Where Are Rubies Found?

By | March 30, 2024

Settle in, as you are about to embark on a fascinating journey exploring the geographical locations of rubies, one of the world’s most precious gems. Imagine being in picturesque landscapes around the globe, from Myanmar’s regal terrains to the sweeping sceneries of Mozambique and on to the rocky mountains of Afghanistan. This exploration wouldn’t be complete without visiting the vibrant mines of Thailand and Cambodia. Each destination has a unique story to tell, echoing the tale of how these alluring rubies have emerged, matured and been discovered, just waiting for you to unveil.

Where Are Rubies Found?

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Historical Locations for Rubies

Rubies are gemstones that have been coveted by civilizations for centuries. These beautiful stones, known for their deep red color and sparkle, were, and still are, sourced from various parts of the world.

Ancient India

Ancient India was among the first places to mine rubies. In fact, the ruby’s Sanskrit name, ‘ratnaraj’, translates to ‘king of gemstones’. Even today, you can find some of the world’s oldest ruby artifacts here. Ancient texts and literature often mention the stone in tales of beauty, wealth, and power.

Classical Greece and Rome

In Classical Greece and Rome, rubies were immensely prized for their mesmerizing color and brilliance. Associated with love and passion because of its red hue, the ruby was commonly used in Greek and Roman jewelry. These ancient civilizations believed that rubies brought good fortune and warded off evil spirits.

Early Southeast Asian sources

Southeast Asia serves as another historical location for rubies, notably in regions of what is now Myanmar and Thailand. The rubies found in this region are well-known for their high quality and stunning color. These ancient ruby mines contributed greatly to the importance and demand for this precious gemstone across Asia and beyond.

Asia’s Ruby Riches

Asia, historically and presently, has been a major source of rubies globally. Several countries in this continent are home to exceptional ruby deposits.

Myanmar’s Mogok Valley

The Mogok Valley in Myanmar, also known as ‘The Valley of Rubies’, is one of the most famous ruby-producing regions in the world. The rubies found here are known for their particularly luminous, blood red color referred to as ‘pigeon’s blood’. Rubies from the Mogok Valley are highly prized and sought after for their exceptional quality.

Vietnamese ruby deposits

Vietnam is another notable location in Asia that is home to significant ruby deposits. The Luc Yen district in northern Vietnam, in particular, has gained a reputation for producing vivid, pinkish-red rubies.

Afghanistan’s Jagdalek region

Rubies have been mined in the Jagdalek region of Afghanistan for over a thousand years. These rubies, often found in the alluvial deposits of the region’s rivers, have beautiful colors ranging from purplish to pinkish red.

Rubies in Nepal

Though lesser-known compared to other Asian sources, Nepal also boasts notable ruby mines. These Nepalese rubies are desired for their rich, pinkish-red hues.

Sri Lankan ruby mines

Sri Lanka’s ruby mines produce rubies in a variety of colors, from deep red to light pink. Sri Lanka’s rubies are loved for their unique clarity and brightness.

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Rarities in Europe

Though not as well-known as their Asian and African counterparts, European ruby deposits are also quite unique.

North Macedonia’s Prilep region

The Prilep region in North Macedonia has a long history of producing rubies. The rubies mined here are known for their dark, rich red color and are highly valued within the gemstone industry.

Greenland ruby finds

Greenland’s Aappaluttoq deposit yielded its first ruby sales in 2017, and since then, has been recognized globally for the quality and size of its stones. Its ruby deposits, though just recently discovered, are providing a boost to the island’s economy.

Ruby Discoveries in Africa

Africa is another significant source, especially as new deposits continue to be discovered across the continent.

Madagascar’s rich deposits

Madagascar’s ruby deposits, primarily around the city of Moramanga, are known for producing large quantities of quality rubies. The discovery of rubies in Madagascar in the late 1990s further amplified the island’s wealth in gemstones.

Mozambique ruby mines

Mozambique’s Montepuez region is home to one of the world’s most significant ruby deposits. Discovered in 2009, the rubies from this region are known for their deep, vibrant red color.

