Gemstone color and color terminology

- Nov 23, 2018-

Defining the importance of pigeon blood 'red' and royal 'blue'


The industry offers additional color terminology for certain gemstones, the Ruby's Pigeon Blood Red and the sapphire's Royal Blue Roya Blue are the most representative examples. These two terms have been used for centuries to describe the finest rubies and sapphires, respectively. In addition to the unique colors, the texture must also be of the highest grade. Historically, these terms are not just for color descriptions. At the same time related to quality. In the past few years, SSEF has extensively studied color perception and description, and developed its own strict standards to define which rubies and sapphires meet the color terms ' pigeon blood red' and 'royal blue' mentioned in the SSEF certificate.


They are all from Myanmar's 'Bone Blood Red' Ruby and 'Royal Blue' Sapphire. Please note that the color of the gems shown here does not represent the exact true color. They are all from Myanmar's 'Bone Blood Red' Ruby and 'Royal Blue' Sapphire. Please note that the color of the gems shown here does not represent the exact true color.

SSEF's color standard for pigeon blood red and royal blue


Evaluate whether ruby or sapphire meets the criteria of 'pigeon blood red' or 'royal blue'. The primary gemstone color must be red, blue with rich, high saturation and uniform color distribution.


The best statement for ' pigeon blood red' is that it is not clearly colored by other colors (such as blue or brown), and a slight purple color is acceptable. Under the UV light, the body color of the pigeon blood red ruby will be complemented by strong fluorescence, which is what the ruby experts dream of, and the remarkable 'inner glow inside red light'. The best description of 'Royal Blue' is high-saturation blue, blue or with a very slight purple.


Although this part of the sapphire is saturated with a blue color (near the waist), it reveals a distinct color gamut in the center of the stone and therefore does not meet our 'Royal Blue' standard. Although this part of the sapphire is saturated with a blue color (near the waist), it reveals a distinct color gamut in the center of the stone and therefore does not meet our 'Royal Blue' standard.

Quality standards are as important as color

As mentioned above, to achieve SSEF's 'Pigeon Blood Red' and 'Royal Blue', the premise is that any ruby or sapphire must meet strict quality standards. In terms of quality, these color vocabulary can only be used for high quality and without any color and/or clarity optimized rubies and sapphires.


A round of natural corundum of various colors offers many attractive options for the market.