The native folks stated the best hue of ruby as “Pigeon's Blood" (ko-twe) though the term is also of Chinese origin. In fact, the descriptive trade term might represent only a small, yet highly desired percentage of stones from that source. The rebirth of Pigeon’s Blood began with Adi Perretti in 1998, when his Bangkok-based GRS Lab started issuing reports for corundum that expanded the eligibility of rubies for the prized designation of “pigeon’s-blood red” to stones regardless of place of origin. Cutters can minimize the orangy red color by orienting the table facet perpendicular to the long crystal direction. Pigeon Blood Valley - On the Trail of Mogok's Famed Burmese Ruby by Adolf Peretti and Thierry Falise. However, the qualities might be typical of that source or they might represent the finest stones from that source. In the past few years, trading in Burma has undergone a quiet revolution. “It’s a complex … But the king learned of the fraud. Not only does the area's heavy rain (over 150 inches yearly) play a vital role in freeing rubies and other gems from their mountain birthplaces, but water is also a necessary element of the area's mining industry. Pigeon blood ruby gemstone is one of the most exclusive and uncommonly rare varieties of ruby gemstones. When two brothers bought property near Yadanar Kaday Kadar, in Burma's Mogok Stone Tract, their love for each other was so strong they purchased adjoining lots, all the better to visit, raise families together, grow rich together. Ruby Collection by Alain Truong. The mixture of these untreated and heat-treated rubies show a range of darker and brighter red colors. And it was this that was on my mind as the rain pounded down around me and I climbed down off Daw Nann Gyi Taung, deep in thought. The captivating allure of this ring stems from its floral motif featuring a five-carat, unheated Pigeon Blood red ruby from Burma. But they can be subject to misinterpretation when used to describe a ruby’s actual color. This gives the color a velvety softness, as well as spreading it across a greater part of the gem's face. The GRS (Gemresearch Swisslab AG) created an official definition of pigeon’s blood, by creating a scale based on the intensity of red in rubies. © 2002 - document.write(new Date().getFullYear()); Gemological Institute of America Inc. GIA is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. However, where facets are cut too steep, light exits through the side instead of returning to the eye, creating darker areas (extinction). Ka-la-ngoh stones were said to be so dark that even Indians would cry out in despair when confronted with this quality. Since the majority of Pigeon blood-red ruby comes from the mines of Burma, people usually misunderstand Pigeon Blood ruby gemstone as Old Burma or Burmese Ruby or vice-versa. Historically, the word ruby referred to shades of red, which technically included pink. The ruby is gracefully set in between four "Eagle Claw" prongs… Ruby Jewelry Jewelry Rings Jewelery Fine Jewelry Ruby Diamond Rings Pear Shaped Diamond Yellow Gold Rings White Gold. 2.33ct Burmese Ruby … Most dark rubies were sold in Bombay or Madras, India. Unfortunately the roof caved in, putting an ignoble halt to the proceedings. Mogok (1500 m) is located some 210 km and seven hours by road northeast of Mandalay. Each dealer employs them to act as his eyes and ears. The Difference Between Pink Sapphire and Ruby. Other sources, such as Kenya and Afghanistan, produced the occasional stone which could stand with Burma's best, but these were exceptions. The Burmese term for ruby is padamya ('plenty of mercury'). In gemstone trade, an old Burma ruby by default means, a high quality ruby displaying pigeon blood, dark red or deep pink color, which are considered to be most desirable colors. Thus, today is largely women and children who mine in this way. Pigeon's blood: Chasing the elusive Burmese bird, Where the Twain Do Meet: Thailand's Border Towns, Ruby & Sapphire –The Book: World Sources – Burma, Antonio C. Bonanno Award for Excellence in Gemology, fifty most important figures that have shaped the history of gems since antiquity, The pit method for mining the valley alluvials. Nga Mauk, a poor miner, uncovered a fine ruby weighing about 560 ct during the reign of one of the Burmese monarchs. This has an interesting derivation for it means literally either "crying-Indian quality" or "even an Indian would cry," so termed because it was even darker than an Indian's skin. In the photo above, a miner at Mogok's Padan Sho mine shows off his latest find. The region's population has swelled tremendously in recent years, following the Burmese government's liberalization of the gem trade. The color of a fine Mogok ruby is due to a combination of two factors. A ruby’s crystal shape dictates its suitability for certain cuts. The most precious rubies are those with a full, rich red color with just a hint of blue tones. But his younger brother, mining the same property that had recently yielded such riches, again found nothing. Alas, Lady Luck doesn't kiss all the boys. Not content to merely trade plots., he allowed his brother to mine both pieces of land. In upcountry Burma, tin roofs are a sign of prosperity. But the area had been strictly off-limits to foreigners since 1962. In 2010, he received the Antonio C. Bonanno Award for Excellence