Identical in every attribute to sapphire, except for their red color hues, the term “ruby” can only be applied to the red varieties of the mineral known as corundum, which is second only to diamond in hardness.
Color is the single most important factor in determining a ruby’s value. As if to emphasis this point, even the name ruby is derived from the Latin word for red ruber. While color preferences are subjective, traditionally the ideal ruby color displays the intensity and richness of bright crimson without appearing too light or dark. Still beautiful within their own right, rubies that appear dark and garnet-like, or those that are light in color and are perceived as pink, generally offer the consumer better value!