The Meaning and History of Ruby
“There’s no place like home.”, whispered Dorothy, as she clicked her ruby slippers three times and was magically whisked away to the comfort of her Kansas farmhouse. Sparkling red in the glow of Hollywood lights, Dorothy’s ruby slippers were actually nothing more than a rhinestone studded prop. Nonetheless, the allure ofrubies and ruby jewelry is so strong that it has worked its way into all the cultures of the world from the beginning of history up to modern time.
“A drop of the heart’s blood of Mother Earth” is how the ruby is described in the Orient. The Indians call the ruby Ratnanayaka, the lord of the gemstones. The Hindus called the ruby the king of precious stones and the leader of gems. They used to divide rubies
into castes, much like social classes. Rubies were sorted into upper class, middle class, and lower class in terms of flawlessness and beauty. Much like today’s exclusive county clubs and their upper-class clientele, no inferior Ruby was allowed contact with a superior one because it was believed the inferior one would contaminate the better one, thereby diminishing its magical powers. In India
, those who donated rubies
to honor Krishna were assured being reborn as an emperor in a future life. Hindus consider light colored rubies to be appropriate for women
, and darker rubies to be appropriate for men
. Elaborate ruby earrings have been a popular jewelry choice
for centuries. In China
, a Mandarin’s rank was indicated by the color of the stone in his ruby ring
. A red jewel stone meant he was a key figure among the great. In the 1880’s, French jewelers called the ruby the gem of gems or the dearly loved stone.
The name ruby comes from the Latin word ruber, which means red. It is favorite gem among those in power and those in love, inspiring more emotion than almost any other stone. Some ancient cultures believed that rubies, as well as other gemstones, grew on trees, just like fruit. The rubies would begin budding as small white gems, and would slowly grow and ripen, turning red in the light of the sun. When the ruby was saturated with red color, it was ready to be plucked.
Ruby is deemed to be the most precious of gemstones by the Bible and the ancient Sanskrit writings. Indeed, upon discovery of each Ruby crystal, the Indian Emperor would give a special royal welcome to this King of Gemstones.
Mystical Powers of Ruby
*The information provided here is for entertainment and reference purposes only. It is based on centuries of folklore, most of which came with the birthstones of your loved ones, or your favorite combination of colors about before the age of modern medicine. It is not meant as actual medical information. For advice about any of the illnesses listed, please visit a qualified physician.
Rubies throughout time have been said to have many positive effects and mystical properties. The ruby is associated with the sun, and was thought to preserve mental and physical health. In the middle ages, rubies were viewed as a stone of prophecy. It was thought the stone darkened when danger was near. Ivan the Terrible of Russia stated that rubieswere good for the heart, brain and memory. A Thirteenth Century prescription to cure liver problems called for powdered ruby. In the 15th-16th Centuries,rubies were thought to counteract poison. When rubbed on the skin, they were also thought to restore youth and vitality.
For thousands of years, Ruby was considered the stone of love
, energy, passion, power, and a zest for life. Like no other gemstone in the world, Ruby is the perfect symbol for powerful feelings. The other important element of Ruby besides fire is blood, and Ruby is said to restore vital life forces and increase energy and vigor. Ruby is also known as the stone of courage, and legend tells us that a person possessing a ruby can walk through life without fear of evil or misfortune.
Physically, rubies are thought to energize and balance, stimulate heart chakra and encourage a passion for life, but never in a self destructive way. They overcome exhaustion and calm hyperactivity. They detoxify the body and blood, and treat fevers, diseases, and restricted blood flow. They are good for the heart and circulatory system and stimulate the adrenals, kidneys, reproductive organs and spleen.
Emotionally, it is believed that rubies
improve motivation and the setting of goals. They promote positive dreams and clear visualization and aid in retaining wealth and passion. They bring up negative anger in order for change and removal. They also promote dynamic leadership. They bring a positive and courageous state of mind- one that is sharp, hyper aware and concentrated. They make you stronger during times of controversy or dispute and shield against physical attack. A ruby is also said to be a settler of disputes, having the power of reconciliation. A ruby is dynamic, and brings about passion and enthusiasm
, attracting sexual activity.
Any jewelry that carries a Ruby signifies so much passion and love between two people, that it makes Ruby an ideal choice for engagement or Valentine’s Day jewelry. Furthermore, Ruby is the gemstone to be given on the 15th and 40th wedding anniversaries.
The uplifting and vital nature of Ruby is an encouragement to live fully, and embrace the joy of life that is missing in many people’s lives. Ruby allows the fire of passion and love to advance. It helps to bring down the walls we build around us to keep others out.
