.
Synthetic or glass rubies won’t have any cracks. They’re completely perfect and have no sign of any sort of strain on them. Basically, if the ruby’s flawless, it’s a fake.
2. Do the scratch test
There are very few objects that are completely scratch-resistant. These objects are so durable, that even sharp scratches will leave no mark on them. Rubies and diamonds are two of the most durable gemstones out there. Diamond is the most durable one, while ruby follows immediately behind.
Take a coin or a key, and try to scratch the surface of the ruby. If there are no scratch marks on it, the ruby’s real. On the other hand, if the stone does end up having scratch marks on its surface, it’s anything but a real ruby.
Given its hardness, only a diamond can leave scratch marks on a ruby stone. No other mineral or object has the capability to do so.
3. Check the color
The stunning blood-red color of rubies is what makes these gemstones so beautiful. The red color complements almost every other color that you’re wearing with your ruby ring.
While checking the ruby stone, you should also check its color. To do the color test on the ruby, you simply have to rub it against a hard and smooth surface. After doing so for a while, check the surface and see whether it has any trace of red or pink color. If it does, that means the ruby’s color has been artificially enriched, and it’s a fake. Real rubies won’t lose color like this.
Of course, there are a lot of counterfeit ruby stones that won’t give away the colors. Thus, you shouldn’t completely depend on this test alone while checking the ruby.
4. Compare the size with price
Natural rubies are very expensive. They can cost you a few thousand dollars or more, depending on the size and shape. Synthetic rubies are comparatively a lot cheaper. The difference between a natural ruby and a synthetic one of the same size can be anything between 15-20%.
Fake rubies are priced at a much lower rate. They might go as low as 70-80% less than the price of a standard ruby stone.
5. Seek professional help
It’s not possible for everyone to check whether their ruby ring or stone is fake or not. Not everyone can dare try and scratch such an expensive piece of jewelry, even if it does turn out to be a fake one.
In such cases, you should consult with a professional jeweler to help you with the checking. They can use different tools and instruments to accurately determine various features of the stone, and certify whether it’s the real or fake one. Plus, they can also guide you to proper stores that won’t try to sell you counterfeit stones or jewelry.
Buying a ruby is a huge investment. A stone as precious as this one should be bought with extra care. Thus, it’s very important that you check every aspect discussed above before making the purchase. After all, you don’t want to regret buying a counterfeit ruby.