Rubies have always held a special place in the world of gemstones, captivating the hearts and imaginations of gem collectors, royalty, and admirers for centuries. But there is a specific kind of ruby that stands out among the rest, both in terms of its allure and rarity—the Burmese Ruby. In this article, we’ll delve into the captivating world of Burmese Rubies, exploring their history, unique characteristics, and the reasons why they are considered a collector’s delight.
The Mysterious Origins of Burmese Rubies
Burmese Rubies, often referred to as “Pigeon’s Blood” rubies, are prized for their intense, deep red hue. They derive their name from the country of their origin—Myanmar (formerly Burma). These rubies have an illustrious history that dates back over a thousand years, with their first recorded mention in the 6th century.
💎 Fun Fact: The term “Pigeon’s Blood” is a poetic way to describe the vivid red color of Burmese Rubies, akin to the color of a pigeon’s eye.
Burmese Rubies have been associated with myths, legends, and religious significance throughout history. In Myanmar, they were believed to bring protection and good fortune, making them highly coveted among the royals and spiritual leaders of the time.
The Allure of Color
The most remarkable feature of Burmese Rubies is their color. They exhibit a vivid, almost fluorescent red that ranges from pure red to a slightly bluish-red. This exceptional coloration is the result of the presence of chromium in the crystal structure, which gives the gem its signature hue.
💡 Did You Know: Burmese Rubies are known to fluoresce, emitting a stunning “neon” glow under ultraviolet light, adding to their enchanting allure.
The term “Pigeon’s Blood” signifies the perfect color balance, reminiscent of the blood of a freshly-killed pigeon, which is a rich, pure red without any secondary tones. This makes Burmese Rubies some of the most sought-after gems in the world.
Inclusions that Tell a Story
One of the intriguing aspects of Burmese Rubies is their inclusion patterns. These unique internal characteristics often resemble the famous “silk” that can be seen in Kashmir sapphires. The presence of these inclusions, also known as “rutile needles,” not only enhances the stone’s beauty but also serves as a fingerprint of their authenticity.
🔍 Insider’s Tip: Inclusions in Burmese Rubies can take on the appearance of a “star,” enhancing the gem’s desirability. Such rubies are termed “star rubies.”
The mesmerizing visual effect caused by these inclusions is known as asterism, creating a star-like pattern that appears to glide across the gem’s surface as it is rotated. Star rubies are especially prized by collectors, and the presence of a distinct, well-defined star adds to their rarity and value.
Scarcity and Value
While Burmese Rubies are cherished for their exceptional color and inclusions, it’s their scarcity that truly sets them apart. Myanmar has historically been the primary source of these gems, with the most famous mines being Mogok and the less accessible area of Mong Hsu.
💰 Pro Tip: The value of Burmese Rubies increases with size, color intensity, and clarity. A large, vivid, and virtually inclusion-free Burmese Ruby is a true collector’s dream.
Over the years, political and economic factors have limited the export of these precious stones, leading to an even greater demand among collectors and investors. This scarcity has driven prices to astonishing heights, making Burmese Rubies a true investment in both beauty and value.
In recent years, there has been growing concern over the ethical implications of purchasing Burmese Rubies due to Myanmar’s complex political situation and human rights issues. Many collectors now consider the provenance of these gems and seek alternatives that are conflict-free and ethically sourced.
🤝 Ethical Option: Exploring rubies from other sources, such as Thailand, Mozambique, or Madagascar, offers collectors a responsible choice while still enjoying the beauty of this gemstone.
Burmese Rubies, with their rich history, mesmerizing color, and unique inclusions, have rightfully earned their place as a collector’s delight. Their allure goes beyond their stunning appearance; it is rooted in the stories they tell and the emotions they evoke. While ethical concerns have reshaped the industry, the timeless beauty and allure of these gemstones continue to captivate collectors and enthusiasts alike.
So, whether you’re an avid gem collector, a lover of history, or simply someone who appreciates the exquisite beauty of gemstones, the allure of Burmese Rubies will forever remain a source of fascination and wonder.