Professional Jeweler Archive: The Reds Are in Town

February 2001

Gemstones & Pearls/New Products


The Reds Are in Town

The passionate tones of ruby and rubellite play well with current apparel fashions


Red can look good on anyone – whether it runs hot with undertones of yellow and orange or cool with moderating tones of blue. Two winning reds in gemstones today are ruby and rubellite.

Ruby’s Story

Heat treatments and good supplies have increased availability and put rubies within the financial reach of many customers. Common ruby cuts range from ovals and antique cushions for transparent crystals to cabochons and beads for translucent to opaque gems. Ruby has excellent toughness and hardness (in fact, it’s harder than any other natural gem except diamond), making it suitable for jewelry that’s bumped often, such as rings.

Rubellite’s Story

Rubellite tourmaline, often mistaken for ruby, owes its current popularity to the wave of red, pink, purplish red, orangy red and brownish red in the apparel designs. However, rubellite can look mainstream as well, and prices are moderate. Wholesale prices are $18-$50 per carat for lower-quality small gems, $200-$300 for top-quality, larger gems.
Reeducate yourself on the history, treatment (see “Ranking Ruby Treatment,” Professional Jeweler, December 2000, p. 32) and care of these gemstones. Then share the information with customers so they are comfortable with their purchases and have faith in you as a professional jeweler.

– Lorraine M. O’Donnell, A.J.P.


18k gold heart pendant is set with a 3.87-ct. heart-shaped rubellite and a 9.5mm akoya pearl. Suggested retail, $4,350.

Catherine Iskiw Designs, New York City; (212) 794-6392, fax (212) 794-4781.

14k white gold ring features rubies and diamonds.

Zancan/Goldstein Communications, New York City; (212) 838-0822.

18k gold flower pin is invisibly set with 81.31 carats of rubies and 3.66 carats of diamonds. Suggested retail, $99,000.

LeVian Corp., New York City; (212) 575-0318, fax (212) 944-7734, www.levian.com.

18k earrings feature Burmese ruby drops and diamonds.

Henry Dunay/Goldstein Communications, New York City; (212) 838-0822.

14k gold earrings are channel-set with rubies and diamonds. Suggested retail, $749.

Van Dell, Providence, RI; (401) 943-2100, fax (401) 943-4230.

0.64 carat of round rubies center these 18k gold earrings. Suggested retail, $1,195.

Greta Garbo Designs Inc., Mill Valley, CA; (415) 392-5676, fax (415) 392-5677.

18k gold pendant features a 12.57-ct. rubellite cabochon and 0.58 carat of diamonds. Suggested retail, $4,200.

Michael David Sturlin, Scottsdale, AZ; (480) 941-4105, msturlin@uswest.net.

18k gold ruby and diamond rings retail for $1,125 and $1,870.

OGI, New York City; (800) 578-3846, fax (212) 764-7240.

14k gold earrings feature a 9mm-by-7mm Chatham® Created ruby and 1.50 carats of diamonds. Suggested retail, $3,543.

Stuller, Lafayette, LA; (800) 877-7777, fax (318) 981-1655, info@stuller.com, www.stuller.com.

Ring is inlaid with rubellite and opal and accented with 0.25 carat of diamonds. Suggested retail, $3,500.

Kabana, Albuquerque, NM; (800) 521-5986 or (505) 843-9330, fax (505) 843-9624, kabana@kabana.net.

Diamonds surround a Burmese ruby in this platinum ring.

Precious Gem Resources Inc., New York City; (212) 688-6700, fax (212) 688-2747.

Copyright © 2001 by Bond Communications