Burmese Ruby (Mogok Ruby)

Burmese rubies (or Mogok rubies) have captured hearts and minds for centuries. They are renowned for their rich, fiery red colour and unparalleled quality, making them some of the most coveted gemstones in the world.

In this exploration, we will take a deep dive into the origins and history of Burmese rubies, tracing their roots to the renowned Mogok Valley, often dubbed the "Land of Rubies." You will discover the extraordinary geological processes that give rise to these precious gems, rendering them truly exceptional in the realm of gemology.

Yet, our journey doesn't stop at geology. We'll also delve into the cultural and historical significance of Burmese rubies, their timeless presence in jewellery and art, and the captivating stories and myths that surround them.

Mogok Ruby Jewellery

What is a Burmese Ruby?

A Burmese ruby is a precious gemstone known for its deep, vivid red colour and exceptional quality. These rubies are primarily sourced from Myanmar (formerly Burma), particularly the Mogok Valley (hence the name "Mogok ruby"), often dubbed the "Land of Rubies."

Akin to gleaming pomegranate seeds, Burmese rubies are the benchmark of quality against which every other ruby is compared - and 90 percent of these come from Mogok mines.

Distinctive Qualities

The characteristic softness often displayed in rubies comes from them having minute, light-scattering inclusions, called ‘silk’.

There are defining characteristics that distinguish Burmese rubies from other types of rubies:

Vivid red colour: Burmese rubies are celebrated for their intense, pigeon-blood red hue, considered the most desirable in the gemstone world.

Exceptional clarity: They typically exhibit excellent transparency and minimal inclusions, enhancing their visual appeal.

High refractive index: This property gives Burmese rubies exceptional brilliance and sparkle. The characteristic softness often displayed in rubies comes from them having minute, light-scattering inclusions, called ‘silk’.

Why are Burmese Rubies Red?

Ruby is a variety of the mineral corundum, which in its purest form is colourless. It is the traces of chromium that create the red colour. The amount of chromium impacts the vividness of the ruby, with intense reds containing higher levels. The chromium can also cause fluorescence, which adds to the intensity of the ruby. Colour is the most important factor when considering rubies; it is very rare to find a ruby free of inclusions and their value is strongly dictated by the visibility of the inclusions.

Burmese ruby ring

History & Origin

Burmese rubies, renowned for their captivating red hue, trace their origin to Myanmar's Mogok Valley, often dubbed the "Land of Rubies." For centuries, this region has been the world's premier source of these precious gems.

Burmese rubies have a rich and storied history, entwined with Burmese royalty and mythology. These rubies have symbolised power, protection, and passion in various cultures. Their allure reached its zenith during the Mogul Empire in India, where they adorned royal regalia.

Today, despite various challenges in the gemstone trade, Burmese rubies remain highly coveted and maintain their reputation for exceptional quality and vivid colour.

Masterpiece Burmese Ruby Ring

The Irresistible Allure of Burmese Rubies

The irresistible allure of Burmese rubies lies in their captivating aesthetics when adorning jewellery. Their vivid pigeon-blood red hue adds a striking and luxurious element to any piece, be it rings, necklaces, or earrings.

The best cuts for Burmese rubies often include the classic round brilliant cut, as it maximises their inherent brilliance and fiery sparkle. Additionally, the cushion, oval, and pear-shaped cuts are popular choices, enhancing the gem's natural beauty.

Burmese rubies effortlessly infuse jewellery with a timeless elegance and a touch of romantic allure that is impossible to resist.

Remarkable Moments in Burmese Rubies History

It is not just their quality that accounts for Burmese rubies’ status as the world’s most valuable coloured gemstone. Burmese warriors believed rubies would protect them in battle; ancient folklore attributes them with mythical qualities of luck and protection. The Sanskrit word for ruby, ratnaraj, means ‘king of precious stones’, and for centuries they have been linked to royalty, appearing in crown jewels across the globe. Their fiery colour makes them a favourite of Hollywood royalty and socialites alike.

In 2016, the Jubilee Ruby broke records to become the most valuable gemstone to be sold at a US auction. The ruby is 15.99ct and hailed from the legendary Mogok valley. It sold for $14.16 million.

Today, many of the finest stones belong to aristocratic European families; testament, perhaps, to the ruby’s associations with wealth and power.

The Jubilee Ring

Burmese rubies at Pragnell

Pragnell selects the brightest, cleanest, unheated Burmese rubies - the rarest of the rare - for clients who are willing to invest in the pinnacle of quality. With the colour red linked to luck and prosperity in Asia, they do so safe in the knowledge that, as demand increases, the Burmese ruby’s desirability will rise even further.

All rubies we offer, which have an origin of Burma, originate from antique jewellery. The sourcing of these gems for this antique jewellery pre-dates the current political sanctions placed on rubies from this region.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are the answers to our most commonly asked questions. Should you want to find out more please feel free to contact us and begin your Pragnell experience.

Burmese ruby prices fluctuate widely based on size, colour, and quality, ranging from several thousand to hundreds of thousands of pounds per carat.
The exceptional "pigeon-blood" red hue, rarity, historical significance, and high quality make Burmese rubies highly valuable.
Verify your Burmese ruby's authenticity by having it certified at a gemological laboratory and consulting a certified gemologist.
Care for your Burmese ruby from harsh chemicals and temperature changes, clean with a soft cloth, and store separately to avoid scratches.
No, "Burmese ruby" specifically refers to those with the distinct pigeon-blood red colour and exceptional quality, not all rubies from Mogok.

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