Ruby derives its name from the Latin word for red, “rufus”. The beauty, rarity and historical mystique of Rubies are undeniable. Ruby is July’s birthstone, the gemstone for Cancer, and the traditional 15th and 40th anniversary gift. With the earliest record for the mining of Rubies dating to more than 2,500 years ago, the historical mystique and beauty of Rubies is as colorful as the legends and lore that surround this most precious of gems.
Prized throughout history, many believed that mystical powers lay hidden within this intensely colored red ruby gemstone. The fiery crimson color of Rubies caused many civilizations to associate them with passion, love and romance. Rubies were also thought to bestow wisdom, health and luck in gambling. Mentioned in Sanskrit texts, the ancient Hindus were so enchanted by the color of Rubies that they called them Ratnaraj “the king of gems”.
The ancient Hindus thought that the colors of Rubies were due to an inextinguishable fire that burned inside the gem which would endow it’s wearer with long life and even cause water to boil! As in Sanskrit texts, biblical references to Ruby (all red gemstones were collectively called Carbuncle at this time) refer to it as a most precious gem.
The Ruby gemstone is a precious red colored gemstone that comes from the mineral family Corundum. Its color may vary from pinkish to reddish brown, with blood-red being the best and therefore the most valuable. It has a Mohs Index of 9.0 and is only the second hardest gemstone after Diamond.
Rare Ruby gemstones are even rarer than diamonds, and exceptional quality rubies are known to have been sold at as high as $512,925 per carat (over Rs. 3 Cr). Ruby is aesthetically one of the most beautiful ruby gemstones and generally occurs in comparatively smaller sizes.
Widely known as ‘the Queen of Gems’ or ‘the Royal Gemstone’, the importance of ruby goes back a long way in history. It has been revered and valued by cultures worldwide and is believed to have immense healing and auspicious powers.
In Europe, Middle East and Asia, a lot of historical references to ruby are made. Ruby gemstones are believed to change color and lose luster and notify the wearer about a negative or a dangerous situation. They are believed to be a representation of the heart and help in diseases related to the heart. Being the gemstone representing the ‘Sun’ which is symbolic of the Father, Ruby helps in improving familial relations, paternal health and integrity.
Ruby gemstones come in a wide range of varieties depending upon their quality and origin. Burma (now Myanmar) has been mining rubies since 600 A.D. The best rubies come from Old Burma and Africa while Indian ruby gemstones are of comparatively lower quality. Here is a list of Ruby origins and how they differ in quality:
1. Old Burma: Old Burmese Ruby gemstones are of the best quality. They have the least internal inclusions, the best color and impeccable clarity. Old Burmese rubies have peculiar blemishes or birthmarks that make it easier to determine its origin.
2. New Burma (Myanmar): Ruby gemstones from New Burma are also of premium quality and are considered quite valuable. The most sought after ruby gemstone color ‘pigeon’s blood’ is also found in New Burmese mines. New Burmese Rubies have good clarity and vary in color.
3. India: .In India, Ruby gemstones are revered even more than diamonds. Although Indian rubies are of generally lower quality, they are still found in beautiful cuts and colors. Orissa and Mysore have the major Ruby mines in India.
4. Thailand: The rubies from Thailand are good in quality and come in comparatively darker shades. The presence of Chromium with Iron imparts the dark brownish color to these rubies. Thai Ruby gemstones can be heat treated to improve color.
5. Tanzania: Tanzanian Ruby gemstones, although not the best quality rubies, are generally not very flawed and have a good quality. These rubies are generally darker in color, but smaller rubies tend to have a lighter color. These generally cost less and are therefore, more affordable.
6. Africa: In Africa, the mining of ruby gemstones began recently and is mostly done in Madagascar. These rubies have a natural pinkish and orange shade. Since they are not treated and heated, these may cost more than rubies from many other origins. They are of good quality.
What does the Ruby Gemstone signify?
Ruby gemstones are basically minerals or rocks that are believed to possess divine power. The beauty, cut and sheen of these gemstones convey their timeless beauty and that’s the reason gemstone jewelry are in vogue all the time.
In the ancient times, ruby gemstones were considered to be a status symbol and were worn only by the royal class. They also served as amulets and talismans that provided protection against the evil. Today, ruby gemstones are worn by people for style as well as astrological benefits. It is said that ruby gemstones have the power to be in sync with the planets, and are associated with the birth chart of people, and transfer positive radiations to the body of the wearer.
They also have the power to reduce or negate the effect of malicious planets present in the birth chart of the wearer. Different types of ruby gemstones possess different qualities and based on the study of our birth chart, we should wear the gemstone that suits us.
Generally, ruby gemstones bring peace, foster friendships, health, wealth and stability in one’s life. In ancient Burmese culture, Rubies were believed to bring valor and courage to warriors. Soldiers used to place rubies within their bodies by inserting them into their flesh. In ancient Egyptian cultures, amulets and trinkets made of rubies were worn to bring good luck. Ruby gemstone rings, pendants, bracelets and other jewelry was and still is worn by the royal and wealthy gentry.
What does it symbolize?
The Ruby gemstone symbolizes the sun with its glowing hue which in turn suggests that it has an inextinguishable flame within the stone itself.
In the ancient times, the ruby gemstone was worn as an amulet or rather a charm to keep off the plagues, give a warning of an impending danger, used to keep the human body very safe, and also could send away sadness or foolish thoughts. Moreover, It’s reputed to bring someone peace, drive away scary dreams, restrain lust, and even assist to resolve disputes.