How To Spot A Fake: Rubies

This month we’ll take a look at July’s birthstone, the Ruby, and teach all of you at home some simple methods of spotting which ones are fake or real. In fact, once you learn some simple techniques, it can be quite easy to distinguish a real from a fake.

Method 1: Color & Shine

Real Rubies are incredibly vivid. So much so that fakes can hardly mimic how vivid the real ticket is. While rubies tend to be more of a classic, deep red, fake gems often look dull, almost like they have a brownish hue. Especially as the fake ones age and get dirty (as few people seem to clean their jewelry), they’ll take on a duller hue.

It’s often recommended to think of a ‘stoplight’ as the proper red for a real ruby, but do keep in mind that fake ones can go the other direction and be too bright. If it’s detonating your cornea then it’s probably fake as well.

Method 2: Blemishes

This one’s fairly self-explanatory: a real ruby without any blemishes would go for an unspeakable amount of money. If it’s real, it’s likely to have at least some blemishes, chips, cracks, dents or any imperfections on it. If it’s ‘perfect,’ then it’s either fake or belongs in a museum under heavy guard.

Method 3: The Glass Method

This one’s not particularly popular because not many people just have red glass lying around. Perhaps you have some glasses/cups that are red or you’re in a church with a stained window with some red on it. Although this method is hard to pass off, it’s the easiest to see as most fake rubies are made with glass. Just put the ruby up next to a different piece of red glass and compare the two. If they look similar, it’s fake.

Method 4: Scratch It

Take a fingernail or a coin and scratch into that gemstone. If it shows a scratch, it’s almost definitely fake. The only popular gemstone harder than a ruby is a diamond, so theoretically you’d need a diamond to scratch it.

A final note on this is that some rubies are real, but they’re composite. That means they’re machine-made rubies and they will be less durable than the real thing.

Method 5: Artificial Coloring Removal

A popular method for faking gemstones is just to dye a different, cheaper gemstone. While most cheaper gemstones won’t survive the previous tests, you can take the ruby and scratch it along a surface (preferably something slightly gritty). If it rubs off any color at all then it’s likely dyed and is a fake.

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