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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Corundum (var. ruby)

Photograph of a ruby ring from Thailand (NMNH G8479)
Photo by Chip Clark. Click to zoom.
Catalog Number NMNH G8479-00
Locality Thailand
Weight 5.65 ct

Ruby is the red variety of the mineral corundum and one of the most popular and valuable gemstones. A major source of rubies in the 1970s and 80s was Thailand, near the Cambodian border. The stones are typically brownish-red to purplish-red, almost garnet-like in color. They are darker than those from Burma and are commonly heat-treated to produce a purer red color. This 5.65-carat cushion cut ruby, set in an 18k white gold ring, is from Thailand. It is accented with six round brilliant cut diamonds.


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