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Burmese Ruby

Faszinating rubies from Myanmar

Data and pictures to understand red corundum better
How to evaluate a ruby?

Assuming you are not a specialist but want to buy one of this pretty little red stones.

For judging this looks at the gem from all directions and then finally view from above onto the crown face up. Do you see inclusions (take a 20x magnifying glass with in any case), you see some? That'€™s already a good sign because if there are no the stone would be almost for sure a synthetic one or heavy heat treated. 

Although the ideal stone would be the one without any inclusions at all but this is not existent in nature many people try to manipulate the parameter and since quite some money is involved they know a lot of tricks.

So let's start with SNLTC, means the size (the smaller the better); number (the fewer the better); location (away from the table or face of the stone), type (the least ugly, eg a crack is far worse than a pinpoint inclusion) and color (no inclusion should be so contrasting as to detract from the stone's overall color).

Cut, that means the proportions and the quality of its cutting. What should be is a good symmetry and a brilliance, a high percentage of bright reflective areas. Every faceted stone can function as a mirror and its color is assessed by reflected light which is created by proper proportions and proper cutting to optimize reflection and avoid `windows', holes where the light is not returned and instead falls through.

Cut and polished ruby stones are real eye candy.
Ruby Stone Photos
Actually at least after faceting and polishing, to get you into the right mood just have a look for this shiny cabochons with different sizes, all are from the corundum family which means sapphire and rubies. It's not easy to find bigger red stones of excellent quality anymore especially when they should be somehow synced with another of similar parameter for a necklace.
The round opaque ones are in abundance actually they are the lower quality gems which are not good enough for cutting because the inclusions are too dense and the color is not so good.

Yangon's Bogyoke Aung San Market is the right place to find all of them, because to understand the gemstone has to be taken in the hand and check it in bright daylight outside of a shop. In general, always check it in open air since many stores have special lighting which produces a much better visual appearance as it actually is. Even if you are not a particular fan of natural gemstones this bazaar in Yangon City is a place you will like. Here are absolute genuine stones from the mines of the country with an unbelievable variety of colors and types, the loose stones are from the whole range, agate to zircon.​
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Be aware there is plenty of cheating going on since the casual buyer has not much knowledge about the stones and the sales people know that. If you are serious in buying loose stones it wonâ€'t matter which ones it makes sense to visit Myanmar or make holiday there and buy with some planning you can make quite some money after, including the air tickets, hotels etc. In the moment (2016). For other genstones Brazil could be a good destination but it is not advisable to travel there because the crime rate is extremely high and the possibility to get robbed, mugged or even killed is too high. Myanmar is just the opposite, almost no crime, nice people and no problems beside of some electricity cuts and infrastructure related. On top of it they deliver genuine natural stuff and cheating is on a very low level.

Below is a picture of the Mogok stone trakt north of Mandalay.
Particular Red Gemstones

The famed rubies of Myanmar have an internal structure which is distinctly unique often allowing separation from rubies of any other source. The major features are both euhedral “well-formed” and rounded crystal grains together with dense clouds of rutile silk. Repeated twinning is relatively common as is hexagonal color zoning in a swirled pattern termed 'treacle'. Generally absent however are liquid-filled fingerprints and feathers which are co common in Thai rubies.

Crystalline solids of a number of types are characteristic in Burmese rubies. Typically are clusters of rounded and or euhedral grains of a light color or colorless concentrated particularly in the center of the crystal. The most often reported inclusions are calcite, spinel, corundum and zircon. Calcite is present as both rounded and angular rhombs and maybe recognized by its cleavage and the polysynthetic twin lamellae which it often contains and spinel inclusions occur.
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About Ruby Stone Treatment
Photos
The mining of gemstones differs greatly from that of most metals and industrial minerals. Unlike rough gem materials, which are generally useless unless of high clarity and cuttable sizes, industrial minerals can be processed to extract the desired product. By means of crushing and smelting, it is possible to separate usable material from the waste, or 'slag', as it is known. Gems are far too fragile to withstand such abuse and thus, out of a mine's entire yield, only a tiny fraction is of sufficient size and quality to warrant cutting. Defects in clarity and colour and insufficient size preclude the use of the remainder.

Because of the scarcity of ruby gem-quality materials, various attempts have been made over the years to improve the appearance and/or stability of inferior samples, Heating or irradiation to improve the colour and oiling to hide fractures are but the tip of the gem treatment 'iceberg', a virtual potpourri of different recipes aimed at increasing the beauty and saleability of the., gems and ornamental stones. 

By developing treatments, traders have, in part, solved the dilemma with regard to the inability to process lower grades, as is done for industrial minerals. Thus, treatments allow a larger percentage of the total production to be utilised as gemstones, in effect finishing the job that nature started. The legitimacy of certain treatments has in recent years been called into question because, in many cases, the treated gems cannot be distinguished from those which are completely genuine.

This has created an unfortunate situation, with colour and/or clarity enhanced ruby stones competing directly against the natural product. Although many treatments have been practised for centuries, modern technology today produces far more dramatic changes than those obtained in the past. The question then arises of where to draw the line between acceptable treatment and simply producing a totally synthetic gem. This issue of whether or not treated gems should be sold as natural gems is currently an item of hot debate in trade circles. 
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