Of what are rubies made?
The ruby belongs to what is known as the corundum family, the only other member being the sapphire. Corundum describes a very hard mineral that consists of aluminum oxide occurring in massive and crystalline forms, which later can be synthesized. Rubies are chemically comprised of crystallized alumnia (Al2O3) and chromium oxide (Cr2O3). Al2O3 gives rubies their stellar properties like their high degree of hardness (H = 9), high density (D = 3.99), and its high refractive index (n = 1.765). Cr2O3 is the impurity that seeps into the crystallized alumnia to give rubies their stunning “ruby-red” color. The optimum level of Cr2O3 is 0.30 percent, which is known as dove’s blood red. Other shades of red are possible when trace elements such as iron and vanadium enter during the oxidation process.
Since ancient times, the ruby has been thought to offer protection to the wearer with benefits such as invulnerability and good health. In the Eastern tradition, magical powers are also ascribed to rubies, such as the ability to foresee grave events or the ability to darken at the approach of evil and lighten as evil recoils.
In addition to this, Rubies inspire creativity, wisdom and love, as well as enhancing confidence and increasing spirituality. Rubies worn by men signified manhood and nobility. Rubies worn by women were said to invoke passion and power. Improved circulation is one of the major perceived medical benefits of Ruby gems. Fire, blood and warmth are other properties associated with the Ruby.
The world’s larges ruby is owned by the Beijing Fugui Tianshi Jewelry Co. Ltd. in Beijing, China. It weighs 8,184 grams and measures 130 x 138 x 145 mm (5.11 x 5.43 x 5.70 in).
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