Ruby has been mined since the 8th Century BC and is the rarest form of the mineral corundum.
Early cultures believed rubies held the power of life and treasured them for their similarity to blood and even now the most desirable ruby red is known as ‘pigeon blood’.In ancient Sanskrit ruby is known as ‘ratnaraj’ this means ‘the king of precious stones’. Ancient Hindus believed that those who offered fine rubies to the God Krishna were granted rebirth as emperors. Throughout the ages, though particularly prominent in the Byzantine and Renaissance eras, ruby has long been the stone of European royalty and upper classes.
The famous Black Prince Ruby was discovered to be a Red Spinel by scientists in the 19th century. Today it sits in the British Imperial Crown, next to the Cullinan II diamond.
Where is ruby mined?
Throughout history, the most desirable rubies have been said to come from Mogok. Today rubies are being mined across Southern Asia and Eastern Africa.
Ruby is 9 on the Mohs scale.
Ruby is made from the three most abundant minerals on earth – Aluminum, Silicon and Oxygen.
Birthstone and Anniversary Stone
Ruby is the birthstone for July and the gift traditionally given to celebrate a 40th wedding anniversary.
Rubies can show a phenomena called ‘Asterism’. Tiny inclusions form in the ruby and produce star-like rays across its surface.