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Rubies

What’s more than power, fortune, and glory? The answer is love, and it is what the ruby has symbolized since the dawn of time. The magnificent color, quality, and hardness of rubies are what humans have sought for thousands of years with only some avail—the scarcity of rubies makes having one a real treasure.

Latin etymology dictates that the word ruby comes from the Latin word ruber, meaning red. What’s more is that the word ruber is one that embodies the most beautiful red imaginable. Although rubies can be found in Kenya, Thailand, Pakistan, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Afghanistan, and Myanmar for a long time India was considered the country of origin for the ruby. The Sanskrit word for ruby is ‘ratnaraj’, which roughly translates to ‘king of the gemstones’.

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.

How can you tell a real ruby from a synthetic one?

It is almost inconceivable to find a ruby that is one-hundred percent pure. Unlike diamonds, inclusions in the form of minute foreign crystals are actually quite important since they are a sign of origin and also serve as a way to distinguish between natural rubies and synthetic ones. This is even more important because we are living in an age when technology can create gems that have chemical, physical, and optical qualities extremely close to that of actual rubies. Therefore, quite unlike what people expect from diamonds, the impurities found in rubies serve as a beneficial certificate of authenticity.

Cut Ruby

Synthetic Ruby
www.cs.cmu.edu

Cut Ruby

Folklore

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).


A stunning ruby and diamond bracelet.

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