How to Polish a Rough Ruby

Updated February 21, 2017

Rubies are beautiful and expensive gemstones. According to, the most important aspect in determining value is the colour of the ruby: "The term 'pigeon blood' colour has been used in the gemstone trade to characterise a perfect, fiery luminescent red of a perfect ruby." To keep your rubies looking great, or to improve the shine on rough, old or dirty rubies, make sure that you use the right kind of gem cleaner on them. This will help the gem keep its lustre and value.

Pour some gem cleaner into a large bowl. It's best to clean your ruby (and other gems) in a bowl rather than over the sink to prevent the gems falling down the drain.

Place the ruby (or rubies) into the bowl of soapy cleaning solution. You can use a gem cleaner like Blitz Gem and Jewelry Cleaner. If you do not have a gem cleaner, you can use liquid antibacterial hand soap, which works great to clean and polish rubies.

Clean the ruby entirely using a toothbrush. Brush the ruby gently.

Pour cool water into a separate bowl. Place the ruby or rubies in the separate bowl to rinse them off. Make sure that all of the soap comes off of the rubies.

Pat the rubies dry using a soft cloth. Place the rubies in a jewellery bag for storing.


Although rubies are a tough gem, be careful in choosing the cleaner. Some chemicals can strip away a ruby's lustre. Also, do not leave rubies in any gem cleaner. This can also reduce their shine.

Things You'll Need

  • Gem cleaner
  • 2 large bowls
  • Medium bristled toothbrush
  • Lint-free soft cloth
bibliography-icon icon for annotation tool Cite this Article

About the Author

Andrea Griffith has been writing professionally since 2005. Her work has been published by the "Western Herald," Detroit WDIV, USAToday and other print, broadcast and online publications. Although she writes about a wide range of topics, her areas of expertise include fashion, beauty, technology and education. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and English from Western Michigan University.