Glass Filled Ruby is a gemstone that is a rich, red-orange color and is made by filling a glass with molten ruby. It’s hard to imagine anyone would do this. But if you put it under a magnifying glass, the red and orange surfaces give way to an array of sparkling inclusions that appear much like the scattering light on a diamond. It’s not just its beauty that makes it more unusual than other gemstones; there’s also its rarity.
The most important of these inclusions is what gives the glass ruby its name. As the ruby cools, it crystallizes. Calcite crystals form in layers, each layer being transparent and refracting light differently from the others. As a result, when a sample of ruby is cut in this state, it appears to have geometrical patterns of light and dark within it. It has been found that these light and dark areas appear to be bubbles filled with fluid that have grown larger upon cooling. These inclusions are fluid-filled cavities (known as gas bubbles) that form when the molten glass cools. As the ruby cools, more and more bubbles form, making smaller and smaller cavities until they disappear entirely. These bubbles are relatively small, at about 0.05 millimeters in diameter.
Benefits of Glass-Filled Ruby
1. Long-lasting and durable
Glass Filled Ruby is well known for its toughness and resistance to breakage. Properly hardened and placed in a setting, glass-filled ruby tends to be very durable.
2. Lower cost
The price of glass-filled ruby is low compared to other types of ruby simply because of its rarity. It is also very inexpensive compared to other types of ruby.
3. Improved color
Glass Filled Ruby contains the same amount of color as natural stone but with a higher refraction index. This means it gives the same hue and brilliance but has better light transmission.
4. Excellent for centers
It is fit for bezel or setting on gemstone rings and pendants. It is also perfect for earrings, rings and pendants as it is durable to withstand any environment without losing its color or luster.
5. Easily cut
This variety of ruby is easily cut, as it has no internal flaws such as pinning or gas pockets to worry about during the cutting process. It is also relatively free of blemishes.
6. No heating required
The cutting is easier with this variety of ruby as well. Because the material is so hard, it can be easily cut using simple sewing tools, such as a jeweler’s saw or a portable electric saw. However, a laser cutting system may be more suitable for cutting these stones due to their size.
7. Excellent for enhancements
Glass Filled Ruby is easier to dye than natural red rubies and can be heat treated to improve its color and clarity.
8. Quality can vary from stone to stone
Each piece of glass-filled ruby may have different shades of orange or red. Some may also contain a lot of fluid inclusions, while others may have fewer or no fluid inclusions. Although the nature of these inclusions is quite similar, there will be some other irregularities or differences on each stone.
9. Differences from natural ruby
Unlike natural rubies, glass-filled rubies have no internal flaws such as gas pockets or pinning problems; therefore, the stone must be cut correctly for the best results. In addition, because it is a crystal and not a mineral, it has an improved refractive index compared to its natural counterpart.
What Makes Glass Filled Ruby Special?
1. The fluid inside
The fluid in glass-filled ruby makes it more durable than natural ruby. This resilience is a great feature for those who own them, as the gems are much less likely to chip or break.
2. The cut
As with all stones, the cut is essential to the beauty of glass-filled ruby. It is essential to all other factors involving this type of gemstone too. Without proper cutting, the color, clarity and even the price of the stone will be affected.
3. Red versus orange
There is another crucial difference between glass-filled ruby and natural red rubies. Glass-filled rubies have a lower refractive index than their natural counterparts. This means that natural red rubies will appear slightly more brilliant than glass-filled rubies, which are not as bright as their natural counterparts.
Like other glass-filled gems, it is made by filling a glass with molten ruby. These are mixed with colored glass and then hand-blown into different shapes. They come in many colors, including dark red tones and orange shades. Other colors include shades of brown and yellow. The types of glass and processes used to make them vary from company to company, so the exact color will vary according to the company that produces it.