Ruby Gemstone Facts
More and more people are turning towards a hint of color when searching for the perfect engagement rings. Many millennials today want jewelry that promotes their personalities, so the increase in popularity of naturally colored gemstones seems logical. The ruby is one of the more popular choices, with its exquisite crimson color and delightful properties. Yet most people don’t know much about rubies other than their color. By reading a bit about this colored gemstone you will have more of an understanding regarding where it comes from and the overall significance of this gem.
A beautiful round red ruby engagement ring
Where Rubies Are Found
For centuries, the majority of the world’s rubies were mined in both Mozambique and Myanmar (Burma), specifically the Mogok Valley in the upper region of the country. More recently there has been a considerable amount of mining in the center of Myanmar, in the area of Mong Hsu. Additional sources for rubies have been Thailand, Australia, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Brazil, Namibia, India, Japan, and Colombia.
Myanmar is known to produce some of the finer rubies that exist, although it wasn’t always considered the legitimate source. The good news is, sanctions in Myanmar were lifted by President Obama and trading with that country is considered 100% legitimate today.
A Ruby & Diamond Designer Couture Ring and Earrings Set
Precious or Semi-Precious?
Although this is no longer the official status, gemstones were once divided into two categories: precious and semi-precious. Diamonds, emeralds, rubies, and sapphires constitute the first category, and all other gemstones make up the second category. As one of the four precious gemstones, rubies are sturdier and more durable than most other gems, which is why they are generally more expensive.
As color is the most significant attribute of a gemstone, it is no surprise that rubies are held on such a pedestal. For centuries these fine stones have been valued and collected by some of the most rich and famous.
The beauty of a heart shaped pigeon blood red ruby
Origin of the Name Ruby
The term ruby is derived from the word ruber, which is the Latin word for red. Therefore it is quite fitting to name the red stone “ruby.” The element chromium that is present within the stone causes the red color of a ruby.
Largest Ruby Gemstones
Some of the world’s largest rubies can be found at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C. Included among these stones is the 23.1-carat Burmese ruby set in a platinum ring with diamonds. Another noteworthy ruby is the Liberty Bell Ruby, the largest mined ruby on the planet. The most expensive ruby in the world is the Sunrise Ruby. It sold for $30 million in 2015.
What Rubies Symbolize
Since the beginning of time, rubies have been linked with power, wealth, and royalty. Furthermore, it was widely believed that rubies possessed a protective ability. Wearing rubies would protect one’s assets as well as one’s personal health and well being, or so it was believed.
Even a young child will most likely be able to tell you the color of a ruby. However, hardly any adults will know that sapphires and rubies are in fact the same gemstone and that they rank 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness. Diamonds rank 10 and are four times harder than rubies. Nevertheless, they are less prone to chipping than diamonds but are more prone to scratches.