Welcome to the fourth article in our meet the gemstone series! Today, we are exploring one of the most luxurious jewels in the gemstone world, the ruby.
Rubies are made of corundum, which comes in a variation of different colours. In fact, corundum is often referred to as ‘pink sapphire’ and also, less commonly, as ‘pink ruby’.
Why is the stone called ruby?
The name ruby originated from the Latin word ‘ruber’, which translates to red. Rubies are also known and distinguished for their bright red colour, as well as their lustre and rarity.
As a consequence, the ruby is also the gem of choice for royal families across the world.
What colour are rubies?
Rubies can come in a variety of shades from a pink tone to a deep and rich red. The colour is a significant factor in affecting the value of a ruby.
Pure and bright red colours usually demand the highest prices, while rubies with orange or purple undertones are less valued.
If a ruby is cut ‘en cabochon’ (polished but not faceted), the gem may create a beautiful six-ray star when caught in the light.
How strong is ruby?
Rubies are extremely strong and register as an impressive 9.0 on Mohs scale of hardness, ranking only behind diamonds, which stand at a solid 10.
Although rubies are strong, it is still important to take care of your jewellery.
Who do rubies bring luck for?
Rubies are the birthstone for July and the gems are said to bring luck to all those who are born in that month.
Due to this, the ruby is strongly associated with the Cancer zodiac sign.
Traditional wisdom, also dictates that rubies should be worn on the left hand to promote good luck, which is why they also happen to be a popular stone of choice for engagement rings.
How big was the largest ruby ever found?
The largest known ruby in the world is the 125West Ruby, which is certified by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).
The ruby weighs an astonishing 8.2lbs and is 18,696 carats; it also measures at 122.4mm x 112.3 mm x 133.9mm.
The 125West Ruby is semi-translucent to opaque and contains rutile, which is a titanium oxide mineral commonly found in needle-like crystals.
What are rubies used for?
Rubies are known for being used extensively in all kinds of jewellery, including bracelets, necklaces, rings, and earrings.
Not only is the ruby used as a centrepiece jewel in rings and other jewellery, but it is often known to complement other gemstones such as diamonds.
Due to their hardiness, rubies are also used in laser technology as they have the ability to concentrate light to high intensity.
In fact, this is the reason why people associate laser beams with the colour red.
What are the properties of ruby?
The ruby is a highly-regarded gemstone, and some people in India call the ruby ‘Ratnanayaka’, which means ‘the lord of the gemstones’. Hindus have previously called the ruby ‘the king of precious stones’ and ‘the leader of gems’.
The ruby is associated with a multitude of different meanings. A common association with the ruby is love and passion, which makes it the perfect gift for an engagement or Valentine’s Day. Moreover, a ‘ruby anniversary’ usually refers to a 15th or 40th wedding anniversary, due to its strong association with love.
In many cultures, rubies are believed to improve motivation and aid in retaining wealth. The Chinese culture believes red to be the luckiest colour, so they are worn to intrigue other people to the wearer.
If you want to experience the wonder of rubies yourself, explore our selection of beautiful ruby jewellery.