Intro to Rubies
Prized as one of the most valuable and stunning gemstones, ruby has a long and rich history associated with it. Whether it’s amazing mining locations, inclusion in royal jewels or mythical lore, rubies have been in the limelight for many centuries.
Rubies In History
Rubies have been treasured by both ancient and modern cultures as a precious gemstone known for its beautiful red hue and passionate sparkle. Rubies have been associated with passion, love as well as beauty and wisdom. In ancient India, ruby is in fact called the “ratnaraj” or the “king of precious stones.”
Rubies are known for their hardness and density which makes them a valuable addition to jewelry. However, some ancient cultures also used rubies in other forms or to symbolize other.
For example, in Burma (now called Myanmar), warriors carried rubies, making them see that they were invincible in battle. They did so by inserting them into their flesh before leaving home. Ancient hindus also believed that those in possession of a ruby would be afforded protection and safety. Those who offered rubies as gifts to the gods would be blessed with a high position in their next life. Historical records indicate that rubies were being sold along the Silk route in China as early as 200 B.C. Chinese warriors adorned their swords with rubies for protection. They were also put in the foundations of buildings to ensure prosperity.Many ancient peoples also believed that the ruby had mystical properties when worn on the left side of the body. This would allow the wearer to live peacefully and be saved from all perils. Through the ages, people believed that rubies had magical powers. In the Middle Ages, people believed that gems found with carved images existed that way naturally.
While the red color of ruby was famous for many centuries, it was not separated from other red gemstones like garnet, tourmaline and spinel prior to the 1800’s.
Overtime, many large rubies were mined and acquired by royal families around the world. These would include the, Black Prince Ruby and the Burmese Ruby Tiara for Queen Elizabeth.
The name of the ruby comes from the word “ruber” which means red. The word evolved to become ruby over time. Rubies have now become one of the big three gemstones (others are emerald and sapphire). They are used extensively to craft jewelry around the world.