Time for Rubies


Hoy Hey West German Modernist Ceramic Vase with Rich, Ruby Red Drip Glazing (LEO Design)


Welcome, July, and your birthstone, the Ruby.

The ruby—called "The King of Gemstones"—is one of the four "cardinal" gemstones (alongside diamonds, emeralds and sapphires).  It is a variety of Corundum, as is the sapphire (the blue variety of the same stone).  Rubies get their color from chromium and the deepest, darkest-red stones are the most valuable (called "pigeon's blood rubies").  Pink rubies can also be found, however, in the United States, they must be sold as "Pink Sapphires" (not rubies).  The ruby is also the third hardest gemstone (after diamonds and moissanite).

All natural rubies have imperfections called "rutile needles" which give the appearance of threads or silk fibers within the stone.  Such imperfections can be reduced through heating—though an untreated ruby is much more valuable.  Rubies may be graded without magnification; if it looks clear to the naked eye, it is called "eye clear." Rubies have been mined throughout the world, originally in Burma, Thailand and Cambodia.  They have also been found in Afghanistan, Brazil, India and elsewhere.

The West German vase, shown above, is not made of rubies.  But the rich, ruby red glaze is reminiscent of the King of Gemstones.  Click on the photo to learn more about it.


Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well!  Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (www.LEOdesignNYC.com)

We also can be found in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (www.antiquecenterofstrabane.com).

Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only).  917-446-4248