Physical Properties and Science of Ruby
Ruby is extremely rare and one of the most valuable precious gemstones in nature. It offers breathtaking color, ranging from brownish red to light red similar to ripe raspberries, excellent hardness second only to a diamond, and irresistible brilliance. The color of ruby is accompanied by a marked fluorescence, which is stimulated by natural and artificial light making rubies turn brighter red under such light. The color is ruby’s most important attribute, while its transparency is secondary. It is almost impossible to find a ruby of finer quality over 3 carats in size, therefore, minor inclusions are deemed acceptable and most ruby jewelry is made with stones under 3 carats. In fact, inclusions within a ruby are like fingerprints, proving its authenticity and revealing the beauty and the individuality of each stone.
was considered to be the source of all rubies
, as testified by an overwhelming collection of literature for over two thousand years. The highest qualityrubies
, the most transparent with the best color, are usually from Burma, and can actually be as valuable as diamonds, or even more so. The ruby is actually very closely related to the sapphire
, both being part of thecorundum
family. They are both made of the same mineral, but are of course, different colors. The ruby is a little softer than thesapphire
, which may seem strange as they are both made of the same mineral, however nature never makes each gem in a mineral family the same.
The most rare, highly valued ruby is the star ruby, which is also called pigeon or dove blood because its color resembles the blood of a pigeon or dove. It is a deep pure red with a hint of bluish purple, and is the most sought after shade. Inside of the ruby is what appears to be a star, a six-ray star with perfect symmetry. The center of the star moves when the stone is moved. It is usually found in smaller stones, of weights less than three carats. A perfect star ruby is very rare. Sometimes, the stone is flawed, or too cloudy, or the six points of the star are vague or unequal. Star rubies are usually given a mixed cut, which is generally oval, but can be round, or other shapes as well.
Although the finest rubies
come from the Mogok region in Burma, many beautiful rubies
also come from Thailand
, today’s main source for rubies
. Thai rubies
tend to be a little darker in shade, with a red so deep they are almost violet. The island of Ceylong, which is the “island of gems“, has also been long famous for it’s rubies
, which are of a lighter shade. Marco Polo once said that no other place had rubies
as beautiful as those from Ceylon. Rubies also come from India
, Tanzania, Madagascar, Russia
, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Kenya, Mexico
, Afghanistan, and North Carolina and Pakistan. Pakistan providesrubies
of excellent color, only with less frequency than from Mogok.
Since rubies are so hard and durable, they are easy to care for, however it is not recommended to wear a ruby if you are doing any sort of rough work or are using harsh chemicals. Rubies should be stored in a fabric-lined box, away from other pieces of jewelry, as they may scratch other, softer gemstones. When it is time to clean them, you can use soapy water and a brush, or a commercial jewelry cleanser. It is important to rinse the stone thoroughly and dry it, after cleaning it. If you take care of your ruby, it will stay with you, and retain its beauty for many years to come.
The birthstone for the month of July is the ruby, which makes red the official July birthstone color. The ruby is one of the most highly prized gemstones. Finding a large ruby is more difficult than finding a large diamond. Because of this the value of a ruby increases with size much more than other gemstones. Rubies are a form of corundum, which is a mineral that is typically grey and drab in color. when it is red it is called a ruby. When corundum is another color such as yellow, orange, green, brown, violet, purple, black, or colorless, they are called sapphires.
The rarest and finest rubies are often found in Mogok valley located in Upper Burma. The stones found here are often called pigeons blood because of the intense red color of the stones found here. Thailand is also known for the production of dark, reddish brown rubies. Both Burma and Thailand consider the ruby to be the national stone.
History of Rubies
Rubies were believed to have the spark of life in the Orient. According to several eastern legends the minerals contained a drop of the hearts blood from mother earth. There are ancient Asian stores that state the ruby was self-luminous. It was often called a lamp stone or a glowing stone. The story states that one emperor of China would use a large ruby in order to light up be chambers and that it would glow as bright as day.
Hindu priests called Brahmins believed that god’s homes were lit by large emeralds and rubies. Greek legends that came later talked of a stork that would repay the kindness of Heraclea by bringing large rubies that would illuminate her room during the night.
Ancient Burmese, Hindus, and the Ceylonese thought sapphires were unripe rubies. They believed that if the sapphire was buried in the ground it would turn into a red ruby.
During the middle ages rubies were thought to guard against bad thoughts, disputes, and amorous desires and to bring good health. It was also believed that rubies could cure bleeding. It was also believed that the ruby could warn the owner of coming misfortunes such as death or illness by becoming darker in color. One story states that Catherine of Aragon, who was King Henry VII’s first wife, predicted her demise because her ruby started to darken.
Since rubies are rare, there are not very many famous large rubies. In his book written about his travels during the 13th century, Marco Polo tells of a magnificent gemstone, which is believed to be a ruby that was 9 inches in length and as thick as an arm. The King of Ceylon owned this particular gem.
July Birth Flower
The birth flower for the month of July is the Larkspur. The flower is native to northern temperatures. The flower has several names including lark’s toe, lark’s heel, staggerweed, and knight’s spur. The flower is a delphinium plant that has bright flowers. It symbolizes ardent attachment and the feelings of an open heart. Larkspur has a long history of use in alternative medicine, and is said to treat open wounds. It is also said to treat hemorrhoids, and help ease collic in young children.