Jul 10, 2014

A to Z of Gemstones - R is for Ruby

Ruby is a variety of the mineral corundum that gets its red colour from chromium.When corundum occurs in any other color it is referred to as a sapphire. The word "corundum" comes from the Tamil "kurundam", meaning "ruby sapphire". The English name "ruby" comes from the Latin word "ruber", meaning red. In the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit, ruby is called "ratnaraj", which translates as "king of precious stones". 

The most famous source of fine rubies is Upper Burma, now known as Myanmar. The ruby mines of Myanmar are older than recorded history; Stone Age and Bronze Age mining tools have been found in the mining area of Mogok. Next to Myanmar, the most important historic source of ruby is Sri Lanka. Today the most important sources for ruby include Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Sri Lanka and Tanzania.

The colour of ruby is its most important quality factor. It can vary from vermilion to red. The most sought after colour is a strong pure red to red with a hint of blue. This vibrant red hue is known as "pigeon's blood". If the color is too pink, the stone is classified as a pink sapphire.

Ancient Hindus believed that by making an offering of a ruby to Krishna, rebirth as an emperor was assured. Burmese warriors believed that rubies would make them invincible, and even inserted rubies under their skin for this purpose. According to the story of Marco Polo, Kublai Khan offered the King of Ceylon a city in exchange for a large ruby. Medieval Europeans believed that rubies assured good health, prosperity, wisdom and a successful love life.


Pictured above are my Ruby and Gold Herringbone Earrings featuring rubies wrapped in 14k gold fill wire. Below are some more examples of Ruby jewellery from some members of the Jewelry on Etsy team.





Urban Pearl Studio said...

Fabulous post!

TheSilverBear said...

Another terrific gemstone feature, beautifully written. Thanks Sharon!

Michele said...

Very interesting facts about Rubies, love all the jewelry also!!!

nikhajewelry said...

What a great post about rubies, Sharon! So much good info here. Thanks so much for featuring my ruby necklace!

Ribasus said...

Excellent article! Well done.

cserpentDesigns said...

Good info!


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