How Can You Tell if A Ruby is Real?

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By In The Playroom

Is my ruby real? Throughout history, there have always been impressive imitations of all things valuable, and gemstones are no exception. When inheriting jewellery and sometimes when receiving it as a gift, it’s understandable that some people will want the confirmation that what they have is the real deal, and not some cheap trick. So, how can you tell that your ruby is real?

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First things first, consider the properties of a ruby. Rubies – as you hopefully know – are red. Not only are they red, sometimes they touch on being a purple colour, and other times they are a popping pink colour. They are also incredibly strong and durable. If you press your nail into your ruby and see that it is in any way affected by this, you unfortunately don’t have a real ruby on your hands. So, what other signs should you look for?


Have a close look at your gemstone under a bright light. If the colour is a very dark, flat red, it’s most likely a garnet or perhaps a tourmaline which are still lovely, although unfortunately not as valuable as a ruby. If the colour you see if a very faint pink colour, then you’re also likely facing an imitation. The signs to look for in the colour of a genuine ruby are:

  • A rich red, ranging from a dark, bloody red to a bold, cherry red. If pink, it will be a full-bodied, vibrant pink colour, and not faint or faded.
  • No flatness to the colour. Genuine rubies have a lot of depth to their colouration, and it should be obviously noticeable under direct light – particularly natural light.
  • Variety. If your piece of antique ruby jewellery has multiple gemstones, you should notice that they are not each exactly identical in their depth. If your gemstones appear to be one, flat colour throughout, they are likely facsimiles of rubies.

Go Loupe-y

A jeweller’s loupe – in case you didn’t know – is a magnification tool that allows jewellers to examine gemstones in close detail. They are cheap to buy online if you think you could have enough use to justify purchasing one of your own. If not, any magnifying tool will be useful to you. You should aim to be in clear light in order to properly assess your gemstone. These are the signs to look for:

  • Fine inclusions. Most natural rubies feature fine splinters of darkness, referred to as ‘silk’. These will be all but invisible to the naked eye, but you should be able to see a few of them through a loupe.
  • Bubbles. Fake rubies – whether lab-created or heavily treated, or perhaps even just glass – may have visible bubbles within them. Bubbles of any kind are a sure sign of an imposter, so be on the lookout for them.
  • Cuts and facets. You may want to take some time while assessing your gemstone to examine how sharp and straight its cuts and facets are, both externally and internally. A real gemstone will be symmetrical in shape, with sharp and exact facets and cuts. If your stone appears uneven, or as though some of the external cuts are worn away to be less sharp or precise, then beware – these are not properties of a real ruby.

Professional Confirmation

Far and away the best thing you could do to verify your gemstone as a ruby is to take it to a professional jeweller or an independent gemmologist. For a fee, these experts can examine your jewellery and let you know what you’ve got. If you bought the item from a jeweller, consider taking it to a different one for confirmation and evaluation.

You should also consider getting your ruby jewellery certified. A gemmologist will examine your jewellery, and not only let you know if it features genuine rubies, but also provide a certificate of its authenticity. A certificate is excellent because:

  • It proves your ruby is the real deal.
  • It also provides more information about your gemstone such as the carat content, cut, and any distinguishing features or colourations of your stone.
  • The value of your ruby jewellery is increased – should you choose to sell – if it comes with a certificate of authenticity.
  • If you intend to keep the ring within your family as an heirloom, your forebears will have the assurance that the ruby jewellery is genuine.

If you’ve recently come into some ruby jewellery, or perhaps you’ve had some for a while that you wonder about, consider some of these methods for your peace of mind. You never know what you could have on your hands, so it’s best to be certain.

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Anna Marikar, mum of four and seasoned blogger, has spent over a decade sharing her parenting journey and passion for kid-friendly crafts and free printables.
Her easy-to-follow craft ideas and practical parenting advice have transformed In The Playroom into a cherished resource for parents.

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