Are you searching for the best online store to purchase ruby jewelry?
Look no further. In this guide, I will answer the frequently asked questions such as:
- What should I look for before buying rubies online?
- Is a ruby great for an engagement ring?
- How do I know if the deal is good?
- What red flags should I look out for before buying rubies?
- How should I save some bucks when purchasing ruby jewelry online?
Best Place to Buy Ruby Jewelry Online
Here is a quick list of my top pick when it comes to ruby jewelry online dealers. For more details about these stores, keep reading.
What is Ruby?
Rubies are gemstones that are common because of their beautiful shiny red color. Furthermore, ruby is the July birthstone. Rubies originate from the rare mineral called corundum, which is a similar mineral that sapphire comes from.
A ruby is any red corundum, but a corundum that is of another color is sapphire. Corundum is usually colorless as it starts to form. However, when specific chemical impurities mix with the corundum, it creates different colors. So, for corundum to turn into a ruby, chromium must be introduced.
There are plenty of things you need to know when purchasing high-quality rubies. Let’s jump right in!
Buying Ruby at James Allen
There is a huge inventory of loose rubies at James Allen. Set them on pendants, earrings or even engagement rings-the choice is yours. These rubies at James Allen sell at a very affordable price since they receive heat treatment.
The loose rubies at James Allen come in hundreds. Their saturation, color hues, and tones vary from each other giving a wide variety to pick from. Other than just picking up your center stone, you are allowed to pick out other settings of the stone. They’ll quickly assemble everything into one and deliver it to you. These loose rubies at James Allen are very affordable.
If you are looking for an affordable personally designed ring, James Allen is the place to purchase. They offer excellent customer service, transparency, and affordable prices.
They also have a 360 viewing technique for examining the gemstone from different angles. Additionally, you can observe its cut details and clarity easily. thus you can confidently make that purchase knowing what you saw online is what you’ll get.
Purchasing a ruby from James Allen guarantees you a free gemstone lifetime warranty. The warranty covers a wide range of services. They include the common routine metalworks such as white gold rhodium plating, re-tipping prongs, cleaning, and polishing.
They have further selected Jared Store where you can take your jewelry for repair. If the ring you bought from them doesn’t fit properly, then they offer you one ring resizing for free.
Buying Ruby From Blue Nile
At Blue Nile, the rubies are pre-set. Unlike at James Allen, there are no loose rubies at this store. This collection, however, is quite better than those at James Allen. Here you also get plenty of jewelry to pick from. You get, bracelets, ruby rings, necklaces, and many more.
Variety is not the only thing Blue Nile offers. They sell jewelry of higher quality. There are no cheap lab-grown rubies. This means if your budget is around $500 you are unlikely to get cheap rubies. Blue Nile also sets all their ruby jewelry in various colors, platinum or gold.
If you are looking to get something stunningly beautiful, Blue Nile Extraordinary Collection is where to search. You will have to add a few more bucks to get them. Additionally, if you want diamond jewelry and gemstone jewelry, these high-end stones are what you need. Here are a few elegant diamonds and ruby earrings from a collection valued at $48,000.
Seeing the entire stone is quite hard. The only thing you can do is to magnify other sections of the stone. Even so, purchasing from Brian Gavin guarantees top-quality products. It may not be physically visible; the quality is great. You have to be careful with the low prices offered. This is common in retail chains in the USA.
Why is James Allen better? James Allen has rubies for everyone. This is irrespective of their budget and price ranges. Here, it is possible to save many for any of the purchases even if you can’t afford the piece at the moment.
As much as Blue Nile has beautiful pieces, there is little room for price adjustments. The loose rubies at James Allen give the customers an opinion on the cost of their pieces.
Buying Ruby From Leibish & Co
If you are looking for high-quality and fancy jewelry online, then Leibish & Co. offer precious gemstones and fancy color diamonds. This is a highly-priced store. You can only find very few rubies that go below $5000 for only 1 carat.
They get these rubies from Mozambique. Apart from the ordinary rubies, they also have pigeon rubies from Burna. These rubies are very prized. To top it up, Leibish & Co. carry treated and untreated rubies.
If you are a heavy spender, then Leibish & Co. is a good fit for you. They offer high-quality products at a very high price. All the stones at this store can be examined using a 360-degree viewer. You can clearly see the colors in the stone. You also can examine the stone for any clary inclusions.
For authenticity, the rubies are accompanied by a certificate from where they originate. The pieces in their collection are very unique. So unique that they can be passed from one generation to the other. Leibish & Co. also have excellent craftsmanship.
Why is James Allen better? You get rubies at a cheaper price from James Allen than from Leibish & Co. there is a free lifetime warranty from James Allen for the rubies you buy from them. The warranty covers routine maintenance. At Leibish & Co. you have to part with a few dollars for the warranty even if you spent about $10,000.
Buying Ruby From Helzberg
Helzberg is comparable to other big jewelers such as Kay and Jared. It is a family business and not under Signet Jewellers’ umbrella. This dealer has plenty of advantages over others.
