Tuesday, June 25, 2024

What is the best cut for a ruby?

Rubies, renowned for their vibrant red hue and exceptional hardness, have been treasured gemstones for centuries. The allure of a ruby is not just in its color but also in its cut, which significantly influences its overall appearance and value. This article delves into various aspects of ruby cuts, including their impact on appearance, popular cuts, cut quality grades, considerations for different ruby sizes, star rubies, value considerations, the cutting process, custom cuts, and care and maintenance.

Overview of Ruby Cuts

The cut of a ruby refers to how the gemstone has been shaped and faceted from its rough form. Unlike diamonds, which have standardized cuts, rubies can be cut in various ways to enhance their natural beauty and to maximize their color, clarity, and carat weight. The best cut for a ruby depends on its inherent characteristics and the intended use of the gemstone.

Impact on Appearance

The appearance of a ruby is profoundly affected by its cut. A well-cut ruby can exhibit intense color, brilliant sparkle, and an optimal balance between brightness and contrast. The cut can enhance the ruby’s natural color, making it appear more vivid. Moreover, the cut determines how light travels through the stone, affecting its overall brilliance and fire.

When a ruby is cut with precision, it reflects light internally from one facet to another and disperses it back through the top of the stone, creating a dazzling effect. Conversely, a poorly cut ruby may appear dull, even if it has excellent color and clarity. The angles, proportions, and symmetry of the cut are crucial in determining the gem’s visual appeal.

Popular Cuts

Several cuts are popular for rubies, each offering unique aesthetic qualities. Some of the most common cuts include:

Oval Cut

The oval cut is one of the most popular choices for rubies. Its elongated shape can make the gemstone appear larger than its actual carat weight. This cut also helps to enhance the stone’s color and brilliance.

Cushion Cut

The cushion cut, characterized by its rounded corners and large facets, enhances the depth of color in a ruby. This cut can make the stone look softer and more inviting while maximizing its color saturation.

Round Cut

Round cut rubies are less common than other shapes but are highly prized for their brilliance. The round cut’s symmetrical shape allows for excellent light reflection, resulting in a sparkling gemstone.

Emerald Cut

The emerald cut is a rectangular shape with step-like facets that emphasize clarity over brilliance. This cut can showcase the clarity of a ruby but may reduce its perceived brightness.

Princess Cut

The princess cut is a square or rectangular shape with pointed corners. It combines the brilliance of a round cut with a modern, angular appearance, making it a popular choice for contemporary jewelry designs.

Pear Cut

The pear cut, shaped like a teardrop, is unique and elegant. It is often used in pendants and earrings to create a striking visual effect. This cut can also elongate the appearance of the gemstone.

Cut Quality Grades

The quality of a ruby’s cut is graded based on various factors, including symmetry, proportions, and finish. These grades range from Excellent to Poor, reflecting the precision and craftsmanship involved in the cutting process.

Excellent Cut

An excellent cut maximizes the ruby’s natural beauty, ensuring optimal light reflection and color display. This grade is indicative of superior craftsmanship and results in a highly desirable gemstone.

Very Good Cut

A very good cut retains most of the ruby’s natural brilliance and color, with only minor deviations from ideal proportions. This cut is still highly attractive and often more affordable than an excellent cut.

Good Cut

A good cut ruby may have noticeable but not severe imperfections in its proportions or symmetry. It offers a balance between beauty and value, making it a popular choice for many buyers.

Fair Cut

A fair cut ruby has more noticeable flaws in its symmetry and proportions, which can affect its overall appearance. While still beautiful, these rubies do not display the same level of brilliance as higher-graded cuts.

Poor Cut

A poor cut significantly affects the ruby’s appearance, often resulting in a dull or lifeless gemstone. These cuts are typically less desirable and lower in value.

Cut for Ruby Size

The size of the ruby also influences the choice of cut. Larger rubies often require cuts that can enhance their color and minimize any inclusions, while smaller rubies may be cut to maximize brilliance and sparkle.

Large Rubies

For larger rubies, cuts like the cushion or oval are often preferred as they can emphasize the rich color and minimize visible inclusions. These cuts also help maintain the carat weight of the stone, making the most of its size.

Small Rubies

Smaller rubies benefit from cuts that maximize their brilliance, such as the round or princess cuts. These cuts allow for optimal light reflection, enhancing the gem’s sparkle and making it appear more vibrant.

Star Rubies

Star rubies are a unique category of rubies that exhibit a star-like phenomenon known as asterism. This effect is caused by needle-like inclusions of the mineral rutile, which align in a way that reflects light in a star pattern. The most desirable star rubies display a distinct, centered star with six rays.

