During ancient times, rubies were called ‘the king of gems’. It meant a lot of different things to a lot of different tribes, people, etc. Legend has it that warriors went as far as to implant rubies under their skin to bring an enhanced sense of bravery into their battles and for protection too. It was also believed that rubies had strong healing properties, which when ground and placed on the tongue, could cure anything from blood diseases, war, strife and even something as common as indigestion.
Rubies are known for their color. The mere mention of the stone brings to mind its blood red color that it is famous for. Rubies range from a deep fire-like orange to a rich, purplish-red color and are rare and one of the most expensive gems around.
The birthstone of those born in July, rubies are recorded in the Bible and in the time of the Sanskrit writings. Ruby comes from rubrum, which means red in Latin. This valuable stone belongs to the family of the corundum which is its most precious and expensive member.
Rubies have been famous right throughout time. Charles IV of Luxembourg’s crown, in the 14th century was home to a fairly large ruby of 250 carats. The Smithsonian has among its exhibits a cabochon star ruby which measures 137 carats. A 15.97 carat ruby is the most expensive ruby to have ever been sold at an auction; it was sold for $3.63 million in 1988.
If you are on the lookout for rubies to add to your jewelry collection, the best advice would be to opt for quality over size. Stones that take on a fiery red shade as opposed to those that lean closer to purple shades are recommended. This is because rubies are commonly subjected to heat treatment in order to augment their color.
Rubies are found mainly in Burma, but Thailand, Sri Lanka and Africa are also known to have deposits of the valuable, fiery red stone.