There are so many locations of the Helzberg throughout the US. It also has an online store. Their wide variety of ruby jewelry, mostly in the sterling silver set. They are more like to be lab-created. These rubies are way cheaper and easy to make. Lab-grown rubies, are manufactured in labs and not from the ground. If the lab is good, the rubies will have better color and less inclusion.
Check the lab-created ruby and a white sapphire pendant below.
When purchasing from Helzberg’s online store, there are a few things to watch out for. Some rubies have no actual color description. The ruby jewelry has various shades of pink and red more than others. It is also hard to know if their colors are heat treated. So let’s just assume they are. If a piece is untreated it goes for a higher price. On the upside, if the piece is not the shade you want, you can return it within 30 days.
Helzberg has in place an extended warranty plan. You however have to maintain a 6-month inspection period. This is similar to what Kay’s and Jared do. Unlike at Jared and Kay where the warranty is free, at Helzberg you pay and uphold the warranty.
Why James Allen is better? You get complete transparency from James Allen. They give clear and descriptive details about their products. Here what you see online is ultimately what you will get physically. Rubies from James Allen have a 360-degree viewer. This means you can see the stone very closely. Finally, they offer a free and easily accessible warranty.
FAQ When Buying Ruby Jewelry Online
Are Rubies Good For Engagement Rings?
Diamonds are the hardest, toughest, and most durable mineral that occurs naturally. It scores a whopping 10 on the Moh scale of hardness.
Closely behind the diamond is corundum at 9. As a result, rubies are also durable. This makes them fit for an engagement ring.
Most engagement rings do not have rubies as the center stone or even as the melee stone. Blue sapphires are more common on engagement rings. For those looking to make a local custom-made ruby engagement ring, consulting a local jeweler is necessary. Alternatively, a local fine jewelry retailer who works on custom rings. My advice is to thoroughly search the internet before making that local purchase.
Is Ruby Expensive?
The cost of buying a ruby piece of jewelry is not as high as that of diamonds since they are colored stones. 1-carat ruby for a center stone goes for way less than 1 carat of a diamond stone. The value measurements of diamonds and rubies are very different.
For diamonds, all the 4cs (Clarity, Cut, Carat, and Color) need to be of top quality. Whereas for rubies, value is determined by the size or the weight, carat, and color. Its value increases if its inclusions cannot be seen by the naked eye. This means if a real, eye clean 3-carat ruby will cost more than 1-carat diamond that is eye clean.
It is a common expectation that any colored stone is less costly than diamonds. If a colored stone is scarce then it attracts a higher cost. A good example is a Burmese ruby from Myanmar. The value of its 1 carat is more than 1 carat of diamond.
RECOMMENDED: Best Ruby Rings for Men
Tips for Buying Ruby Online
The Gemological Institute of America developed a diamond grading system. You may have heard about the 4Cs. This system is used all over for grading gemstones as well. The slight difference is the real grades are not used in the case of gemstones.
Rubies are commonly referred to as a native cut. This means before being sent out for sale, they are cut and shaped in their countries of origin. During the cut, not so much effort is put to control the inclusions or shape. The design to prevent the display of color or light is achieved by using standard facets.
Most of the time. These stones need to be cut again. The cut doesn’t really affect cloured gemstones. But since the cut shapes matter, it affects the value of the ruby.
Brilliant cuts work best for rubies since they allow maximum light to go through. They include cushion cuts and round brilliant. Step cuts such as emerald cuts and Asschers are additionally good for rubies. The most common cuts in ruby jewelry are cushions and ovals.
Cabochon jewelry is normally well cut and cut. They are however not faceted. Rubies, therefore, have a place among these pieces. For corundum, there are rutile inclusions naturally arranged displaying a beautiful asterisk across the stone. These types of stones are normally called star sapphires and star rubies. The good thing about cabochons is that they use rubies of lower quality hence can easily be cut and set in jewelry.
The value of a ruby is mostly determined by its tone, color, saturation, and hue.
A ruby’s tone is determined by how colorless it is to how black it is. There are tone grading terms that include: very dark, dark, medium-dark, medium, light, and very light. Gemstones cut across all the ranges. The best is between medium-range to the very dark color range.
Just like sapphires, people desire various hues when buying rubies. The high-quality and most desirable rubies come from Myanmar. These stones are famous for their concentrated red hue. The stones are called pigeon blood red rubies. A Burma ruby that is untreated can go for $1 million each carat. This is out of people’s price range. Check this beautiful Burmese ruby bracelet at the famous Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC.
Colored Gemstone Hue Example
Quality rubies have other varieties of hues. They are pinkish-red, purplish-red, and orangey-red. Thailand produces rubies of excellent quality. They additionally bare a desirable dark and concentrated red hue. To achieve this red hue, chromium is chemically combined with iron.
For rubies from Madagascar, the color produced ranges from orange into natural red. Rubies from Afghanistan normally give out a light red towards dark red color. It is always hard to differentiate between pink sapphires and pinkish-red rubies.
