The richest, deepest, most magnificent red stone – the ruby! These gorgeous stones have had a long history, and they continue to enchant us.
From India’s king of the gems to Dorothy’s red slippers, here are some fun facts about rubies:
Rubies History, Beliefs and Usage
- Rubies were most likely discovered in India, about 2000 years ago. “Ratnaraj,” the Sanskrit name for this stone is translated to something like “king of the gems.” The name we use today, ruby, comes from the Latin word for red, “rubeus,” “rubens,” or “ruber.”
- Only 4 gemstones are a part of the Precious Gem category in gemology, and ruby is one of them! The other three are diamonds, sapphires, and emeralds.
- A part of the corundum family, rubies are only classified as rubies if they’re red. Any other color and the stone is categorized as a sapphire.
- Rubies can sometimes be pink, but this depends on the hue, region, and sometimes it’s a question of personal opinion. Pink corundum is often classified as pink sapphire.
- The magical red color comes from trace amounts of chromium. However, this element also causes cracks and fissures, and that’s why rubies larger than 3 carats are extremely rare.
- Measuring at number 9 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, rubies are the hardest stones after diamonds.
- Highest quality rubies mostly come from Myanmar (formerly Burma). This is why top quality rubies are sometimes called Burmese rubies.
- The finest and largest Pigeon’s Blood rubies came from the Mogok mines in Myanmar, but they’re sadly almost fully depleted.
- Garnet doublets (a piece of garnet fused with a piece of reddish glass) are the Victorian version of “fake” rubies. They’ve been used since the 1850s.
- The first synthetic rubies were put on the market in the late 19th century. Auguste Verneuil was the chemist who perfected the method of making them, and he even presented them at the Paris World Fair in 1900.
- The precious red stone played a part in laser technology! Theodore H. Maiman created the first functional laser in 1960 using a synthetic ruby crystal. Synthetic rubies can even be used in microelectronics.
- These precious gemstones are mentioned in the Bible. They’re associated with beauty and wisdom.
- Stories say warriors often carried rubies in battle. These were used as amulets for protection, strength, and courage. It was also believed that carrying rubies into battle would bring victory.
- Maybe it’s because of their deep red color, or maybe because of the ever-enduring folklore spun around them, rubies are said to ensure everlasting passion and even increase the powers of seduction and virility.
- Some ancient Indian folklore says that rubies would help the person wearing it be at peace with their enemies.
- In medieval times, rubies were used in fortune telling. If the stone turned a darker color, there were dangers ahead.
- Ivan the Terrible, the 16th-century Tsar of Russia, reportedly believed that rubies had healing powers related to the heart and that they could increase mental acuteness.
- Some stories say that back in the 13th century it was believed that ground rubies could help cure liver illnesses.
- It’s thought that ruby stones possess some healing powers. These July birthstones are used for emotional balance, harmony, success, and contentment for the ruby wearer.
- The largest ruby in the world weighs at 8184 g (more than 40000 carats) and is owned by a Chinese jewelry company.
Have you fallen in love with rubies yet? Drop by one of our stores and pick the perfect piece of jewelry accented with this truly precious stone!