Ruby is the red
variety of corundum. It is
quite a bit rarer than the
blue gems. The rarity combined
with the demand for rich red
gems keeps the price very
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is one of the most historically
significant colored stones. Rubies are
mentioned four times in the Bible, in
association with attributes like beauty
and wisdom. In the ancient language of
Sanskrit, ruby is called ratnaraj, or
“king of precious stones.”
the first century AD, the Roman scholar
Pliny included rubies in his Natural
describing their hardness and density.
Ancient Hindus believed that those who
offered fine rubies to the god Krishna
were granted rebirth as emperors.
divided ruby into four castes, calling
the true Oriental ruby a Brahmin.
Someone in possession of a Brahmin was
believed to have the advantage of
has accumulated a host of legends over
the centuries. People in India believed
that rubies enabled their owners to live
in peace with their enemies. 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.
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.
has been called the most precious of the
12 stones created by God.
retained its importance with the birth
of the western world and became one of
the most sought-after gems of European
royalty and the upper classes. Many
medieval Europeans wore rubies to
guarantee health, wealth, wisdom, and
success in love.
for ruby is just as great today as it
always has been. As a symbol of passion,
ruby makes an ideal romantic gift.
Consumers are drawn to the lush color
because it also signifies wealth and