Ruby is the red variety of the mineral called Corundum which is composed of aluminium oxide (any other colour of corundrum is a sapphire, see below). The red colour is caused mainly by chromium and titanium. It is natural for rubies to have imperfections in them, including colour impurities and inclusions of rutile needles known as “silk. Origin of name comes from ruber, Latin for red. Some rubies show a 3-point or 6-point star or asterism. These rubies are cut into cabochons to display this effect. Natural occurring rubies are very rare and extremely rare in large sizes over 3 carats. They can be found in many regions around the world from India, to East Africa, to South America, the Hindu Kush and a few deposits in the United States.
Colour: pinkish red or deep, rich red colour Hardness: 9 N.B. Almost all rubies today are treated in some form (of which heat treatment is the most common practice) and rubies which are completely untreated and still of excellent quality command a large premium. Improvements used include colour alteration, improving transparency by dissolving rutile inclusions, healing of fractures (cracks) or even completely filling them.