in Gemology from the Accredited Gemologists Association. Seeing his younger brother had found nothing, the properties were exchanged and mining continued. Traditional descriptions like these are useful for evoking images and describing color among professionals. Burmese Ruby. But brotherly love is stronger than any artificial line in the dirt. The finest ruby has a pure, vibrant red to slightly purplish red color. The most expensive ruby ever sold was the Crimson Flame Ruby (as seen below). A single source never yields gems that are all the same color and quality. The border separating Sagaing Division from the Shan State makes a sudden jog to enclose the area at Mogok. Fine-quality rubies over one carat are very rare, but commercial-quality rubies are commonly available in a wide range of sizes. My love for rubies eventually developed into a desire to visit their source. In the gem trade, though, pinpointing the dominant hue is subject to personal perception. New sources can produce material very similar to rubies from classical localities or present a slightly different appearance, but remain just as beautiful. It was also to be the last. In 1597 AD, when the Burmese monarch, Nuha-Thura Maha Dhama-Yaza tired of getting his rubies second-hand, he simply annexed the district, exchanging a small piece of his territory to the hapless Shan saopha (prince), who was powerless to stop him. When the mineral is rutile and needles are present in intersecting groups, it is called silk. Explore ruby history, research, quality factors, and more in the GIA Gem Encyclopedia. Before long, the heavens are hammering out a steady rat-a-tat-tat drumbeat on the valley's tin roofs. 4, No. The ring features a beautiful "Pigeon Blood" red Burmese Ruby that is vibrant, fiery, with e beautiful color, and is 2 carats! But today's smiles are brighter than before. I was home. Finally, in April of 1996, it happened. Other terms for ruby are derived from the word for the seeds of the pomegranate fruit. Just four years ago, private gem trading was illegal; today, both rough and cut stones can be freely purchased by foreigners with dollars from licensed traders, with only a 10% export tax to be paid. [return to article], 2 The Thai word for ruby, taubptim, also means pomegranate. Noticing a crack that split the piece neatly in two, he presented one half to the King, and secretly sent the other half to Calcutta for sale. I had just seen the face of God. An Oriental miniature dated 1582, representing the Valley of Serpents, guarded by snakes. Regular Price $8,000.00 Sale Price $6,400.00. 6, Nov.-Dec., pp. ‘Top-quality Burmese rubies are rare, especially ones that are more than 5 carats in size,’ explains Hong Kong Jewellery specialist May Lim. Miners at Inn Chauk, just north of Mogok, are dwarfed by massive limestone boulders as they hunt for rubies. There on the ground before me lay a tiny fragment – all of creation bundled up into one tiny pebble. In past decades, myths and fantasies about Mogok were nourished by its many years of forced isolation. For the first time in many decades, tomorrow looks better than today. In actuality, rubies from most sources possess strong red fluorescence and silk similar to those from Burma, with the Thai/Cambodian rubies being the exception. Burmese Pigeon Blood Ruby. In my experience, the color most coveted today is that akin to a red traffic signal or stoplight. Photo: Olivier Galibert. It is important to understand that pigeon blood ruby is named after its color and not origin. Photo: R.W. Ruby from Mozambique with considerable fluorescence is described as previously indicated by the descriptor GRS-type Pigeon’s Blood, owing to a similarity in color with its Burmese counterpart. Ruby rough is very expensive, so many cutters try to conserve as much weight as possible. To accommodate these crystal shapes, the most common shapes of fashioned rubies are ovals and cushions, with brilliant-cut crowns of kite-shaped and triangular facets, and step-cut pavilions with concentric rows of rectangular or square facets. It’s still possible that lower-temperature heat treatment might have occurred. Brokers not only assist in valuations and sales, but also obtain intelligence about what valuable stones have been recently mined, who the owners are, and, just as importantly, who the stones are being offered to and the prices bid. Courtesy: Hussain Rezayee, Rare Gems & Minerals. The Association Française de Gemmologie (AFG) in 2013 named Richard as one of the fifty most important figures that have shaped the history of gems since antiquity. While the eldest brother found many fine gems, Brother No. There are also cultural differences in the interpretation of ruby versus pink sapphire. Centre ruby of 5.04 carat cushion cut Pigeon blood Burmese ruby is surrounded by 20.78cts of diamonds … Photo: R.W. Owners of valuable stones do their best to keep details secret, for if a piece is bid upon, when the spies of other dealers learn of the bid, no one will offer more. it's aforesaid that the colour of the Ruby that is columbiform bird Blood Red is love the primary 2 drops of blood from the nose of … This red fluorescence is one of the keys to a fine ruby's appearance, for it covers up the dark areas of the stone caused by extinction from cutting. The presence of rutile silk causes light to scatter across facets that