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Posted by Erica Jago on July 05, 2016
Rubies have been held in high regard for centuries, especially in Asian countries where they adorned the armour of warriors and noblemen to make them invincible, in some cases even inserting them under the skin. The ruby’s blood red colour was thought to hold the power of life, and ancient Hindus offered them to their gods so that they would be reborn as emperors. Royalty and dynasties admired their perceived power and passion and rubies have even been buried beneath the foundations of new buildings to ensure good fortune.
Colour and rarity are the defining qualities of natural rubies, which are formed from a red variety of aluminium oxide called corundum containing minute traces of chromium. The more chromium the more red the stone.
Corundum is the hardest mineral after the diamond, which allows it to be finely cut and polished to reveal the true beauty of this precious gemstone. Very few new ruby deposits have been discovered in the last 3,000 years so the supply is becoming smaller. Most large stones are known to dealers around the world, usually by name. Fine rubies over 5 carats are considered extremely rare and very valuable. The most expensive gemstone ever to be sold at auction was the large and extremely rare Sunrise ruby, which was 25.59 carats and sold for $30 million – more than a million dollars per carat!
Historically the most desirable pigeon blood red rubies were from the Mogok valley in Myanmar and are still referred to as Burmese red. A lot of today’s mines are worked out, and this combined with strict government control has resulted in very few of these fine gems coming onto the international market. Thailand produces a slightly violet shade of red (referred to as Siamese red), which is often extremely brilliant, and these provide a lot of the material available today. Sri Lanka has deposits of a more pink variety of red often found in river gravel.
Rubies are considered to be a true treasure of nature and people born during the month of July are extremely fortunate to have it as their birthstone. Strength, passion, love and power are thought to be conveyed to the wearer and it is also the anniversary stone for 15 and 40 years of marriage.
|March||Aquamarine or Bloodstone|
|April||Diamond or Rock Crystal|
|May||Emerald or Chrysoprase|
|June||Pearl or Moonstone|
|July||Ruby or Cornelian|
|August||Peridot or Sardonyx|
|September||Sapphire or Lapis Lazuli|
|November||Topaz or Citrine|
|December||Tanzanite or Turquoise|