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580 Carat Rough Ruby


My son found a ruby on vacation this past week. I am trying to find a reputable person/business that will be willing to discuss how to cut it and facet it.


Do not get your hopes up . From the photos you have I (IMO) do not see any faceting rough here. If your son is interested in gems and minerals take him to a gem show and the people there can tell you about what you have for free. If this stone has sentimental value some one could cut a cabochon out of it for less than 50$…


I appreciate the feedback, but I am having a much smaller one like it cut. However this one, I want to make sure I review it with an experienced cutter.


Good luck please tell us how it works out .


If you tell us where you are located, maybe we can put you onto “an experienced cutter.” The stone looks thin enough to see through if you put a very strong light behind it, say a 7 LED flashlight or similar. I think you are going to find that it is included and opaque or only slightly translucent throughout. The color is also dark. Hence specimen grade.

If you tell us where you found this, that might also be a help. Many of the sluice mines you visit are salted and this corundum may have come from India, which has loads of this stuff. It would make an interesting cabouchon or two and, cut thinly, it might show some color and light. I, too, doubt it is worth much. Search on ebay for “corundum specimen” and I think you will pull up some photos that look like this. One I saw was $12.99 + $3 S&H. Fee gem digs are fun, but the owners couldn’t make any money if they gave out expensive rough. IDK where this was found, but at the NC fee sluices, the only chance of finding something good is that occasionally natural rough from the area is found in the buckets. However, almost all (that is 99.999%) of the good rough is long gone or the owners would be mining for the gems themselves. The “salted” buckets (usually advertised as such) contain rough that is shipped in in 55 gallon drums from various countries and is specimen grade. If any of it is facet grade (that is, somewhat transparent) it is quartz and isn’t worth much anyway. Buck a carat when cut and the fee for that is $50 to $100…

There is no free lunch, but you knew that. I’m a long time lapidary (35 years) and faceter (23 years) and, after spending all that time and $7000 on faceting and gemological equipment and several more thousands of dollars on gem rough, plus countless hours looking for the good stuff at shows and dealers, I might turn a profit this year. But it will be by spending hours a day sitting on my butt cutting little stones and squinting at them with magnifiers and then hawking the stones in person and on the internet to jewelers and collectors.


My location is Illinois, we were in NC and it is supposed to be natural rough. We are having several smaller stones cut, an emerald, ruby, amethyst, and sapphire at the mine. The yields were somewhat low from the other stones, which were less than one tenth the size of this one. I suppose I could slice it with a tile saw and see what it looks like with light shining through. It is so dense that I cannot pass light through the center with a 7 led light. I appreciate the colorful description of a lapidary’s life.


Hey there, I was reading your comment here and wonder if you could help me. I have a good amount of rough natural fancy colored sapphire and don’t know where or how to begin the process of turning them into money in the bank. I believe most is pretty high quality, all came from one large chunk of raw natural ruby crystals, including a 424 carat natural faceted ruby. I thought it was just like the one this guy has, specimen grade, but realized it is much different. The way it glows with the sun behind it I thought was beautiful, and then noticed that I can see natural facets around part of an edge. I believe that when cut it will actually be 2 faceted stones still larger than 200 carats for the bigger one, and over 100 carats for the smaller.
Anyways, I messaged you because the part you wrote about the time you spend searching for good stuff… I thought maybe you would be interested in taking a look. I have approximately 8 oz of sapphire, in pieces from half carat and less up to 140 carats or so, in colors from almost ruby red through orange to yellow and even a few colorless tips. If interested in taking a look, or if you have any advice on how I can get started, I will much appreciate any help… thank you


You can contact me off list if you want to send pictures and details (weights, etc.). I have no idea whether what you have is sale-able or not without a lot more detail. I am at rkerseyATtdsDOTnet. Thx, royjohn


Sounds good I’ll send you a lot of pictures if you don’t mind, thanks for your response