Avoid Lead Glass filled Rubies in your Jewelry, particularly Rings

Posted by Not Just Stones on Sep 19th 2020

Avoid Lead Glass filled Rubies in your Jewelry, particularly Rings

Better View of the Ruby


The above ruby looks nice - most would say that but it's not as nice as one would think. And there is a reason; it's filled with Lead Glass.


In the gemstone world, many natural stones, particularly Rubies, contain extreme problems, fractures (cracks) and otherwise. Ruby is just one that this applies to but is very prominent when it comes to having problems. As such, in order to come up with a gemstone suitable for jewelry, it is not uncommon today that natural stones are filled with substance and heated to bring out more color.

These substances are stated to add more strength and durability to the stone. And this may very well be the case; however, we also fully understand the underlying problems of these stones and have created this Policy for the protection of our buying consumers when it comes to “glass filled” rubies.

These substances can vary and it is common in today's world, due to refraction and durability properties, to use glass for filling. Even so, at times they are so heavily filled, that it would be questionable if the Ruby is actually still a Ruby.

In some cases, there is doubt as to whether the stone really is a Ruby. It may contain next to no corundum in the actual stone. This is not uncommon and they should be avoided for most uses. Certain underlying factors in this process will show through testing, internal bubbles which may not be common in natural stones. Many of these stones look “cloudy” as well. This is due to the glass filling in these stones.

Testing these stones, will generally show these bubbles from the glass that has been used to fill the fractures. As well, colorful rainbows may be visible along the fracture lines giving more indication that this process has been used. This is not going to be common in Natural stones which have not undergone this process.

Though many will sell these stones from Thailand and other places, and many do not see a problem with this method; we do. Reputable jewelers may even consider it unethical to even use these stones in most instances, as certain issues can arise when it comes to these glass filled Rubies. And primarily the way they may be cleaned and how they can be damaged by simple things such as lemon or lime juice. Acidic substances and chemicals; even household bleaches and cleaning agents. Keep in mind, once they are damaged, the Rubies CANNOT be repaired.

After problems occur, you may be able to see pockmarks in the stones. Indentations if you will. The acid or other substances in such case; even from simple lemon juice, is “eating” away at the stone. Depending on the amount of glass used, will depend on how much potential damage is caused. They all look nice until that happens.

To avoid these issues, we do not sell Glass Filled Rubies that have been made into Rings. We may however, use them in such items as Necklaces and Earrings, but the chances of them being destroyed by simple things as lemon juice is not as great as they are not generally in direct contact with the substance. One still has to care for them.

A ring for example would be more susceptible when eating, and of course cleaning, where chemicals are being used, that could very easily get on these products. As noted, even simple lemon juice or household bleaches, can be a problem for these stones.

In all cases, where it comes to using these stones, some of them which are very beautiful, and quite red, we will disclose the process when known. And in all cases where they have been used in products, we do not suggest cleaning them with anything except what we note in the items description.

That being a mild dish detergent (Blue Dawn is recommended) that does not contain bleaches or dying agents. And using a Soft Toothbrush to more thoroughly clean the item. Do not use normal Jewelry cleaners or solvents, steam cleaning, chemicals, ultra-sonic, etc. as they may cause issues. And if using tarnish removers, be especially careful when cleaning to not touch the gemstones or cover them up when doing so to protect them from potential damage.

To sum it up, we do not sell to our knowledge (regardless of how much glass filling may be present) any Glass Filled Jewelry rings that may potentially be damaged. We may however, use these stones in other items such as pendants and earrings. Items that we feel, are less likely to become damaged by simple chemicals and acids like lemon or lime juice.

One should otherwise avoid these stones (Glass filled Rubies) except as we have noted. You will see them for sale many times at reasonable pricing. But buyer beware of the potential for problems. You may be disappointed later if you are not aware of the potential for problems that these stones may have. We have only listed the more common ones.