GIA recently released a video that provides an overview of lead glass-filled rubies and explains why it has begun to call them a “manufactured product” on reports.
Lead glass-filled rubies are created by “taking very low quality ruby that couldn’t be used in jewelry and filling it with lead glass to make it transparent and cutable,” says Shane McClure, director of West Coast identification services.
This material is being put in very expensive-looking jewelry. People think they are getting a bargain for a product that is not very durable, says Ken Scarratt, managing director for Southeast Asia and director of the lab in Thailand.
The video, which was created to educate the trade and public, also covers how to identify lead glass-filled rubies with a microscope and how to care for them.
To gain a more in-depth understanding of this material, read the document “A Discussion on Ruby-Glass Composites & Their Potential Impact on the Nomenclature in use for Fracture-Filled or Clarity Enhanced Stones in General” (February 2012).