As the name implies, these rubies come from India. Many of the best-quality rubies from this source have a pinkish-red appearance, and very little material can be faceted. It is often opaque instead of transparent like glass, and polished in a rounded, cabochon shape or carved.
Dealers will highlight that the best quality material according to the 4Cs of color, clarity, cut, and carat weight comes from a little island off the south-east tip of India called Sri Lanka . The island is widely known as Ratnadeepa meaning the “Island of Gems” with the city of Ratnapura meaning “City of Gems”.
Aside from a few scarce exceptions, most of this material will be carving-grade or cabochan-grade, and is not suitable to be faceted like most gems we see. There are also a number of dealers that refer to the fine Sri Lanka rubies as Indian rubies, despite them being separate countries. It is worth noting that they are incredibly close together on a map, and do reference one another in their historical literature.
The ruby material from the Karur mines of India can be transparent and facet-quality, but it is not a major ruby supplier on the world market. Most of the rubies are also known to be opaque.
The other mines are known for large, ruby carving specimens the size of a man’s arm.