Rubies have been used for many centuries in fine jewelry. Because of their value in creating fakes you will find that in your search it can sometimes be difficult to determine between real ruby jewelry and man made rubies. Obviously the difference is that natural rubies were formed by nature in the environment while man made rubies are grown quicker and in a laboratory. There are also enhanced rubies which are poor quality rubies that have been enhanced to look better. Prices vary radically leading to confusion for the general consumer.
If you budget is limited you may wish to consider a natural stone that is lab enhanced utilizing various techniques to make color and shine improved. This is an industry standard and these stones are marked so the consumer knows they were enhanced. Prices range from around $300 or less making for an affordable option for those with a limited budget. Allowing you to still own a beautiful deep red ruby in an attractive setting.
Natural stones are non enhanced stones. Some of the more desired stones come from Africa or Asia with the areas of Kenya, Sri Lanka, Tanzani and others harvesting the famous pigeons blood rubies, named because they have a deep rich red color. They are high quality natural stones and command a price of over $1000 per carat. These are some of the most sought after rubies on the market but supplies can be limited.
The gold setting you choose will be at an additional cost. While stones are generally sold by themselves there are some major jewelers have a selection of preset stones. The popularity of rubies keep the store stock moving. Setting pricing is based on gold prices and weight of the setting. A smart consumer will familiarize themselves with the current price of gold settings before going out shopping. If a vendor offers to sell you a pair of Pigeons Blood ruby earrings for $100 and you know that earring settings generally cost about $100 you can quickly figure out the area of concern.
An informed consumer is prepared to do business with pawn shops and online auctions sites. You can get a great natural ruby as long as you arm yourself with a basic understanding of industry terminology and current gold prices. You are purchasing an nice piece of jewelry that will probably stay in your family for many generations to come. Take a few minutes to do some research so that you get a stone worthy of heirloom status.