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Gemstone Information Infocenter at Holisticonline.com

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Comprehensive Gemstone Information

 

Ruby - The Queen of Gems

Introduction

History

Location

Valuation of Rubies

Jewelry Design Considerations

Therapeutic Properties of Ruby

Identification

How to Buy Rubies

Introduction

The queen of gems, deep red ruby is the rarest and most valuable of gemstones. The earliest record for the mining of Rubies goes back to more than 2,500 years ago in Sri Lanka.

Historically, many believe that ruby possess mystical powers. The ancient Burmese believed that when you insert ruby beneath the skin,  the stone generates a mystical force, which protects the wearer from accidents and attacks. In the ancient world, many believed Rubies to contain prophetic powers, enabling wearers to predict their future based on the color changes of their gemstones.

Rubies have been so loved by royalty, they have always included them in their insignias and famous jewelry.

Ruby is the birthstone of July. It is the anniversary gemstone for the 15th and 40th year of marriage.

History

The word 'Ruby' was derived from the Latin word 'rubens' meaning 'red'. In the Sanskrit language Ruby is called 'ratnaraj, which does translate as (ratna means gem and raj means king) 'King of Gemstones.' Because of its beauty and rarity, the Greeks called it the mother of all gemstones. The Romans called it 'a flower among stones.'

Ruby is the red variety of corundum. It is one of the world's rarest and the most costly gem stone, the second hardest natural mineral known to mankind, second only to diamond. Above all other gemstones, including Diamonds, Rubies command the greatest per Carat prices. For example, a 15.97 Carat faceted Mogok Ruby was sold at Sotheby’s in New York for a staggering $3,630,000 in October 1988. This comes to $227,301 per Carat!

The red color in ruby is caused by trace amounts of the element chromium. Ruby without inclusions are very rare to find. Most rubies have inclusions which are not visible to the naked eye. Such inclusions do not reduce the value of the stone as long as there is brilliance. It is used in all types of jewelry.

Location

Burma is the world's largest provider of high quality Rubies. Burmese Rubies from the Mogok Valley are considered to be the world's finest rubies and are highly sought after. Vietnam, Kenya, Tanzania, India and Sri Lanka are some of the other providers. Thailand, with large deposits near the Cambodian border, was previously the world's largest provider of Rubies, but the mining of gemstones has been greatly reduced here recently. Thai Rubies tend to have a darker color and less intensity than Burmese Rubies. African Rubies tend to have heavy inclusions. India is famous for supplying Indian Star Rubies.

Next: Valuation of Rubies

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Loose Ruby gems

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[ Ruby Page 1 ] [ Ruby Page 2 ] [ Ruby Page 3 ]

See Also:

Products with Ruby

Therapeutic Properties of Ruby

Gemstone Infocenter Home

Gift Selections incorporating Gemstones

Guide to Caring for Gemstones

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