Kenya’s Baringo County

In recent years, Kenya’s Baringo County has become known for its ruby deposits. While the rubies are typically smaller compared to other locations, they are admired for their intense color and clarity.

Tanzania’s Longido ruby mines

Tanzania is home to the Longido ruby mines. The stones found here are so unique that they have their own name, Longido Ruby. These rubies boast a unique purplish-red hue that sets them apart.

Where Are Rubies Found?

North America’s Ruby Hotspots

North America is smaller in the world of ruby mining but it still has notable locations.

North Carolina, United States

The Cowee Valley in North Carolina is a region that has yielded large quantities of rubies. While typically more pinkish in color, these American rubies are appreciated by gem enthusiasts.

Greenland’s Aappaluttoq deposit

Additionally, Greenland with its Aappaluttoq deposit, as mentioned earlier, has just started to make its mark on the global stage for ruby production.

Surprising Finds in Australia

New South Wales ruby sources

In Australia, New South Wales is known for its ruby deposits in the New England area. These rubies typically have a fine red color and often display asterism, which gives a unique star effect when cut.

Ruby discoveries in Queensland

Queensland also holds its fair share of the precious gems, with quality rubies coming from the Anakie and Lava Plains regions among others.

The Importance of Location in Ruby Quality

Color variations by location

As demonstrated, rubies from different parts of the world can vary in color, quality, and size. For instance, Myanmar’s ‘pigeon’s blood’ rubies are famous for their intense red color, while Vietnam and Nepal produce rubies with pinkish-red hues.

Size and clarity of rubies from different places

The size and clarity of rubies can also greatly depend on their location. For example, Madagascar is renowned for producing rubies in large sizes, while Sri Lanka’s deposits are known for their clarity.

Economic Impact of Ruby Mining

Boost to local economies

Ruby mining brings significant benefits to local economies. For instance, the discovery of rubies in Greenland created a new industry for the island, attracting foreign investment and creating job opportunities.

International trade implications

Global trade of rubies boosts economic development, brings revenue to the exporting countries, and fosters international relations.

The impact of synthetic rubies

However, the recent rise of synthetic rubies has become a challenge for the industry. While these lab-grown gems are less expensive, they can impact the value of natural rubies and subsequently impact economies dependent on this precious resource.

Impacts of Ruby Mining on the Environment

Land impact and restoration

Like all mining activities, ruby mining also has impacts on the environment. Large scale excavation can cause soil erosion, alter landscapes, and displace local communities. Restoration efforts are often required to return mined lands back to their original state.

Water usage in ruby mining

Water is heavily consumed in the extraction process, which can lead to water shortages in areas where fresh water is scarce.

Effects on local biodiversity

Moreover, mining activities can disrupt local biodiversity. Loss of habitats and unwanted alterations of ecosystems are also concerns.

Future of Ruby Mining

New potential ruby locations

The future of ruby mining is quite promising as potential new deposits are still being discovered around the world, from Africa to North America and even in Europe.

Technological advancements in mining

Technological advancements in the mining and gem grading sectors will continue to allow more efficient and effective extraction and classification of rubies.

Sustainable and ethical practices in ruby mining

With growing environmental consciousness and social responsibility, sustainable and ethical practices in ruby mining are becoming increasingly important. The gemstone industry is implementing measures to protect the environment, conserve resources, and ensure ethical treatment of workers. The future of ruby mining will likely continue to evolve in these directions, balancing the pursuit of beautiful gemstones with care for our planet and its inhabitants.

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Author: marklsmithms1

Hi, I'm Mark, the author of Maura Gems and Jewellery. As a team of qualified gemmologists and goldsmiths, we bring you world-class jewellery at Bangkok prices. With offices in both Bangkok and the UK, we ethically source the finest gemstones directly, eliminating any middlemen. We offer a wide range of stunning ready-made jewellery items in our new online store, available for retail or wholesale. Additionally, we specialize in custom-made jewellery where we can bring any design to life. Whether you're a trade professional or an individual customer, we cater to all. Feel free to email me at mark@mauragemsandjewellery.com or call/WhatsApp me at 07470547636 or +66949355718. Discover our incredible collection by visiting our online store. I guarantee you'll love what you find there!

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