Cracked Ruby in Ring?


We recently ordered a ruby ring, and upon receiving it I noticed what I think is a fracture right through the centre of the ruby. The jeweller removed the ruby from the ring. They insist that it's an inclusion. But when I look at it the inclusion reflects like a mirror, which would suggest to me it's a fracture. Is it possible to tell?

They have also chipped the edge upon removing the stone. So I am left with the choice between a chipped and possibly fractured ruby, or another ruby which is not as brilliant in colour. Advice on the difference between a fracture and an inclusion would be appreciated. Thanks, Patricia.

Hello Patricia,

I’m so sorry to hear about your experience – it sounds like the ruby that you were given is of an extremely poor quality and if at all possible it would be best to return this ruby ring and take your business elsewhere.

To answer your question, a gemstone inclusion can either be:
  • Anything inside the gemstone which affects how light passes through the gemstone (this includes fractures or foreign materials).

  • Foreign material that was trapped inside the gemstone as it formed in nature including other types of minerals, gases and even liquids.

Inclusions caused by foreign materials can look like fractures, especially if there is a line of trapped air or water inside of the gemstone. And, it can be very difficult to tell sometimes if an inner inclusion is caused by a fracture within the gem or by trapped air or water.
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In some cases too, trapped air or water may cause an inner fracture to develop if the gemstone is exposed to a harsh blow. So it is possible that there was trapped air or water in the gemstone that caused a fracture to expand across the centre of the ruby.

But the term inclusion can be somewhat subjective. Some jewellers use it only to apply to foreign material while others apply it to anything – including fractures – which affects the inside of the gemstone or how light passes through the gem.

But whether or not your ruby’s imperfection is caused by a fracture or an inclusion is irrelevant – because the imperfection sounds like it could be affecting the durability of the gemstone.

Visible inclusions/fractures in gemstones can and do increase risks for further fracturing and chipping.

Along with the visible imperfection in your ruby, the gemstone should not have chipped when it was removed from the setting.

Ruby is an extremely hard gemstone, and I suspect that it did chip because it could have additional inclusions/fractures – which are affecting its durability and strength – or because the imperfection you can see could possibly run throughout the gemstone.

Keep in mind that a fracture or an inclusion inside a ruby can be much larger than it appears – what you are seeing is the worst of it, but the entire extent of the fracture/inclusion may not be visible except under magnification.

Added to durability issues, an obvious inclusion in a ruby will dramatically decrease the value of the stone – and the company you purchased the ruby from should have been up front with you about the gemstone’s condition.

If the ruby was not eye clean, you should have been informed.

So, if at all possible return the ruby ring for a full refund. Or see if you can receive a partial refund on the ruby (because it has now been chipped) and if the jeweler who chipped the ruby will cover the rest of the cost you are out on the ruby because it was chipped during the removal process.

You might also check if you can give the damaged ruby to the jeweler for a refund on what you paid for it.

If you do decide to keep this gemstone, it will need to be treated with extra special care. Do not expose it to ultrasonic cleaning or any rhodium plate process, and remove the ring if your hands will be performing any activities which could risk a knock or blow to the gemstone. It should be set in an extra protective setting too.

It is possible that the ruby can be repaired, but the expense may not be worth it considering the original condition of the gemstone.

I wish you the very best with a resolution to this matter – I do hope that you will be able to return the ruby ring and take your business elsewhere.

Suzanne Gardner
Everything Wedding Rings

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