For centuries, rubies have been held in high esteem by cultures spanning the globe. History records the transport and trading of rubies along the Northern Silk Road in China as far back as 200 BC. The Bible mentions rubies numerous times, and the ancient Romans revered these gems, believing they had the ability to protect the wearer from harm, inspire courage and instill passion.
It is no wonder that in the United States, rubies remain one of the most popular gifts to give for Valentine’s Day.
Ruby and Durability
If you are the lucky recipient of this most brilliant and vibrant precious gem, perhaps you are wondering how to take care of your treasure properly.
Thankfully, this sparkling variety of the mineral corundum is a very tough gem. Rivaled only by diamond and moissanite on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, this durable stone easily stands up to the rigors of everyday wear.
Be aware, however, that like any gemstone, a ruby may chip or crack due to blunt impact. This is especially true when mounted in a ring or bracelet.
Therefore, removing your ruby jewelry before performing gardening and household tasks is always advisable.
How to Keep Rubies Looking Beautiful
1. Because rubies are very hard, foreign matter accumulates on surfaces, causing a faded or cloudy appearance.
Keep your rubies as clean as possible by applying lotions, perfumes and sprays before putting on your jewelry.
2. To eliminate dullness, clean rubies at home by applying a mixture of mild liquid soap and warm water.
Gently scrub your rubies and the jewelry mounting using a soft toothbrush. Rinse immediately with clean warm water and dry with a lint-free cloth for sparkling results.
3. Solutions specially formulated for cleaning jewelry are readily available in most department stores at the fine jewelry counter.
Be sure to purchase the proper solution based on the type of metal used in the fabrication of your ruby jewelry. Follow the label instructions carefully.
Click here to take a look at a versatile jewelry cleaning kit — the cleaner can be used on ruby and the polish can be applied to most metals used in jewelry.
A precious metal jewelry cleaning solution is usually suitable for white gold, yellow gold and platinum mountings, while some sterling silver jewelry cleaners may be designed to clean silver only.
These formulas may cause irreversible damage if not used correctly.
4. Consider investing in an ultrasonic cleaner to maintain the sparkle and shine of all your jewelry.
This handy device utilizes high-frequency sound waves, in conjunction with water or cleaning solutions, to remove accumulated dirt and oil from rubies and other precious gemstones (gems that are softer should not be cleaned with ultrasonic cleaners).
5. If your ruby ring is the victim of a hard knock, take it to a jewelry store immediately and ask to have it checked under magnification for loose stones.
If you wear your rubies regularly, periodic checkups are important in order to make certain the stones continue to sit securely in their mountings.
6. Enlist a professional jeweler to tighten loose rubies. Jewelry repair is delicate work. This is one instance when DIY can cause irreparable damage.
7. Avoid storing rubies in a container or bag with other gemstones. Lay them separately in a flat compartment to guard against scratching softer, more easily damaged gems.
For example, you can use jewelry pouches such as these to store your ruby items.
Also consider getting a good jewelry box with many compartments to store your individual pieces — this is a model that is quite popular.
An occasional cleaning and minimal maintenance will keep your rubies bright and sparkling for years.