Corundum var. Ruby
Jegdalek ruby deposit, Surobi Dist., Kabul, Afghanistan
Thumbnail, 2.6 x 2.6 x 2.3 cm

Rubies from Afghanistan have been treasured for literally thousands of years, trafficked over land, and cut and polished for crown jewels. It is only recently that specimens have been preserved as crystals, perhaps only since the 1980s, and fine specimens are rare amongst the average and rough material. They are difficult to collect because of the high altitude, short mining season, and lack of good infrastructure for mining deep into the sides of high mountains. Specimens like this, with a sharp crystal in matrix, are extremely uncommon compared to more rough, perhaps larger crystals. This is sharp, has a classic waxy ruby luster, and is entirely translucent to light. When backlit, it glows. This is a perfect balanced thumbnail size of competitive quality, with ruby to matrix ratio and a contrast of red on white that literally could not be improved upon. Burma rubies may be deeper red in color, but seldom come on matrix and in any case have a slightly different crystal habit — with this being particularly well developed, as you can see from the termination on the video. Overall, although this material is widely available in common and lesser quality as a reference specimen, this transcends most of what is out there on the market in the size and quality range.