Ruby is distinguished for its bright red color, being the most famed and fabled red gemstone. Beside for its bright color, it is a most desirable gem due to its hardness, durability, luster and rarity. Corundum of a red color are identified as Rubies. Ruby is the red variety of the mineral corundum. Sapphire, the other gem variety of Corundum, encompasses all colors of corundum aside from red. Most Sri Lankan varieties are of a pinkish red and display a tint of purple which factor perhaps is sufficient to betray to the experienced person that the stones are of Sri Lankan origin. These purplish tints are attributed to the presence of iron in addition to chromium oxide in the composition. Such stones when subject to instance heat would either lose or diminish the purplish tint thereby highlighting the principle color, red. This color is referred to as “Pigeon Blood Red” in gem circles.
As a rule, Ruby deposits as such have not been specifically localized in Sri Lanka and are found in association with other members of Corundum family. However, as indicated earlier the stones of better quality have been more often than not found within the Embilipitiya – Udawalawe environs.
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