Diversity in ruby geochemistry and its inclusions: Intra-and inter-continental comparisons from Myanmar and Eastern Australia

Frederick L. Sutherland, Khin Zaw, Sebastien Meffre, Jay Thompson, Karsten Goemann, Kyaw Thu, Than Than Nu, Mazlinfalina Mohd Zin, Stephen J. Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Ruby in diverse geological settings leaves petrogenetic clues, in its zoning, inclusions, trace elements and oxygen isotope values. Rock-hosted and isolated crystals are compared from Myanmar, SE Asia, and New South Wales, East Australia. Myanmar ruby typifies metasomatized and metamorphic settings, while East Australian ruby xenocrysts are derived from basalts that tapped underlying fold belts. The respective suites include homogeneous ruby; bi-colored inner (violet blue) and outer (red) zoned ruby; ruby-sapphirine-spinel composites; pink to red grains and multi-zoned crystals of red-pink-white-violet (core to rim). Ruby ages were determined by using U-Pb isotopes in titanite inclusions (Thurein Taung; 32.4 Ma) and zircon inclusions (Mong Hsu; 23.9 Ma) and basalt dating in NSW, >60–40 Ma. Trace element oxide plots suggest marble sources for Thurein Taung and Mong Hsu ruby and ultramafic-mafic sources for Mong Hsu (dark cores). NSW rubies suggest metasomatic (Barrington Tops), ultramafic to mafic (Macquarie River) and metasomatic-magmatic (New England) sources. A previous study showed that Cr/Ga vs. Fe/(V + Ti) plots separate Mong Hsu ruby from other ruby fields, but did not test Mogok ruby. Thurein Taung ruby, tested here, plotted separately to Mong Hsu ruby. A Fe-Ga/Mg diagram splits ruby suites into various fields (Ga/Mg < 3), except for magmatic input into rare Mogok and Australian ruby (Ga/Mg > 6). The diverse results emphasize ruby’s potential for geographic typing.

Original languageEnglish
Article number28
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Geology


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