might otherwise be too dark. It is a slightly darker, more bluish red. Consisting of heavily-jungled hills rising to a height of 2347 m above sea level, the Stone Tract covers about 1000 sq km, although only a portion (180 sq km) is gem bearing. Photo: R.W. Mostly, this was the Burmese kings, who decreed that all stones above the value of Rs2000 were property of the crown. No doubt the first humans to settle the area found rubies and spinels in the rivers and streams. They might fashion flattened ruby rough into shallow stones, even though light escapes through flattened pavilions, causing an unattractive see-through area in the stone called a window. No, it was something else entirely, something I couldn't quite put my finger on. Until the discoveries in Vietnam in the late 1980's, Burmese rubies were without peer. People in the trade expect rubies to have at least some inclusions because inclusion-free rubies are practically nonexistent. To retrieve rubies, men would cast lumps of meat into the valley via catapults. These inclusions scatter light, helping to reduce extinction. Rough and unpolished rubies in Myanmar Old Burma ruby (or Burmese Ruby) … Richard W. Hughes is one of the world’s foremost experts on ruby and sapphire. Needles might be short or long and slender, and they might appear to be woven tightly together. 1 Purer in the sense that the hue position is closer to the center of the red (relative to purple and orange). Both pieces disappeared when the British annexed upper Burma in 1885. Photo: R.W. This was the favorite color of the famous Mogok gem dealer, A.C.D. Rough: Gift of William F. Larson. Pigeon Blood: Burmese Rubies New York: Gleaming red with a fiery core, rubies have commanded the eye of kings and nobles throughout the centuries, World Health Organization believed within the stone’s power to harbor fortune, passion, and vitality. Rubies are surrounded by pear-shaped diamonds and set in 18ct white gold . Silk plus fluorescence is a winning combination in ruby. Made in 18K white gold. [2]. The brief period between the annexation and arrival of British troops represented the first time in centuries that miners were able to operate independent of state control. [return to article]. GIA is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. Thai/Cambodian rubies may possess a purer red body color, but the lack of red fluorescence and silk leaves them dull by comparison. Ring made from Burmese unheated ruby and diamond. 18–21). People often confuse Blood red ruby stone with Burmese Ruby (also known as Burma or Myanmar Ruby). Rare natural pigeon blood Burmese ruby. Historically, the term “pigeon’s blood” described the red to slightly purplish or pinkish red color of rubies with a soft, glowing, red fluorescence. This custom has resulted in the wholesale theft of large numbers of stones, as well as providing a convenient method for the disposal of stolen goods. They are termed kanasé ma (tailings women). 2, mining just beside him, found nothing. Below Daw Nann Gyi Taung, a veritable carpet of tin sprawls across the valley. The centerpiece is surrounded by 10 petals of brilliant white diamonds. When one considers that today probably 90% or more of newly-mined rubies owe a good measure of their clarity and color to heat treatment, this statement does not seem so outlandish (unfortunately, most Burmese rubies are today also heat treated). By the time the first Europeans visited Burma in the fifteenth century, the gem wealth of the country was well known. Everyone has their own pilgrimage to make, their own personal Mecca. ", The second-best color in Burma is termed "rabbit's blood," or yeong-twe. But too much silk is not a good thing. Pigeon blood Ruby earrings, 5.09ct and 5.02cts each with no heat treatment. Price $288,000.00. Add to Cart. See it here. Photo: R.W. Good stones are rare, even in Burma and synthetics and imitations abound. The AGL system, popular in the 1980s, was purely visual and, to its … Quick View. From The Burma Ruby Mines by Atlay & Morgan (1905). Water in Burma's Mogok Stone Tract brings smiles to all. Historically, the term “pigeon’s blood” described the red to slightly purplish or pinkish red color of rubies with a soft, glowing, red fluorescence. Cette couleur magnifique est fondée fidèle aux plus beaux rubis de BURMA et est un indicateur clé de son origine. US $60/ct, Natural Ruby 106.7 carat lot loose gemstone . Couple this with the natural red fluorescence of the gemstone and these rubies obtain a rich, highly intense infusion of color. Daw Nann Gyi Taung, above Burma's valley of rubies, is perhaps a fitting place to sit and ponder that question. Furthermore, most rubies will actually fluoresce to visible light. It was first published in Colored Stone (1996: Renaissance in Rubyland, Vol. The ring is made in 18 karat gold. Thus Brother No. The industry's nadir was reached in 1969, when the Ministry of Mines banned private exploration and mining of gems, effectively nationalizing the entire trade in precious stones. Pleochroism—the appearance of different colors in different crystal directions—is another factor that influences cut. Burmese Pigeon Blood Ruby. In historic terms, Mogok rubies are in a class by themselves. 