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page 27 of the online mineral museum: a shout-out to the ruby clan

2011-03-20 - 10:16 a.m.

� 2011 by elaine radford

I've got a decent-sized collection of different ruby specimens. As with the Beryl/Emerald family, I've got metaphysical and rockhound grade stones here, not stones that need to be secured in a vault because they're worth scadzillions of dollars.

My favorite piece of specimen is not well-shaped but I like it how flashes in its stand:

I got it in an estate with a hodgepodge of other stones, and I don't know its origin.

Here's some material from North Carolina:

You can sometimes cut pink, gray, or even red "star" rubies out of this rough, but I think I sold most of the best stuff.

Check out these Ruby crystals. The very large one on the left, and the two smaller ones in the center are from Pakistan. Back in the day, you could actually get some huge, honking Ruby crystals from Pakistan for very cheaply if you're looking for size rather than quality. The final crystal, on the right, with the light green matrix on it is a material called "Watermelon ruby," which comes as very nicely shaped hexagonal nuggets of Ruby growing in the green saussurite crust. I have cut and polished several of these stones, and I even experimented with my putting one of them in my first groove wire-wrap, as seen in the photo below:

Not gem-grade Rubies by any means, but excellent examples of how Ruby Crystals grow.

Another material I've been cutting is the scraps of a material that I used to sell by the pound, called Ruby in Zoisite. Source: Tanzania. The zoisite matrix is soft and hard to get a nice polish on it, but I'm doing OK with the 50,000 wheel. Since I wholesaled the stuff at $5 a pound, I'm suffering a bit of seller's remorse, but I'm still finding enough small pieces to work up some nice gems. Stay tuned.






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