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Red is the colour of love. It radiates warmth and a strong sense of vitality. And red is also the colour of the ruby, the king of the gemstones. In the fascinating world of gemstones, the ruby is the undisputed ruler. Ruby is the name given to red, gem quality corondum. For thousands of years, the ruby has been considered one of the most valuable gemstones on Earth. It has everything a precious stone should have: magnificent colour, excellent hardness and outstanding brilliance. In addition to that, it is an extremely rare gemstone, especially in its finer qualities. Colour is a ruby's most important feature. Its transparency is only of secondary importance. So inclusions do not impair the quality of a ruby unless they decrease the transparency of the stone or are located right in the centre of its table. On the contrary: inclusions within a ruby could be said to be its 'fingerprint', a statement of its individuality and, at the same time, proof of its genuineness and natural origin. The cut is essential: only a perfect cut will underline the beauty of this valuable and precious stone in a way befitting the 'king of the gemstones'. However, a really perfect ruby is as rare as perfect love. Ruby is a tough gem and comes next to diamond in terms of hardness. Ruby is one of the best gemstone for jewellery settings. It occurs worldwide in igneous and metamorphic rocks. Though gem quality ruby mostly occurs in Burma and Thailand. consists of aluminium oxide and chrome as well as very fine traces of other elements - depending on which deposit it was from. In really fine colours and good clarity, however, this gemstone occurs only very rarely in the world's mines. Ruby can occur in any shade ranging from red to pink, purpulish to brownish red, depending upon the amount of iron present in it. Some rubies display a wonderful silky shine, the so-called 'silk' of the ruby. This phenomenon is caused by very fine needles of rutile. And now and then one of the rare star rubies is found.
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