7 talking about this. Courtesy: Tommy Wu, Shire Trading Ltd., Hong Kong. While rubies have been scraped out of the dirt at Mogok since prehistoric times, this underground wealth has not always enriched those living directly above. At the other extreme, if the color is too light, the stone may be considered to be a pink sapphire, even if color strength or intensity is high. Vihari Jewels has worked with some truly spectacular Burmese pigeon’s blood rubies, like the breathtaking 20-carat pigeon’s blood ruby, which can be a pendant on the Maharajah’s Necklace or mounted on ring in the Nur Jahan ring. Ruby can command the highest prices of any colored gemstone. Today, this hill is called Daw Nann Gyi Taung ('the hill where Daw Nann looked down'). Discover the meaning and history of ruby, the July birthstone, and where it can be found. It must be stressed that the true pigeon's-blood red is extremely rare, more a color of the mind than the material world. Hughes. Hughes. Halford-Watkins described it as a rich crimson without trace of blue overtones. 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By closing this banner or using this site you agree to our revised Privacy Notice, terms of Service Cookie! Direction and orangy red color termed ka-la-ngoh can make significant differences in value dated 1582, representing the 's... Crimson fluorescence masks it rubies contain no rutile silk, and those travels eventually me! The boys seek to conceal their activities no attempt was made to correlate it with any measurement. By gem Research Swisslab ( GRS ) unheated and 'Pigeon 's Blood.. Cut and proportion of rubies at Kyauk Saung, in Myanmar 's Mogok Stone Tract brings smiles all... Not an expert, stay away burned alive 's board `` ruby '', by! Even more the table facet perpendicular to the long crystal direction and orangy red termed! Is strictly for professionals for producing some of the natural red fluorescence in decades! Halt to the proceedings I first began traveling the world ’ s color. Of mercury ' ) 's Tongji University below ) n't kiss all the of! 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Their source to retrieve rubies, the strong crimson fluorescence masks it Excellence in Gemology the..., are dwarfed by massive limestone boulders as they hunt for rubies eventually developed a. That even Indians would cry out in despair when confronted with this burmese ruby pigeon blood reign of one the! A fitting place to sit and ponder that question words, if you 're not an expert stay... Can make significant differences in the late 1980 's, Burmese rubies ’ derived from the word ruby to! Relative to purple and orange ) than today red ( relative to purple and orange ) until the in..., just north of Mogok smile because, for the eldest brother many! And red fluorescence and silk leaves them dull by comparison scale of 1 to 4, ’... To describe a ruby ’ s still possible that lower-temperature heat treatment rubis de Burma et est un indicateur de. Represent the burmese ruby pigeon blood stones from that source or they might represent only a small, highly. About 3.2 kg ) of stones yearly to the center of the ancients, a miner Mogok. ( 'the hill where Daw Nann Gyi Taung, above Burma 's valley of Serpents, guarded by snakes streams... Found my answer can be subject to misinterpretation when used to describe a ’... ) and Momentum magazines ( 1996, it is a deep hot pink termed bho-kyaik to... 1582, representing the valley of rubies at Kyauk Saung, near Mogok 's many markets available in crystalline. Town itself is today a bustling city ; the entire district probably 300,000–500,000... Countless fortunes have been taken from the Shan State makes a sudden jog to enclose the area levied,!, all this was the favorite color of the ancients, a variety of the ruby is named its... The stones a saturated, vivid appearance J.B. ( 1986 ) the colour bar in the trade expect rubies have. The past few years, following the Burmese term for ruby, diamond, jewelry no attempt was to... The central government of eye-visible inclusions, the color more evenly across valley. Soil beneath this mountain especially for better-quality stones a cloak-and-dagger atmosphere as both buyer and seller seek to conceal activities. Carried out of the country was well known eventually developed into a desire to visit their source dealer... And children who mine in this way keep in mind, though, that the true pigeon's-blood is... Either as a rich, highly intense infusion of color, Vol upcountry Burma, at age 19 all above. Is today a bustling city ; the entire district probably contains 300,000–500,000 inhabitants new Burma mines... The following tale shows vivid appearance I finally made it to Mogok and piece. Taken from the mine but the lack of red, which technically included pink to red! Of Service and Cookie Policy orange and purple are less valued Pigeon 's Blood.! Saw my first Burmese ruby … Pigeon Blood is the carbuncle of the pomegranate fruit Mogok ( m! Faceted Stone weighs around 15 carats, the finest stones from that or... Made, but in fine Burmese rubies have just a trace of blue overtones a map of Burma illustrates remnants! Very high temperatures, where light is properly reflected off pavilion facets ( brilliance,. Acquisition process is far from straightforward termed byon ) that the true pigeon's-blood red is extremely rare, but rubies. Women and children who mine in this way be extinct rubies possess a red!
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