Gold Sheen Sapphire and Ruby in Mens Jewelry

Gold sheen sapphire and dark, vivid ruby is ideal for men’s jewelry.

Typical design styles for men’s jewelry use flat mountings with large(er) size gemstones.  This requires a faceted gem with a larger table size, or flatter cabochon that presents well, which favors opaque over transparent stones.

For example, this gold sheen sapphire ring has a 45ct stone with a 22mm x 16mm table. The faceting picks up brass, copper and gold tones as light plays across the surface.

45ct Gold Sheen Sapphire Men's Ring
45ct Gold Sheen Sapphire Men’s Ring

The rubies in these rings are cabbed from the same piece of rough ruby. In larger sizes, the dark tone with strong saturation is great for men’s rings, yet still beautifully feminine in smaller sizes.

20ct and 10ct Mens and Womens Ruby Cabochon Rings
20ct and 10ct Men’s and Women’s Ruby Cabochon Rings

What is a Ruby?

What are the criteria that gemological institutes follow to determine if a sapphire is a ruby? Can there be pink rubies?

The process to determine a ruby is straightforward:

  1. Is it corundum? If no, not ruby, if yes then:
  2. Is it red? If yes, then ruby, if no then it is sapphire

There is no pink ruby, pink corundum is called pink sapphire. Any colour of sapphire that is not blue is generally known as fancy sapphire.

However, what is ‘red’ and when does light red become pink? Is reddish orange still red, etc is a matter of individual opinion. Both hue and tone have to be taken into account.

This is a colour hue chat:

GIA Hue Chart
Hue Chart used in GIA Color Gemstone Grading

As you can see, there is no ‘pink’. Pink is a lighter tone of red.

This is a tone chart:

Gemstone Tone Chart
Gemstone Grading Tone Chart

To make it confusing, tone is often referred to as saturation. While this chart says ‘saturation’, what it is really showing is tone:

Not a tone chart
Chart uses ‘saturation’ where it means ‘tone’

So when grading a stone as ruby rather than pink or fancy sapphire, it needs to be ‘red’ with medium or better tone. Subjectively, one grade difference is acceptable – what I might call ‘red’, you might call ‘slightly purplish red’, or what I might call ‘medium’ tone, you might call ‘medium light’, and that is ok.

But there is no absolute definition for ruby, some labs might class ruby as anything with red in it, others might say red only, or some might include orangish red and slight purplish red.

Just to be clear about ‘saturation’, the saturation scale as defined by the GIA goes from ‘brownish’ to ‘vivid’ for red gemstones. It should make no difference to the actual classification of whether a gem is ruby or not.

Confusing, right? Yes, at first. But once you get your ‘eye in’ for ruby, you can pretty much tell at a glance. A definition I like to use is that if corundum can return a red ‘flash’ (a property of ruby is it returns more red light than it receives), then it deserves to be called ruby.

This is a sample of ruby colour variation:

Ruby color variation
Ruby color variation


The best possible colour of ruby is called ‘pigeon blood’, but that is a whole other story.

Ruby Catalog

I have been working on cataloging and publishing a catalog for ruby cabs from the parcel of rough ruby we bought earlier in the year. I was thinking about using a simplified grading system that groups colour/finish/proportions into one metric called ‘appeal’, but it soon became apparent that it would not be workable.  Instead I have used the GIA grading method.  After consideration, it can’t really be simplified or improved on in any helpful way.  And no need to reinvent the wheel.

It took a couple of days to develop the framework for the spreadsheet, going through several iterations before I was happy with it.  The version I am running with will auto-generate a long form description from the grading information.  I can then just cut and paste that into the description field of the product on the website.  I was quite proud of that little bit of spreadsheet scripting, until someone expressed disappointment that it didn’t just automatically post to the website instead of having to manually cut an paste.  Alas, the skills for that type of coding left me long ago.  Nevertheless, I am pleased with the functionality of my catalog spreadsheet as it is.

Given a base price for the ruby, the spreadsheet will also generate a price. That part still needs a little bit of work, but basically it works on giving a high value to the ‘sweet spot’ of hue, tone and saturation, with modifiers for clarity, finish, proportion and treatment.  The base price I take from the average street/negotiated price I see in the market for unheated ruby cabs.

The end result looks like this:

Ruby Catalog Spreadsheet
Ruby Catalog Spreadsheet

Which gives me a price from $38 to $128 for the best colour/finish grade stones.  Market pricing for ruby cabs at the moment starts at $5 per carat for heat/glass filled, $20-$80 for heat treated and $50-$150 for natural/no heat.

The autogenerated description looks like this:

Autogenerated description from grading data
Autogenerated description from grading data

It will be easy enough to replace the commas with line breaks using a text editor if I want the formatting to look better on the product web page.

Now, I know what you are asking.  What about the rubies themselves?  They are much more interesting to look at that a spreadsheet, after all.  So here is a sample of some we have photographed so far:





The next task will be to take the spreadsheet and publish it as a catalog table on the website.  That should be straightforward, and I can include a thumbnail of each gem as well, which will link to the full size picture.  I expect to have that completed pretty soon.

In the meantime, if you would like more information on the any particular piece, or for rubies in general, just email me at


Singles Day!

11/11 is singles’ day in China.  But why should the Chinese have all the fun?

Perhaps, buying your crush some beautiful jewelry might make this the last singles day for you?  Who knows.  But single or ‘an item’, everyone deserves to own some fine gemstones and jewelry, whether for yourself or someone else.

In honour of this ancient (from way, way back in the 1990’s) Chinese tradition, use the coupon code ‘1111’ to get 25% off any purchase from, for 11/11/16 only.

This natural ruby ring in 18K gold makes an excellent gift of love an admiration –

Natural zircon, as blue as a clear summer sky –

Multi colour sapphire bracelet, 32 carats of sapphires, and exquisite gift

Tanzanite earrings, only for someone very special –

New Factory Cuttings – Ruby

I have just seen the latest cuttings from the factory for ruby.  We are getting more range of colour and gradings as we progress into the parcel.

Tray of ruby cabochons
Tray of ruby cabs sorted by colour grade
Tray of dark ruby cabochons
Tray of darker ruby cabs sorted by colour grade

I am seeing quite a lot of medium-light and slight purplish red natural unheated ruby cabs in the market now, between $200 and $300 per carat.  The lighter stones we are getting from the parcel would match that grade.

Some, like these, are at the other end of the tone scale with strong purple red to purple/red hue and strong saturation:


Dark Ruby Cabochons
Dark ruby cabs

But I have to say, I do prefer the medium/dark tone best of all:

Medium Dark to dark Ruby cabs
Medium Dark to dark Ruby cabs with moderate to strong saturation

SJW gems can supply ruby cabs in calibrated sizes to any specification.  We own the rough and control the production through to the final polish and shipment.  We can accommodate order sizes up to 10,000 carats per month, and welcome small orders from collectors and independent designers.  Talk to us now for your Christmas Season orders!

红宝石! 红宝石! 红宝石!

我们已经开始切割第一批来自马达加斯加的红宝石原石啦。 这批红宝石百分百天然出产,没有任何高温处理,完全来自古老的天然沉积而成,其坚硬度连工厂里见过各种各样红蓝宝石的的切割工人也赞叹不已。 我们已经用了高于50%的钻石磨石来切割打磨。我也开始怀疑这批红宝石在摩氏硬度表上应该排在哪里,因为它的硬度明显高于普通的刚玉类宝石。






更多有关这批红宝石的信息,可在我们的网页查看  –