Cousin of the sapphire, the ruby is an exceptional stone. It is also called "ratnaraj" by the Indians, which means "king of the precious stones". This stone is associated with many beliefs, it would protect soldiers in battle, it would give courage, or would be a sign of passionate love.
Ruby is a mineral of the corundum family. This family also includes sapphire, the name given to all corundum of a color other than red.
The word ruby comes simply from the Latin rubeus which means red!
Ruby deposits are found in Asia, Africa, and Australia. Most of the production is concentrated in Burma, with other major mines in Mozambique, Sri Lanka and Madagascar.
It is the presence of chromium in the stone that differentiates it from its cousins (sapphires) and gives it its red color. The color of ruby can range from pale red, to shades of purple and magenta. The most beautiful and rare specimens are those of an intense red, for some, the color is called "pigeon blood". The name pigeon's blood means that the color of the ruby is intense and frank red, with a hint of blue.
Ruby is composed of aluminum oxide and alumina.
The ruby is an extremely resistant stone. It is ranked 9 out of 10 on the Mohs scale. The only stone more resistant being the diamond.
The most common treatment that ruby undergoes is heating. This naturally improves the color of the stone, makes it brighter, and purifies it.
The Ruby is offered on the 20th anniversary of marriage, it is also the birthstone of the month of July.
Its color evoking blood and fire has earned the ruby to be associated with courage and ardor, which is why it was often mounted on the crowns and helmets of sovereigns to protect them. Thus, we find on the crown of Wenceslas I, Duke of Bohemia a ruby of nearly 250 carats uncut. In 2015, at an auction in Switzerland, a Cartier ring set with a 25.59-carat Burmese pigeon's blood ruby was purchased for more than $30 million !
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