|Ruby is the
official birthstone for July as adopted by the American National
Association of Jewelers in 1912. It is also the birth stone for
the Zodiac sign of Cancer. Ruby is suggested as a gem to give on
the 15th and 40th year wedding anniversaries. Ruby is 9.0 on the
Mohs scale of hardness. If you own Rubies, it is good to
remember that hardness and susceptibility to breakage are not
necessarily related. Even though exceedingly hard, heavily
included stones may crack or chip when hit. The main sources of
Ruby are Thailand, India, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, North Carolina
in the U.S., Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Tanzania,
Kampuchea, and perhaps most notably, Burma. Ruby's day is
Tuesday, its season summer, and its apostle St. Matthew. Rubies
are more than talismans or good-luck charms, not only historic
and exotic but also valuable. Value is a human set of
conditions: gems must have rarity, durability and beauty. Great
rubies display all three hallmarks. Rubies - especially fine
rubies - are rarer than diamonds, emeralds or sapphires.
Some of the famous rubies recorded were a 98- and 74-carat pair,
a 400-carat rough that was later cut to produce a 70-carat
finished jewel, a 45-carat gem said to have sold in Mandalay and
a 20-carat jewel sold in Calcutta.
Click here for a picture in natural form.
Click here for more faceted and natural specimens.
Color is everything with rubies. How much red can you afford?
The richer, deeper, better the red, the more expensive and rarer
the ruby. Fine rubies are the most expensive of all gems (with
the one exception - very rare colored diamonds, such as red). It
is safe to say that, outside of museums, most people never see
either large or fine rubies. Most of the material sold today is
commercial quality, usually small and heavily included. Ruby its
name from the Latin word "ruber" or "rubeus" translated as
The formula for Ruby is a Variety of Corundum, Al2O3,
Corundum-Aluminum Oxide. Ruby is the red variety of corundum,
the second hardest natural mineral known to mankind. The non-red
variety of corundum is Sapphire. Sapphires are well known among
the general public as being blue, but can be nearly any color.
The red color in ruby is caused by trace amounts of the element
chromium. The best shade of red for ruby is often given the name
"pigeon blood red", but ruby can be any shade of red up to
almost pink. Oriented rutile crystal inclusions cause a
six-rayed-star light effect (called asterism) to form the
popular Star Ruby. Legends,
Myths and Healing Properties:
have a famous place in science - the first lasers were made from
artificial ruby crystals. They still are used for this purpose
although other materials offer improved efficiency. According to
legend, Ruby is said to accord wearers wisdom, happiness and
health, and to bring particularly good luck to gamblers and