Looking into ruby jewelry ? Then you’re likely wondering how durable these red beauties are, and what the safest settings are for them. Let’s find out. Rubies and sapphires are virtually the same thing so we’ll discuss them both today.
Do rubies break ?
Rubies are very hard to break, they are incredibly tough and not as brittle as emeralds or amethyst. Both rubies and sapphires are very tough gemstones, scoring a 9 out of 10 on the Mohs scale so they should not break unless you are a lapidary applying just the right force in just the right spot. Normal wear doesn’t break rubies or sapphires.
Beware of rubies fused with glass. These are rubies that have severe fractures that have been filled with colored glass. This makes the fractures nearly invisible, but the gem’s weakness is still there. In time it will become apparent that the ruby was filled so be sure that you’re buying an untreated ruby !
Inclusions are normal and expected in rubies and sapphires
You might be wondering if the inclusions in sapphires and rubies are a fragility issue. Corundum (which is what rubies and sapphires are) naturally has inclusions, and most of the time they are harmless in regard to the stone’s toughness.
There are few instances where the inclusions reach the surface, like a short fissure, or cavities. These are rare and can pose a threat to your ruby or sapphire indeed. These can either be filled with colored glass, so it doesn’t affect the clarity and color, or they can be polished off.
Still, most rubies and sapphires will hold up for a lifetime even with a few inclusions.
Natural vs lab-grown rubies and sapphires
If you’re looking for a 100% guarantee of eye-clean rubies and sapphire, or ones with as little inclusions as possible, you should be looking at lab-grown rubies and sapphires. There are natural ones that are eye-clean, but they are far more expensive than the lab versions.
The upside for lab-grown sapphires and rubies is they’re often intensely saturated colors, very good or perfect clarity, and can come in any size you need. They are chemically the same item as natural corundum, but for some people the lack of inclusions makes them look too fake.
There is also something to be said about a sapphire or ruby’s inclusions, especially silk. Each and every notch, cloud, feather, droplet or other simply adds character and makes the gemstone unique. In the case of silk – tiny needle-like whitish inclusions – it adds even more value to the gems, since it’s the basis for an asterism !
All that being said, both natural and lab grown sapphires and rubies have their good parts and bad parts. But there is no denying that lab versions are much clearer. It really does depend on what you want from your ruby or sapphire.
What is the safest setting for ruby ?
Any setting is safe for a ruby or sapphire, including the traditional prong setting. This gemstone is very tough and can be worn in any setting, as long as the prongs keep it in place. Of course, bezel settings are the safest for any and all gemstones, but they also block a lot of light. Rubies and sapphires do need a good amount of light in order to reveal their full color, so perhaps a bezel setting is not he most recommended in this case.
As a classic setting, you could look into halo settings or even cluster rings, with a ruby or sapphire center and diamond accent stones. Most of the rings we’re talking about are directly inspired from the late Princess Diana’s sapphire and diamond ring.
Are rubies good for engagement rings ?
Yes, rubies are excellent gemstones for an engagement ring ! They are incredibly tough, can withstand nearly anything, and have a beautiful fiery color that may remind you of passion, vitality, love, and strengthen the bond in a married couple. If the engagement ring is not overly large it could easily be worn alongside the wedding band. The same is true for sapphires.
Can you wear rubies every day ?
Yes, rubies can be worn every day without any issue, even as rings or bracelets. As long as the gemstone is not too large (1 carat or less) it should not get in the way too much either. We still recommend removing the ring when cleaning, cooking, gardening, showering, or sleeping, just to be safe.
Do rubies sparkle ?
No, rubies do not sparkle because they are most often included and this severely impacts the amount of sparkle they have. Exceptionally clear rubies may have flashed of red in them, so they are not completely dull. But don’t expect your ruby ring to glitter like a diamond because you would be very disappointed.
If you want a gemstone that will be a beautiful red shade and also sparkle, you can get either red diamonds (the most expensive out there) or red moissanite.
I’m the main author for jewelrymaterialguide.com. I started this site after we did tons of research before our wedding and noticed that there is information about rings, jewelry, and so on that is really hard to find on the internet.