Cutting Star Rubies

Cutting star rubies requires a different approach than other rubies. The cutter must carefully orient the rough stone to highlight the star effect. Typically, star rubies are cut into cabochons, with a smooth, rounded top and flat or slightly domed base. This shape best displays the asterism and maximizes the visual impact of the star.

Value Considerations

The value of a ruby is influenced by its cut, along with other factors such as color, clarity, and carat weight. A well-cut ruby can command a higher price due to its enhanced appearance and desirability.


Color is the most critical factor in determining a ruby’s value. The finest rubies exhibit a deep, vibrant red with a hint of blue, often referred to as “pigeon’s blood” red. The cut can enhance or detract from this color, influencing the gemstone’s overall value.


While rubies often have inclusions, the cut can minimize their visibility. A well-cut ruby will have inclusions strategically placed to be less noticeable, thereby increasing its clarity and value.

Carat Weight

Larger rubies are rarer and more valuable. The cut plays a crucial role in maintaining as much of the original carat weight as possible while enhancing the gemstone’s appearance.

Cutting Process

The process of cutting a ruby involves several steps, each requiring skill and precision to bring out the best in the gemstone.


The first step is assessing the rough ruby to determine its potential. The cutter examines the stone for color, clarity, and any inclusions or flaws that might affect the final product.


Next, the cutter plans the best way to shape the ruby. This stage involves deciding on the cut that will maximize the gem’s beauty and value. Modern technology, such as 3D modeling, can assist in visualizing the final product and making informed decisions.


The rough ruby is then shaped using specialized tools. This step involves removing excess material and beginning to form the basic shape of the gemstone.


Faceting is the most critical part of the cutting process. The cutter adds each facet with precision to ensure optimal light reflection and overall symmetry. This step can take considerable time, as each facet must be carefully aligned and polished.


Finally, the ruby is polished to enhance its luster and brilliance. Polishing removes any remaining imperfections and gives the gemstone a smooth, reflective surface.

Custom Cuts

Custom cuts are tailored to the specific characteristics of an individual ruby, often resulting in unique and personalized gemstones.

Advantages of Custom Cuts

Custom cuts can bring out the best in a ruby by highlighting its unique features and mitigating any flaws. They offer a one-of-a-kind gemstone that stands out from standard cuts.

Considerations for Custom Cuts

When opting for a custom cut, it’s essential to work with a skilled cutter who understands the intricacies of ruby cutting. The process may be more time-consuming and expensive but can result in a truly exceptional gemstone.

Care and Maintenance

Proper care and maintenance are crucial to preserving the beauty and value of a cut ruby.


Rubies can be cleaned using warm soapy water and a soft brush. Avoid harsh chemicals or ultrasonic cleaners, which can damage the stone.


Store rubies separately from other gemstones to prevent scratching. Keep them in a soft pouch or lined jewelry box.

Regular Check-ups

Regularly check your ruby jewelry for any signs of wear or damage. Prongs and settings should be inspected to ensure the gemstone is secure.

Professional Cleaning

Periodically, have your ruby professionally cleaned and inspected by a jeweler. This will help maintain its luster and ensure any issues are addressed promptly.


Choosing the best cut for a ruby involves understanding the interplay between the gemstone’s natural properties and the artistry of the cutter. Whether opting for a popular cut like the oval or cushion, or considering a custom cut to highlight unique features, the cut significantly impacts the ruby’s appearance and value. By appreciating the nuances of ruby cuts and the factors that influence them, one can make an informed decision and enjoy the timeless beauty of this precious gemstone.

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Alice is a seasoned jewelry designer renowned for her exquisite creations that seamlessly blend artistry with elegance. With a passion for craftsmanship and an unwavering commitment to quality, Alice has established herself as a distinguished figure in the world of fine jewelry. Drawing inspiration from diverse cultures and artistic movements, Alice brings a unique perspective to her designs, creating pieces that transcend mere accessories to become timeless works of art. Her meticulous attention to detail and insistence on using only the finest materials ensure that each creation reflects not only her artistic vision but also a commitment to unparalleled craftsmanship. Having honed her skills through years of dedicated practice and a keen understanding of evolving trends, Alice is adept at translating her clients' desires into bespoke, one-of-a-kind pieces. Her portfolio encompasses a range of styles, from classic and timeless to avant-garde and contemporary, showcasing her versatility and ability to cater to a diverse clientele.

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