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Ruby History

In the Christian Book of Proverbs it states: "A capable, intelligent and virtuous woman, who is he who can find her? She is far more precious than jewels and her value is far above rubies." The choice of rubies as the penultimate standard of value is not a coincidence: Rarer than diamonds, and with a color that has variously symbolized blood, anger, love, courage, fire and royalty, rubies have played a part in the myths and imaginations of cultures around the world throughout written history. Pre-historic tools found near the mining areas of Myanmar may suggest that man's fascination with rubies predates language itself.

The color of the heart, ruby has inspired passion and romance for centuries. Ruby has the power to stimulate sexual desire and energy. This gem was thought to attract and maintain love and friendship. It's a great choice for an engagement ring.

Also the color of blood, ruby has come to symbolize courage and bravery. According to legend, warriors implanted rubies under their skin to bring valor in battle. As a talisman ruby would warn its owner against danger and disaster. It was also said to cure blood diseases and stop bleeding, ensure good health and bring peace.

 

Only recent technology has enabled us to definitively distinguish ruby from its colorful "twins." Throughout history, other red gems such as spinel and garnet were mistaken for ruby. In fact, most large historical red stones (several hundred carats) are spinels. The French and Russian crowns and the Iranian treasury all contain some of the world's largest, most beautiful "ruby" spinel, itself a rare gem.

The largest known gem-quality ruby--at 250 carats--is on the crown, ordered in 1346 by Charles IV of Luxembourg, king of Bohemia (1316-78), for the shrine containing the skull of Saint Wenceslas, duke of Bohemia (921-29).

 

In addition to its place as July's birthstone, ruby is also a recommended gift for couples celebrating their 15th or 40th wedding anniversary. According to Hindu legend, ruby was the zodiacal gem for Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 21); in the Arab tradition ruby represents Taurus (April 21 - May 21).

 

 

 

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