Friday, September 04, 2009

East African Rubies

The world's best rubies have traditionally come from Asia, most notably Burma and Thailand. Africa has long been a source of rubies, but mostly brownish or purplish stones. Most were opaque or heavily included. In recent years however, there have been several finds of ruby deposits in east Africa that are a beautiful red or pinkish-red color. Although most are best suited to cabochon cutting, some have facet grade clarity. The biggest producing countries in the are Madagascar, Tanzania and Kenya. I recently obtained some beautiful cabochons that were mined near the Tanzania-Kenya border. Most have some, spots, fissures or other inclusions but the color is fabulous and the prices are great. They are ideal for jewelry artists who would like to add some precious gems to their collection without spending hundreds of dollars on a stone. They are of course very durable and easy to work with. They can even be set and baked in Precious Metal Clay. You can have a look at some of these ruby gemstones here. They are priced from $8 to $100 depending on the size and quality.

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