Thursday, February 9, 2012

Lead Glass Filled Rubies

I saw an interesting video today that was put together by the GIA. It had great information about these “manufactured” gemstones and I put a link on my Facebook page to the actual video. I’ve never gone in for rubies since I prefer garnets for their color. I’ve noticed that much of the finished jewelry on the market that contain rubies have a pinkish color which I’m not fond of, maybe it’s because they are not actually rubies. Apparently there are many low quality rubies out there that shouldn’t be made into jewelry.

Manufacturers are using these low quality rubies that have poor color and transparency, filling them with leaded glass, cutting the stone and then setting it in jewelry. Now I see nothing wrong with lab created gemstones, but to take a natural gemstone and try to make it better seems terribly wrong. Who would do such a thing? The economy is so bad that people are scrambling to make a buck anyway they can, and faking a ruby is becoming commonplace. There are so many lead glass filled rubies on the market and many are showing up at GIA’s labs that they put out an informational video on how to spot one. They also give information on how to care for one of these heavily flawed gems. With these gems you don't get what you paid for and the glass filled ruby is much easier to damage and cannot be repaired, bummer.

This is fraudulent if a jeweler or wholesaler tries to pass off the manufactured ruby for a more expensive ruby or even a Burmese ruby. The fascinating aspect of these lead glass filled rubies is that GIA doesn’t consider them rubies at all. What a shock. Can you image purchasing a piece of jewelry with what you think is a ruby and to find out that it’s not a ruby but really a composite of poor quality gemstone and glass? This is so wrong and truly what gives jewelers and jewelry stores a bad name. Most jewelers and jewelry stores are concerned with their reputation and their name and would not participate in this type of fraud, but unfortunately a few bad apples always spoil things for everyone.

Some of the tips that GIA mentioned in their article is to use a gemological microscope and barring this piece of equipment always use a jeweler’s 10x loupe. When looking at the ruby you should look for large gas bubbles and/or flattened bubbles within the stone’s cavity or filling any fractures. They also mention the “flash effect” that is usually seem inside a diamond, the diamond will literally flash blue or purple when seen in the correct light. This same effect can be seen within a glass filled ruby. So I’m hoping that those who are interested in hearing more about these manufactured rubies will go to my Facebook page and click on the link to the GIA’s video, it’s good information that is easy to understand and an informed consumer is a happy consumer.

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