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Burmese or African Ruby ?

by Julie MIALET 13 Mar 2021

Long considered the King of the Ruby, Burmese ruby are about to be dethroned by theirs brothers of Africa: Mozambique, Madagascar, Tanzania …

Even if Burmese rubies are still considered the most beautiful, we have seen, recently, a very nice African production of beautiful crystal clear red rubies. In the most beautiful qualities, the rubies of Africa compete without question with the Burmese rubies.

Ruby is one of the most prized gemstones and the rarest on the market, So perhaps it would be wise to take an interest in African rubies still affordable today. Indeed, in its finest quality, ruby ​​is rarer than diamond and especially the Birman rubies of the Mogok Valley of pigeon blood color (an exceptional intense red).


From a crystallographic and chemical point of view, the ruby ​​belongs to the corundum family, the same as the sapphire.

It is an oxide of aluminum AL2O3. A corundum may just as easily be colorless. Due to traces of iron, titanium, chromium (ruby), cobalt or vanadium the incolor corundum stone become blue, pink, purple or red … Its density is 4 and its hardness is 9 on the scale of Mosh (the hardest stone after the diamond) It is a generally inclusive gem of which the purest specimens negotiate several tens (even hundreds) of thousands of dollars per carat.

Thus, rubies of more than 3 carats are very rare (30 to 50 times rarer !!!) and the prices to the carat of the beautiful stones blaze, well exceeding the price of the diamond!


What are the main ruby ​​deposits?

Burma (Myanmar) : this is the best known and especially the mines of the Mogok region. The Mong Hsu mine in the northeast is now the largest. Production continues to decline and Burmese rubies are becoming increasingly scarce.

Thailand or Siam produced beautiful rubies, often of a fairly dark color, but the production there became very weak or nonexistent

Viet Nam , with geological soils near Burma produces rubies of fine quality. There are also rubies in northern Pakistan, Kashmir, Tajikistan, Laos, Nepal, and Afghanistan. Madagascar: the main deposits are in the province of Andilamena, north-east of the capital Antananarivo. The rubies are for the most part reddish-brown to purplish, and very inclusive (often treated), but sometimes very crystalline rubies, sparkling like spinel, emerge from the earth. In the most beautiful qualities, their color varies from bright red orange to raspberry.

Mozambique : Within a few years, Mozambique has become one of the leading ruby ​​producing countries. It produces many of the rubies used in jewelry and fine jewelry. Some very crystalline rubies of a deep red slightly orange have nothing to envy the Ruby Burmese.

Tanzania and Kenya Tanzania does not produce only tanzanite and Kenya does not produce only Tsavorite. There are also ruby ​​deposits of a beautiful red. The oldest ruby ​​deposits in Africa are found in Tanzania. The first rubies were discovered at Mount Longido on the Kenyan border at the beginning of the 20th century. In Kenya and Tanzania most deposits are unfortunately exhausted. It has been extracted until the 80s rubies fairly large and quite exceptional.

Like their cousins ​​from Mozambique, Kenya, and Tanzania, the purest rubies of Madagascar, 2 karats and more, are traded at high or even high prices without reaching the prices of Burmese stones. But until when?

Ruby being rare and in addition very trafficked and treated, I advise you to require a laboratory certificate at the time of purchase!


If you are interested in rubies, don’t hesitate to discover what Pierres de Julie have to offer in the store…

We are also available for any free expertise of your ruby jewelry, for that you can send an email with your photos to

Whether you're interested in buying a piece of jewellery or a stone, a free jewelry appraisal or jewelry resale, Pierres de Julie welcomes you to its Parisian boutique in the Village Suisse, a stone's throw from the Ecole Militaire and the Esplanade des Invalides.

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