What is a lab created synthetic ruby? In the late 1800s, ruby (the mineral corundum) became the first gem to be created in a laboratory by the French chemist Auguste Verneuil. In 1902, he announced the development of his new flame-fusion process for synthesizing this beautiful gem. In the 1920's, the early Art Deco years, synthetic ruby and sapphire (both the mineral CORUNDUM), were extremely popular and also the norm, for that timeline. The vast majority of rubies and sapphires from that time period are synthetic gem stones. Synthetic corundum, ruby and sapphire, have the IDENTICAL physical and chemical properties as their natural counterparts. This means that they have the same crystal structure, specific gravity, refractive index, hardness, birefringence, and pleochroism as their natural counterparts.
Since the physical and chemical traits of natural and synthetic corundum are identical, separating them can be a challenge. As gemologists, we rely on INTERNAL characteristics seen under high magnification to separate them. Inclusions seen with magnification will vary from natural to synthetic and a gemologist will be familiar with these characteristics.The number one internal trait that assists me with separation are the growth lines seen under magnification. Natural rubies will exhibit STRAIGHT (parallel) growth lines, while synthetic ruby will exhibit curved growth lines, also called CURVED STRIAE, which appear much like the rounded grooves of a vinyl l.p. record.
parallel growth lines on natural ruby, note too how the growth lines meet at an angle, referred to as hexagonal growth lines:
curved striae on synthetic ruby:
Another typical finding, synthetic rubies will glow brightly- intense neon pink, under exposure to ultra violet light, a phenomenon known as Fluorescence.
This is tricky though, because there are natural rubies, that by virtue of the chemicals present during their formation process, will also fluoresce. Typically though, synthetic rubies tend to fluoresce much more intensely than natural rubies.
Some of the physical traits associated with the ruby are vitality, prosperity, courage, high energy, and leadership. Ruby is the traditional birthstone for the month of July. I find the ruby to be a very dynamic gem that is full of energy, and highly aspirational.
Art Deco 10k white gold synthetic ruby ring, by White Wile & Warner- (Buffalo, New York), circa 1920. Available here: https://sundayandsunday.patternbyetsy.com/listing/505954727/vintage-early-art-deco-10k-white-gold