Luc Yen, Yenbai (Yen Bai) Province, Vietnam
Miniature, 3.4 x 3.3 x 2.3 cm
At approximately 1 inch in height, this is a fairly good-sized ruby crystal by any standard. For Vietnam, where most rubies are resorbed and somehow lumpy it seems, it is of exceptional sharpness. The termination is complete all around, and the crystal is freestanding from the matrix completely and fully exposed on all sides for half its height. The termination is slightly stepped, but sharp and complete, and also lustrous. The surface is waxy in luster, as with Mogok rubies and unlike Afghanistan ruby specimens. The color is a slightly pink-red hue, that really is very different from the classic hues found historically in Burma (Mogok). Hence, to my eye, it is quite different than a similar crystal from Mogok - which would also cost a lot more money due to the more developed lapidary and wholesale markets there (and in particular, demand from the Chinese buyers for Burmese ruby for carving material). Thus, in a similarly formed Vietnam ruby, we get really all the benefits we would want in a specimen without competing with the carving market to buy them, at least for now.