Often described as the “king of gemstones,” rubies are integral to the origin of Omi Gems and Omi Privé. Our multi-generational gemstone heritage traces itself back to ruby mines in Burma in the late 19th century, the most fabled ruby mining location in the world.

Seen here – a 3.03ct Heated Burmese Ruby

Burmese rubies have long been coveted for their exceptional color and brilliance. Much of this is attributed to the crystal’s growing conditions. Fine Burmese rubies were formed in the marble rich Mogok valley, and the lack of iron in their formation gives them their vivid red color. Growing conditions and chemical makeup also contribute to their extreme fluorescence under ultraviolet light. Although not visible with the naked eye, this fluorescence helps contribute to their depth of saturation and the appearance that Burmese rubies glow from within.

Prior to the early 2000s, rubies were predominately mined in Burma and iron-rich Thailand. Thai rubies are known for their darker, sometimes more brownish or purplish color. And this is due to the iron in their crystal structure that exists in the granite-rich rock where the rubies formed.

Omi Privé uses Burmese-type rubies in many of our fine jewelry designs.

Burmese ruby and diamond bracelet.

In recent years, new sources have emerged in Africa that have added supply and diversified the rubies on the market. Madagascar, Mozambique and Tanzania have all proven to be sources for rubies. The stones from these localities contain varying traces of iron, however less than Thai stones. Their fluorescence varies as well. Overall fine African rubies, because of the way they form, tend to have more transparent crystals with less silk or inclusions. Very specific mines within these countries have produced some rubies that rival fine Burmese stones.

Seen here – a 3.03ct. Unheated Madagascan Ruby.

In terms of hue, red will always be rubies’ primary color. However secondary colors are quite common and a matter of taste. Pink, orange, purple and violet are the most common secondary hues in rubies. Burma-type and Burmese stones tend to have pink secondary hues. Regarding saturation, some African stones are distinctly brownish. It’s important to view rubies under different light sources to get a true sense of their color. Under certain lighting conditions some rubies will appear dark or dull.

Seen here – two Mozambique Ruby pendants, each weighing 2.03ct.

Fewer and fewer stones are being produced from Burma, and with increased African ruby production, price gaps between the origins will continue to narrow. However, fine Burmese stones will always command a premium. Rubies have long been considered the “king of gemstones” for good reason, to see a fine red Burmese ruby and witness it glowing from within is incomparable. Rubies continually reinforce Omi Gems’ belief that gemstones are nature’s finest artworks polished by the creativity of man.