Rubies can command the highest per-carat price of any colored stone. This makes ruby one of the most important gems in the colored stone market. In its purest form, the mineral corundum is colorless. Trace elements that become part of the mineral’s crystal structure cause variations in its color. Chromium is the trace element that causes ruby’s red color.
The strength of ruby’s red depends on how much chromium is present—the more chromium, the stronger the red color. Chromium can also cause fluorescence, which adds to the intensity of the red color.
The most renowned rubies, like those from Myanmar, the Himalayas, and northern Vietnam, typically form in marble. They are found in layers that are distributed irregularly within the surrounding marble. Marble forms as part of the metamorphic (rock-altering) process when heat and pressure from mountain formation act on existing limestone deposits.
Although it carries special meaning for many people, Ruby is especially valued as a birthstone for those born in July. This birthstone is said to bring protection and good luck, and its fiery color complements the outgoing and passionate personalities of those born in this month.
History and Fun Facts
- In Burma (a ruby source since at least 600 AD—now called Myanmar), warriors possessed rubies to make them invincible in battle. However, it wasn’t enough to just wear the rubies. They had to insert them into their flesh and make them part of their bodies.
- The name ruby comes from the Latin word ruber, which means “red.” The glowing red of ruby suggested an inextinguishable flame burning in the stone, even shining through clothing and able to boil water.
- The famous Mong Hsu ruby deposit of the Mogok gemstone tract is the largest producer of good commercial to fine quality rubies today.
- Sunrise Ruby – Holds the record as the world’s most expensive ruby – It is a large pigeon blood ruby, which is considered to be one of the rarest of all gemstones. Tracing its origin to Myanmar, the ruby weighs 25.59 carats and was set between hexagonal diamonds in a platinum ring. The Sunrise Ruby was part of a collection of Cartier jewels brought to auction at Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels auction in Geneva in May of 2015. After a competitive bidding period, the piece went for more than double what was expected at $30.3 million to an anonymous Swiss bidder.
- DeLong Star Ruby – Discovered in Burma in the 1930s, this oval- shaped cabochon star ruby weighs just over 100 carats, has a 6-rayed star effect, and was named after its owner, Edith Haggin DeLong. A collector of special gemstones and minerals. DeLong purchased the ruby in 1937 from famed collector Martin Leo Ehrmann who would travel the world searching for unique minerals. Later, Edith Haggin DeLong donated the special orchid-red star ruby to the American Museum of Natural History where it was named for her in her memory. In 1964, the ruby was one of the items stolen in a scandalous heist by Jack Murphy and two accomplices.
- Rubies are associated with love, anger, passion, danger, and romance.
- Rubies are mentioned four times in the Bible.
- Ruby was said to be the most precious of the 12 stones created by God. Hindus regarded Rubies as the most valued gem. It was called ‘Ratnaraj’, meaning ‘king of the precious Gems’, and later ‘ratnanayaka’, meaning ‘leader of all precious stones’. In the Harita Smriti, it is written that ‘He who worships Krishna with Rubies will be reborn as a powerful emperor’.
- The ancient Greek philosopher Theophrastus (371-287 BC) wrote that Rubies could be male or female. The ‘male’ stones were darker and more brilliant than the ‘female’ stones, which are lighter with a weaker luster.
- When worn as a talisman, ruby’s mystical properties extended to personal protection. People believed wearing the stone on the left, the heart side, would allow the bearers to live peacefully. None could take their land or rank. The blood-colored stone would preserve them from all perils, even their homes from storms.
- Ruby measures 9 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, second only to diamond.
- Thailand is one of the leading hubs for ruby mining and production, with other leading countries including Madagascar, Sri Lanka, and India.
- The most desirable shade of ruby is a deep red with a hint of blue which is referred to as “pigeon’s blood.”
- Rubies are the recognized gift for the 15th and 40th wedding anniversaries.
- Rubies have historically signified great passion and have always been associated with deep love and courage.
Here are some of your favorite celebrities born in July: Jennifer Lopez; Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise; Margot Robbie; Nancy Reagan; Kevin Hart; Natalie Wood; Sofia Vergara; Ringo Starr; Kevin Bacon.
Ruby Birthstone Jewelry In Any Style You Desire
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