Labs may grade stones differently. While a lab might grade one stone as a ruby, another may give a report that refers to the same stone as a pink sapphire. Oddly enough, rubies and sapphires come from the same mineral, however, sapphires are costly compared to rubies. Besides this, rubies are harder to find than sapphires.
In ruby gemstones, saturation refers to the intensity of color in the ruby. If a colored gemstone has a low saturation, then it looks greyish or brownish. This depends on the color of the gem. Tanzanian rubies are valued as smaller stones. This is because their saturation is more vivid.
If a ruby has cooler colors like green or blue or violet appear grayish since their saturation is lower. Warmer colors such as orange, red or yellow, appear brownish when the saturation is low. Read more about the saturation terms on the grading report from the GIA.
The clarity in gemstones refers to the transparency of a stone when light reflects through it. There is a clarity scale put in place to assist in grading the clarity of a stone. For colored gemstones, I3, I2, I1, SI2, SI1, VS, VVS, and IF are often used. There are additional subgrades under the stones clarity types. They include I, II, and III.
Any quality rubies must have clarity that is clean to the eye. This clarity should range from SI1 to VS2. If you come across a ruby with I clarity that does not have any inclusion across its table, then spend a lot of time assessing it using the 360 viewer.
For this reason, make sure you view the stone you intend to purchase. Since inclusions occur naturally then their positions are different in every crystal. There can be an equal number of inclusions in an I clarity stone but their places in the stone determine the beauty.
A ruby’s size is a factor that determines the overall value of the ruby. It is rare to find a ruby that is bigger than 1 carat. If you get one it is very costly. What’s even rare is anything above 2 carats. They are even more expensive. Carefully put into consideration the size and weight of the ruby you plan to buy.
Red Flags to Watch When Buying Rubies Online
The new advances in security have greatly reduced the risks of purchasing online. Unlike before when purchasing online was risky, now, it is much safer to buy online. Your credit card information is safer when using places such as CashApp, Apple or Google Pay, and PayPal.
However, there are some risks and you must watch out for them.
One thing to look out for are words like ruby simulant. A simulated ruby is not a ruby. It is a different stone made by a man with the aim of portraying a ruby. The pieces are rather cheap and use ruby as the keyword. By doing this, when you search online, you’ll find a ruby at a very affordable price yet it is not a true ruby. Below is a good example.
As you can see the piece is described as ruby CZ. This means that it is red cubic zirconia. It is meant to look like a ruby. Cubic zirconia comes in a wide range of colors. It is the commonly used gemstone simulants for fake jewelry. Other ruby imitations that easily pass off as real rubies include dyed glass, garnet, and red spinel.
Synthetic rubies are not the same as simulated rubies. The major difference between a real ruby and a synthetic one is that the synthetic stone is manufactured in the lab while the real one is mined from the ground. the chemical and physical composition is the same for these two kinds of rubies. Synthetic ruby undergoes intense heat treatment in the lab which results in better color and clarity, although at a cheaper price.
Get the Best Deal When Buying Rubies Online
Before making that online purchase, keep the following tips in mind. Since buying rubies on the internet requires extra keenness here are a few tips to remember.
Inspect the stone before buying
Ensure you check all the aspects of the stone before making an online purchase. Actively focus on the inclusions revealed. Dark rubies won’t reveal the inclusions since they are near opaque. Translucent rubies on the other hand reveal more inclusion
Keep in mind that if you choose to buy ruby center stone at less than $1000 for a carat, the stone has to be extra clear. The affordable price requires you to be extra keen when buying. Whether you use a 360-degree viewer similar to James Allen, Zales Showrooms, or the high magnification at Brian Gavin the stone must be clear.
For those going for high-quality and high-end stones from either Leibish&Co. or Brian Gavin, viewing the stone is not as important. The high prices you pay guarantee top-quality rubies.
Buy from a trusted and reputable store
We all know there is a lot of sketchiness that comes with making an online purchase. Moreso if it is from a private dealer advertising on the different platforms on social media. This does not mean that you won’t get a good piece. You can get good pieces from a foreign local dealer. However, there are a lot of stories of people who have been conned a lot of money from online dealers.
The best thing to do is to avoid online dealers unless you have great experience in collecting gemstones. Since most purchasers of ruby engagement rings are gemmologist, buying from a credible company is the best option. The good news is that the online stores featured in this article are reliable and safe to buy from.
Don’t Compromise on Cut
As earlier mentioned, corundum comes second in the list of hardest minerals on earth. It scores a 9 on the Moh scale. This means, this stone is durable and can be worn on a daily basis. It is for this reason that sapphires and rubies form a great center stone on wedding bands and engagement rings.
A bad cut compromises the durability of any gemstone. Most gemstones can’t withstand the daily bumps hence the careful selection is necessary. Balancing the weight is equally important for good rubies. Ensure the shape and cut of the rubies are great before purchasing.