Tom Shane's World

Rubies

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I am writing this blog post from Bangkok, where I spend almost half of my life.  I am here buying rubies and sapphires, which our stores will have by September.  It always takes a couple of months from when I pick the stones out until they get to one of our store locations.

Rubies are the official birthstone of July.  That means, if you have a July birthday to recognize, nothing can be more personal than a gift containing a ruby.  Our rubies are all 100% natural.  Every stone that I buy is personally selected by me, for its color and life.

Rubies

Once I select the stones, they are almost all re-cut.  I am far more particular than the overall market of buyers, so I buy what I can and then improve each stone.  Most professionals will acknowledge that this is my area of expertise…seeing not what the stone is when it is presented to me, but rather what I can improve it into.  I draw out how I want each stone to be re-cut, to maximize the fire, brilliance and life of the stone, as well as its overall beauty.  It is really a learned art rather than a science.

A parcel of rough rubies

Any jewelry shopper can look inside our showcases and those of any other jewelry store and immediately see the difference. While our people are qualified and will explain the technical issues, it doesn’t require expertise to see that our rubies are visibly superior.

Much of what goes into purchasing a ruby is subjective. You can ask yourself the following questions to get an idea if the stone is a good buy or not. Do you find the shade of color attractive? Does the stone have brilliance and seem to have life? Is the color too dark or too light? Is the stone uniformly brilliant, or does it have “flat” areas with no life? Does the stone appeal to me overall? These questions seem simple, but I have found that if you ask yourself these questions while you’re standing at a jewelry counter then you will always come out the better. Feel free to follow the link for even more information on rubies and sapphires.

A finished piece: round ruby and diamond pendant

The relative difference in rubies is much greater than diamond quality differences.  And the fact that you don’t need to be an expert to appreciate the difference in a super ruby makes it all the more rewarding to me, as both the ruby buyer and the owner of the company, to be able to offer rubies to our customers that really are exceptional.  I invite you to stop in, if only to satisfy your curiosity.

Tom Shane is the owner of Shane Co., the largest family-owned retail jeweler in the United States. For four decades Tom has traveled the globe buying gemstones, including diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and pearls directly from the gem cutters for Shane Co. He is the third of four generations of the Shane family to work in the jewelry business. Tom started learning the jewelry business at his father's side at age 12, assisting his father in his store. Tom opened his own jewelry business in 1971, establishing Shane Co. He was 22 years old at the time. In 1996 Tom was knighted into the order of Leopold II in the Kingdom of Belgium in recognition of his lifelong achievement in the diamond business. Tom currently resides in Colorado, but spends a great deal of his time abroad purchasing gemstones for Shane Co. You might know his voice from the Shane Co. radio ads which are the longest running radio ad campaign in history, or you might have caught him at a party with other Colorado celebrities in an episode of South Park.

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