Long before Diamonds challenged our birthstone of the month in their role as the most prestigious gemstone, Ruby has been considered the unprecedented king of gems. For centuries, Rubies have graced the kings and emperors of the world and thus became widely associated with powerful words such as courage, power, love and passion. Ruby made for the perfect status symbol, for only the wealthiest leaders were able to show off a medium-dark vivid red stone (preferably with a slightly blue hue), as it was and is a very rare find.
Nowadays, the gemologist will refer to Rubies that appear too light or that have too much purple or orange in them as "fancy-colored", while the darker hues are many times referred to as "Burmese Ruby", reflecting the light in a beautiful "pigeon blood" color. The famous Mogok Valley mines in Myanmar are the origin for these associations. Rubies are said to ensure health, wisdom, wealth and success in love. Ruby is a stone that is considered in crystal healing to be very protective of home, worldly possession, children, as well as psychic protection. It is also said to protect against unhappiness and lightning.
Being the powerful stone it is, Ruby is said to be a stone of high energy and power that promotes healing on many levels, such as supporting to cure arthritis/bones/joints, blood and circulatory system, decreasing chronic fatigue and increase vitality and energy levels, help cure skin disorders and increase speed of detoxification, among others.
Second to only the Diamond, the birthstone of the month July accounts as the second hardest gemstone on Moh's scale. Large flawless or near flawless Ruby precious stones are extremely rare and valuable. Fine colored Ruby with a deep red color and excellent transparency can cost several thousand dollars per carat
Many stones are called ruby, but are actually not precious stones at all. The red spinel has been confused with ruby even in the Black Prince’s Ruby in the British Crown Jewels! Various types of garnets can be misunderstood as Rubies, such as the American Ruby (which may also be rose quartz), the Arizona Ruby, California Ruby, Cape Ruby, Colorado Ruby, Elie Ruby, Montana Ruby, Almandine Ruby, Australian Ruby, Black Hills Ruby, Bohemian Ruby, Mountain Ruby and Rocky Mountain Ruby, while San Diego Ruby and Siberian Ruby are names that refer to actual pink to red tourmaline. Ancona Ruby is from the family of rose quartz, while Geneva and Wyse Rubies are lab created Ruby.
Even more confusing might be the fact, that Ruby basically is a variation of Sapphire, as it technically is red Corundum, an aluminum oxide mineral with chromium responsible for its rich, red color. The name comes from the Latin word rubeus, meaning “red,” and until 1800 when Ruby was recognized as a variety of Corundum, red Spinels, Tourmalines, and Garnets were also believed to be Ruby. All other color varieties of Corundum are designated as Sapphire.
Aside from Burma, Thailand and Madagascar, important Ruby sources include Sri Lanka, India, Cambodia, Vietnam, Tanzania, and Mozambique. Other sources of Ruby include Pakistan, Afghanistan, Australia, and North Carolina.
Find a selection of our Ruby Jewels here.