HOW TO TELL IF A RUBY IS REAL
STEP ONE: CHECK THE RUBY'S HARDNESS
As mentioned above, real rubies are highly resistant to scratches, ranking a firm 9 on the Mohs scale of Hardness. Real rubies rank second in durability only to diamond and moissanite gems because a diamond ranks a 10 on the Mohs scale, while moissanite ranks a 9.25. This means that only a diamond (or an object with a hardness greater than 9) can scratch real rubies. This is the same for all gems on the Mohls Scale of Hardness. For example, a material such as glass (a common material in fake rubies) is a mere 5.5 on the hardness scale, so it can only scratch stones with a 5.0 hardness ranking or below.
THE RUBY SCRATCH TEST
THE RUB TEST:
COMMON RUBY IMITATIONS
Glass: Most fake rubies on the market consist of red-colored glass. These synthetic, fake rubies are affordable but aren't exceptionally long-lasting. Additionally, genuine ruby stones typically have a higher refractive index than glass, meaning they sparkle and shine more than one-dimensional red glass.
Composite Rubies: These are genuine rubies with red-colored glass fused into it. Mixing these two materials creates a larger, fake stone at a lower price point than real ruby gemstones.
The disadvantage of composite rubies is that these stones contain glass and, thus, are easily fractured and harmed by chemicals in housekeeping supplies.
RUBY VS. GARNET
Garnet: Real rubies are relatively more flawed with inclusions than garnets, which are usually clearer. Real rubies are also a deeper and more distinct dark red, whereas garnet stones tend to be lighter and much paler. And finally, garnet (like tourmaline) is softer than genuine rubies, with a Mohs Scale rating is 6.5 to 7.5.
STEP 2: CHECK THE RUBY'S COLOR
THE RICH COLOR TEST:
The color of your ruby stone is one of the best factors to look at first. An authentic ruby gemstone has a deep, rich hue. A ruby-red color that is so vivid that it looks bright, while fake rubies often appear pale and dull, as if there is no substance.
Use the "stoplight red" as a guide, but do not expect to find a real ruby stone that is that bright. If you do, then your "real ruby stone" is likely fake. However, an authentic ruby gemstone is more like a bright traffic light than a faux, dull stone.
If a gem is more of a dark shade, it is probably a garnet instead of a real ruby stone. Garnets are a common substitute for real rubies
THE GLASS TEST
Fake rubies commonly consist of glass. To determine if you have a fake ruby, compare it to similar-tinted glass. No genuine ruby will ever be identical to the color or tint of a piece of glass.
STEP 3: FEEL THE RUBY'S WEIGHT
While checking the weight of a "ruby" is not a definitive way to determine its authenticity, it can be a helpful tool when combined with other tests. Here are some general guidelines to consider:
1) Real rubies are denser and heavier than most fake rubies. If you have two rubies of the same size, the real ruby stone will typically weigh more than the fake one. This is because real rubies are made of aluminum oxide, while most fake rubies consist of glass or other synthetic materials, which are lighter.
2) To tell if a ruby is real, you can also measure the specific gravity of a ruby. A real ruby stone will have a specific gravity of around 3.99, while most fake rubies have a specific gravity of around 3.50.
3) However, the weight of a ruby alone is not a reliable indicator of its authenticity. There are many factors that can affect the weight of a ruby, such as the size, shape, and quality of the gemstone. Additionally, some fake rubies are made from materials that have a similar density to real rubies, so they may have a similar weight as well.
STEP 4: A REAL RUBY IS PRICEY
The best indicator that you have a real ruby gem is its rarity. Most rubies on the market are synthetic, fake rubies made in laboratories, so genuine rubies will always be rarer and more valuable. If the price of ruby gem is too low, there's a good chance it is a fake ruby - or a very low-quality one.
In general, a real ruby stone is very costly. In contrast, a lab-created ruby is about 20% less expensive than a real ruby stone, while a synthetic ruby can be up to 90% cheaper.
In terms of size, it is tough to find a real ruby in a larger size. However, the stones that are the real deal and come in larger carats are extremely rare & expensive. If a ruby is quite large, there is a high probability that it is a synthetic ruby.
STEP 5: INSPECT THE RUBY'S CLARITY
Buy a ten-power (10x) jeweler's loupe online and inspect your "ruby" under high magnification. You will be able to detect tiny flaws on the surface of a real ruby stone under a microscope in a process called spectroscopy. These flaws usually aren't visible to the naked eye.
These flaws are 'inclusions.' A real ruby forms as a mineral deep in the earth; thus, a genuine ruby will always have flaws - sometimes a black spot, a line, or inclusions from foreign minerals.
In addition, a real ruby stone usually has consistent clarity; thus, your stone is likely not a real ruby if the clarity is not consistent throughout.
STEP 6: EXAMINE THE CUT RELATIVE TO ITS SIZE
Examining the cut of a ruby relative to its size is another way to determine if a ruby is real or not. Here are some things to look for:
1) Check the Shape: Most real rubies over ½ carat in size are usually cut into fancy shapes, such as a pear or cushion shape. Thus, if you have a larger carat-size ruby in a round shape, it may be a false ruby.
2) Overall Symmetry: A real ruby gem will have a symmetrical cut, meaning that it will be evenly proportioned on all sides. If the ruby's cut is lopsided or uneven, it may be a fake. There are two reasons for this:
3) The Facets: Real rubies will have clean, sharp facets that are evenly spaced and consistent in size. If the facets are dull, uneven, or irregularly shaped, it may be a fake.
4) Level of Depth: A real ruby gemstone will have depth to its cut, meaning that it will have a three-dimensional quality to it. If the cut appears flat or shallow, it may be a fake.
5) Carat Size: If the ruby is very large and has a perfect cut, it is more likely to be a fake. Large rubies are rare and expensive and are usually only found in museums or high-end jewelry stores.
In general, a real ruby gem will have a high-quality cut that reflects light well and enhances the stone's natural beauty. If the cut looks cheap or poorly done, it may be a fake.
STEP 7: GENUINE RUBIES COME WITH CERTIFICATION
By following these steps, you should have a better understanding of how to tell if a ruby is real or not. If you are ever in doubt, it is better to get a professional opinion and let an expert confirm the authenticity of your ruby. Doing so will help ensure that you buy only genuine rubies and not artificial ones. Good luck!