Red is the color of love. It radiates warmth and a strong sense of vitality, and is associated with passion and power. Red is also the color of the ruby, the king of the gemstones, and July’s birthstone. For thousands of years, the ruby has been considered one of the most valuable gemstones on Earth. It has everything a precious stone should have: magnificent color, excellent hardness and outstanding brilliance.
For a long time, India was regarded as the ruby’s classical country of origin. In the major works of Indian literature, a rich store of knowledge about gemstones has been handed down over a period of more than two thousand years. The Sanskrit word for ruby is ‘ratnaraj’, which means something like ‘king of the gemstones’. In fact, when a particularly beautiful ruby crystal was found, the ruler sent high dignitaries out to meet the precious gemstone and welcome it in appropriate style. Today, rubies still decorate the insignia of many royal households.
Ruby is the red variety of the mineral corundum, one of the hardest minerals on Earth (sapphire is also a variety of corundum). The term ‘corundum’, is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘kuruvinda’. Pure corundum is colorless. Slight traces of elements such as chrome, iron, titanium or vanadium are responsible for the color. These gemstones have excellent hardness, second only to that of the diamond. Only red corundum called ruby, all other colors are classified as sapphires. The close relationship between the ruby and the sapphire has only been known since the beginning of the 19th century. Up to that time, red garnets or spinels were also thought to be rubies. That is why the ‘Black Ruby’ and the ‘Timur Ruby’, two of the British Crown Jewels, were so named. Actually those Jewels are not rubies at all – they are in fact spinels.
Ruby consists of aluminium oxide and chrome as well as very fine traces of other elements depending on which deposit it was from. In really fine colors and good clarity, this gemstone occurs very rarely in the world’s mines. It is actually the coloring element chrome which is responsible for this scarcity. Millions of years ago, when the gemstones were being created deep inside the core of the Earth, chrome was the element which gave the ruby its wonderful color. At the same time chrome caused a multitude of fissures and cracks inside the crystals. Very few ruby crystals were able to grow to considerable size and crystallize to form perfect gemstones. Rubies of more than 3 carats in size are very rare. Rubies with hardly any inclusions are so valuable that in good colors and larger sizes they surpass auction prices for diamonds in the same category.
The red of the ruby is incomparable: warm and fiery. Two magical elements are associated with the symbolism of this color: fire and blood, implying warmth and life for mankind. So ruby-red is not just any old color; it is absolutely undiluted, hot, passionate, powerful color. The ruby is the perfect way to express powerful feelings. Jewelry set with a precious ruby bears can signify the passionate, unbridled love that people can feel for each other.
In this gorgeous ring “Ruby, Ruby, Ruby”, the rubies are natural macles arranged in a flower shape. Prefer another setting? Perhaps you are looking for a necklace, or wish to create your own ruby ring. Contact us today to explore creating your custom ruby, diamond or other precious stone jewelry – Grants Jewelry can help design and create a piece for any style and every budget.
Ruby Information & Photos from Gemstone.org and AboutRubyJewelry.com