Gemstone Education

What is a Mahaleo Ruby?

Have you ever been at the jewelry store looking at rubies, and noticed that some of them were very cheap? Were any of them labeled as Mahaleo ruby?

If so, you might wonder what was going on. Why are these rubies so cheap compared to the rest?

What is a Mahaleo Ruby?

Ruby crystal on white marble

Ruby crystal on white marble – Image credit to Bossi – CC-BY-SA-2.0

A Mahaleo ruby is a real ruby, but it is one which has been fissure-filled. This means that any cracks get filled with lead glass. Before the process a Mahaleo ruby has so many cracks that it may appear dense, even opaque. And its color will be closer to brown than red.

Adding lead glass strengthens the ruby, improves the clarity and deepens the color. This brings it closer to a true ruby red.

Before filling, a Mahaleo ruby is so fractured cutting it without breaking is impossible.. After filling, it can be cut like any other gemstone and polished so that it looks almost flawless.

Mahaleo ruby or glass filled ruby is also sold with names like these: composite ruby, ruby with glass, hybrid ruby or even pink Mahaleo sapphire.

Are Mahaleo Rubies a Problem?

There is nothing “wrong” with Mahaleo rubies in general. But there are a few problems with them that have led to its questionable reputation.

First is that the quality of a Mahaleo ruby is lower than that of a standard ruby. Even after filling.

While the filling strengthens the ruby, it doesn’t make it as a strong as an un-fractured stone. So it stays fragile. You have to be careful not to drop it or scratch it. Cleaning it can be almost impossible without professional help.

Second is that a Mahaleo ruby is obviously not a natural product. In fact, it is now classified as a manufactured one.

Before treatment, a Mahaleo ruby is almost worthless. It doesn’t have the color or clarity to count as a precious gem. It is only a ruby in name. The manufacturing is what gives it value on the market. There is so much glass in a Mahaleo ruby that if you removed it, it would likely fall to pieces.

Pink ruby crystals with minor cracks on the outside.

The cracks seen on the outside of this pink ruby crystal can be filled with lead-glass to improve its look – Image credit to Azuncha – CC-BY-SA.-2.0

Because such a large percentage of the ruby isn’t ruby at all, it isn’t an natural gemstone. Some people do not consider them a gemstone at all!

The real issue is that some jewelers lie about Mahaleo rubies and try to pass them off as natural rubies. If they sell them as natural rubies, they are scamming their customers and robbing them blind.

Even at a lower price they are still tricking customers. A buyer will think they are getting high-quality natural rubies at bargain prices. Anyone who buys these stones may not know how to care for them. This will often cause them to break, again robbing them blind.

When Mahaleo rubies are clearly labeled there is nothing wrong with jewelers selling them. Neither is buying them because they are beautiful and inexpensive.

You can get a great deal on a great looking gemstone. But you need to remember to be careful with it—and never pay more than a Mahaleo ruby is worth.

Keep in mind that if you see a beautiful ruby for a bargain price you are looking at a glass-filled ruby and not a natural one.

Gem Coach

2 Comments

  1. Stein Faret
    January 9, 2017 at 12:16 pm — Reply

    Hello.

    Thank you for excellent information.

    Regards

    Stein Faret

  2. Fatuma Salim
    January 27, 2017 at 1:19 pm — Reply

    This information is truly helpful, in-fact I have never heard of Mahaleo Ruby before now on this website.. I am truly grateful for this useful information.

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