Ruby is the most valuable variety of the corundum mineral species, which also includes sapphire. A practical reason for it's popularity is its hardness, rubies are used to fashion pieces that will last for generations, resistant to wear and tear.
The finest ruby has a pure, vibrant red to slightly purplish red color. As the color becomes too orangey or more purplish, the ruby moves down in quality. The highest-quality rubies have vivid color saturation. The color must be neither too dark nor too light to be considered finest quality.
People in the trade expect rubies to have at least some inclusions because inclusion-free rubies are rare. Ruby value depends on how visible the inclusions are. Obvious inclusions or inclusions that reduce transparency or brightness lower a ruby’s value dramatically.
Several factors affect the cut and proportion of rubies on the market. A ruby’s crystal shape dictates its suitability for certain cuts. The most common shape is a flat tabular hexagonal shape, but ruby crystals from some sources can be elongated.
Ruby is a very hard gemstone, it is suitable for every day wear. Care should be taken when storing your ruby to avoid chips or scratches. Separate it from your other jewels in its own bag or box. Natural rubies can be cleaned with a damp cloth and mild soap, and usually safely with steam and ultrasonic cleaners.