Pomme Ruby™

A new ruby from Madagascar named Pomme Ruby™. ‘Pomme’ meaning apple in French as well as the root word for apple in Malagasy. We gave this magnificent material its name because the community in which it’s found consists of apple and rice farms. When not farming, the villagers dig for these vibrant apple-red rubies.

Can you tell us a little about the source of this material?

Today, most of the world’s ruby comes from Africa, with Mozambique being the largest producer. That being said, there is also a reasonable amount of production from the island of Madagascar, which is where our Pomme Ruby™ comes from. There are various deposits of ruby in Madagascar, but ours comes from a single location; a small village with an artisanal mine located a bit more central on the island. We chose this specific location for a few reasons. One, we cut a lot of small melee sizes, and this specific ruby holds its intense red colors even as small as 1mm stones! The other reason we chose this location was, of course, because of its story.

The small area where this ruby is mined is one of many agriculture valleys where farmers grow small plots of rice and apples. It is these same farmers who dig for ruby when their crops are growing (or not) or are at a stage where they don’t need constant tending.

While ruby production is more of a side business for this group of farmers, it’s important to recognize that the farming is a form of subsistence, while the ruby is more of a ‘cash crop’. The mining itself is very rudimentary where the farmers use picks and shovels, then screen or wash the dirt to find the small bits of ruby rough.

What kinds of sizes, shapes and cutting styles can be found?

Most of the Pomme Ruby™ rough found are very small crystals suitable for cutting melee (smaller than 3mm round stones). The rough tends to be very clean to lightly included. This rough material then produces exceptionally clean, bright red stones to lightly included, eye clean gems. Eighty-five percent of production displays a medium to deep vibrant red color, with remaining production showing purple or pink overtones.

There are some exceptional, and rare, large crystals found that can cut gems up to 2 carats. These are very rare. While we do have some of these rare gems available, our main target with this material is to cut beautiful and deep red small round rubies.

Is this material typically enhanced in any way?

We are proud to share that this ruby is not treated in any way. The finished gems are cut to yield the same colors and clarity as what mother nature produced from the earth. This is exceptionally unusual with rubies today. Many experts estimate that up to ninety percent of the world’s production ruby is actually heated and fracture filled with lead glass. This means any low quality ruby can be artificially manipulated into a stone that, to the naked eye, looks like a sellable gemstone. The issue with this treatment is that while it does fill cracks, it is not stable and will break down over time.

Since we only get untreated rough material that is acquired following our Fair Trade Gems® Principles & Protocols, we can assure these gems are one-hundred percent genuine. No low quality grade lead glass filled or other synthetics are ever used or mixed in at any time. This statement holds true for all of our gems.

So, what does this mean? Since Pomme Ruby™ is one of our trademarked products, you can only buy it from us. And when you do, you know you are purchasing an untreated responsibly sourced natural ruby. These natural gems will continue to display the same beauty you see today over a lifetime. No surprises for you or your customers.

Are there any unique characteristics you can share about this material?

The best quality material from this ruby production is exceptionally clean and brilliant. More importantly, the vibrant and intense red colors hold well even in small stones. When cutting small melee gems, it’s common to see lighter color as you cut smaller and smaller in size. This is because there is less material mass to reflect its color back to your eye. For example, you may look at the ocean and see deep blue colors, but if you scoop up a glass of water from the very same ocean it will look
completely clear and colorless. This glass holds exactly the same material, but your eye does not see the same color as when viewing the ocean itself. The same thing happens with colored gemstones and that’s what makes it so incredibly unusual to see such vibrancy and depth in color in stones as small as 1mm. That’s as small as a sharp pencil point!  

In addition to its exceptional brilliance and vibrant red colors, Pomme Ruby™ is likely one of the only rubies that you can confidently purchase and know it is untreated. As mentioned before, that is extremely rare in today’s world.

What are the gem specs of this material? How do we know if it is authentic?

The material we source at Columbia Gem House is backed with our Gem Trust guarantee. This means you know it’s an authentic gemstone and that we will share all available information with you. You can find additional gem specifications below:

Gem Type
Pomme Ruby™
Fair Trade Level
Vibrant red to red-purple & pink
Not Treated
Hardness (Mohs Scale)
Refractive Index
1.76 - 1.77
Specific Gravity
3.9 - 4.0
Transparent to lightly included
Crystal Structure

How do I care for my gemstone?

Ruby is an extremely hard material and second only to diamonds. This means it can handle nearly all conditions, which makes it great to design with and wear. Just as with all gemstones though, you should treat it with care and do your best not to strike it directly.

Because these rubies are not treated, you can be completely confident in having your local jeweler clean them in ultrasonics or steam cleaners. You can also use warm water, detergent, and a soft brush to clean at home.

What can you tell us beyond the facets? I want to know more…

Pomme Ruby™ is produced by artisanal miners in a highly underdeveloped farming area, which means each gemstone purchased directly supports these miners by actually bringing cash to the miners and their community.