A Ruby Romance
Fairies and stars are amongst us in July as a ruby romance sweeps us off our feet. Discover what makes ruby the gemstones of mythic sprites and celestial bodies.
"Those be rubies, fairy favours..." (Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night's Dream)
It is said that if treated well, fairies will bestow good fortune, and indeed, rubies have been a symbol of good luck for centuries. In Asia, rubies were laid beneath the foundations of buildings to protect them with good fortune.
There's nothing like the rich pink-red of the ruby, and most prized of all is the pigeon-blood red, where the stone is predominantly red with just a hint of purple-blue. Maybe it's because the finest rubies are a rich red, the colour of love, that there's a warmth and vitality that characterises this precious stone.
The ruby is one of the four precious stones together with sapphire, emerald and diamond. It is not widespread, hence its value, but has been used since the earliest times as a precious stone.
Along with the sapphire, the ruby is the best-known variety of the mineral corundum, a colourless stone. It is the presence of chromium that gives the ruby its red colour.
All natural rubies contain imperfections, known as silk, and these are often exploited during the cutting process to reflect the light.
Fascinating Facts About Rubies
- Ruby is the birthstone for July.
- Records reveal the trading of rubies on the North Silk Road of China in 200BC.
- In Asia, rubies were laid beneath the foundations of buildings to protect them with good fortune.
- Ruby jewellery is traditionally given to celebrate a 40th wedding anniversary.
- Rubies are thought to transfer energy, passion and vitality to the wearer
- The name ruby comes from the Latin word “ruber,” meaning red.
- Rubies have historically signified great passion and have always been associated with deep love and courage.
- Next to diamonds, rubies are the second hardest gemstone.
- Rubies are recognised as a talisman to ensure harmony, guard against sorrow, inspire confidence and bring success.
- The chromium that gives it is colour is also responsible for causing the multitude of cracks and fissures commonly found inside the crystals. Because of this, rubies larger than three carats are extremely rare to find
- Rubies are the recognized gift for the 15th and 40th wedding anniversaries.
- It is believed that this gemstone has the power to attract and maintain love.
- Most of the rubies available on the market come from Thailand but the most valuable rubies come from Myanmar (formerly Burma). These Burmese rubies feature an exceptional red colour that is highly sought after.
- The most expensive piece of ruby jewellery every sold at auction is known as “The Sunrise Ruby.” This 25.59 carat Burmese ruby and diamond ring was sold in May of 2015 for a little over 30 million dollars.
- The first laser ever created was made using the red fluorescence light emitted by ruby crystals.
- In Sanskrit, rubies are known by the name “ratnaraj,” meaning the king of gems.
- Rubies were believed to purge the body of toxins and restore youth and vitality when rubbed on the skin. It was also believed that rubies were able to improve blood circulation, except when worn close to the stomach, where the gemstone was believed to have adverse effects.
- Rubies are considered to be the most valuable colored gemstone, costing more than both sapphires and emeralds of a similar size and quality.