Are rubies rare?

Rubies are among the rarest and most valuable gemstones in the world, prized for their stunning deep red color and exceptional brilliance. These precious stones are a variety of the mineral corundum, with the striking red color caused by the presence of chromium in their chemical composition. Due to their scarcity and high demand, rubies are considered one of the most coveted gemstones by collectors and jewelry enthusiasts alike.

Though rubies are found in various parts of the world, including Myanmar, Thailand, and Mozambique, the finest quality stones are extremely rare. The combination of factors such as color, clarity, and size significantly influence the value of a ruby, making top-quality specimens even more exceptional and sought after. With their timeless beauty and symbolism of love and passion, rubies continue to be highly prized gemstones, adding a touch of elegance and luxury to any piece of jewelry.

When it comes to precious gemstones, rubies have always been highly sought after for their captivating beauty and vibrant color. But are rubies truly rare gemstones? In this article, we will explore the world of rubies and delve into their rarity and value.

What are Rubies?

Rubies are a type of corundum mineral renowned for their deep red or crimson color. They belong to the same family as sapphires, with both gemstones composed of aluminum oxide. The distinctive red hue of rubies is due to the presence of chromium within the crystal structure. This trace element gives rubies their enchanting coloration, making them one of the most prized gemstones in the world.

Formation of Rubies

Rubies are formed deep within the Earth’s crust under intense pressure and heat. They originate from areas where there is a high concentration of aluminum, such as metamorphic and igneous rocks. The process takes place over thousands of years, as extreme geological conditions alter the chemical composition of the minerals.

During the formation process, when the right combination of factors like heat, pressure, and mineral presence align, corundum crystals begin to grow. As these crystals grow, they incorporate trace amounts of chromium, which gives rubies their stunning red color.

Factors Influencing Rarity


One of the most significant factors affecting the rarity of rubies is their color. The most valuable rubies exhibit a vivid and intense red hue, often referred to as “pigeon’s blood” red. These highly saturated rubies are exceptionally rare and fetch premium prices in the gemstone market.

However, not all rubies possess this sought-after color. The presence of secondary hues or undertones, such as pink or purple, can impact the value and rarity of a ruby. Rubies with a pure red color are considered the rarest and most desirable.


Like other gemstones, the clarity of rubies also contributes to their rarity. Inclusions within the stone, such as tiny fractures or mineral impurities, can affect the transparency and overall appearance of the ruby. The presence of too many inclusions can significantly lower the value and rarity of a ruby, while a clear and flawless ruby is highly prized.

Size and Carat Weight

The size and carat weight of a ruby can also impact its rarity. Larger rubies are generally more rare and valuable compared to smaller ones. However, the rarity of a ruby is not solely determined by its size. Factors like color, clarity, and overall quality also play a crucial role in determining its value.


The origin of a ruby can have a significant impact on its rarity and value. Historically, rubies from certain regions have been highly sought after and considered more valuable. For example, rubies from Myanmar (formerly Burma) have a long-standing reputation for their exceptional quality and intensity of color.

Today, rubies from other regions such as Mozambique, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and Madagascar are also prized for their unique characteristics. The origin of a ruby, along with its color, clarity, and size, can influence its rarity and price in the market.

The Rarity of Rubies

While rubies are highly coveted gemstones, they are not as rare as certain other gemstones like diamonds or emeralds. However, finding high-quality rubies with exceptional color and clarity can still be a challenge.

The combination of factors mentioned above makes truly rare rubies a relatively scarce commodity. Rubies that possess the most desirable characteristics are often found in limited pockets around the world, and their exceptional beauty and rarity make them highly desirable to collectors and enthusiasts.

The Value of Rubies

The rarity of high-quality rubies makes them extremely valuable in the gemstone market. Prices for rubies can vary significantly depending on factors such as size, color, clarity, origin, and overall quality.

It is not uncommon for top-quality rubies to command prices that exceed the value of diamonds of the same carat weight. Additionally, rubies with exceptional color and clarity can appreciate in value over time, further highlighting their desirability and investment potential.

While rubies might not be as rare as some other gemstones, their exceptional color, beauty, and market value continue to captivate individuals worldwide. The combination of factors such as color, clarity, size, and origin all contribute to their rarity and desirability. Whether you are a gemstone enthusiast or a potential buyer, the allure of rubies is undeniable, making them truly timeless and cherished treasures.

Rubies are considered rare and valuable gemstones due to their vibrant color, durability, and rarity in nature. Their beauty and significance have made them highly sought after throughout history, making them a prized possession for jewelry enthusiasts and collectors alike.

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