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The Rose of Mozambique, Looking at a Natural Ruby from Southern Africa

Gemfields, a pioneer in the world of colored gemstones, has showcased a rare ruby specimen at the turn of the year. This 7.67ct ruby embodies a shade of color reminiscent of the finest auction lots sold throughout history. It comes from Mozambique, an area known for producing many types of colored stones, including ruby, sapphire and even copper-bearing 'paraiba' tourmaline. This particular ruby, elegantly called the 'Rose of Mozambique', was sold at a Singaporean auction to a Thai gem specialist in Bangkok. It was reported that eight master cutters were required to properly finish the faceted version of this red treasure.

Rubies belong to the gem species known as corundum, which is the trigonal form of crystalized aluminium oxide. Other members of this species include blue sapphire and fancy-colored sapphire. Natural ruby can be very rare, especially in its top color qualities. In the late 1800's however, man-made ruby started to emerge as a French Chemist named August Verneuil began the flame-fusion method of synthesizing corundum. Today experienced gemologists are able to tell the difference between flame fusion 'man-made' rubies and natural earth-mined rubies through microscopic observation. The value difference between the two is incredibly high, as synthetic rubies can even be purchased for a few dollars per-carat at wholesale.

The Rose of Mozambique (Photography Credit to Gemfields) reminds us of a lot of high-quality material that historically came from Burma or Myanmar's Mogok region. Despite that locality's fame, fine rubies are not limited to a certain country or specific source, and so it's wonderful to hear about Mozambique producing such a beautifully vivid gemstone from its soil.

Always be sure that your ruby stone is a natural product of the earth, and not a man-made version. There's nothing wrong with the latter, but you want to be sure of what you have, so that you know the proper standard by which it is valued and traded in today's jewelry industry. You wouldn't want to buy a beautiful "natural" gemstone for thousands of dollars only to figure out it could be easily grown in a factory right?
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