All About Rubies
Ruby is a pink to a blood-red coloured gem that is the most valuable variety of the mineral species called corundum, which also includes sapphires. One of the most popular and traditional cardinal stones, rubies are exceptionally durable and now are widely used in gemstone jewellery. Fine-quality rubies are some of the most expensive gems, with record prices over $ 1,000,000 per carat. The name comes from the Latin word 'Ruber', which means red. In the ancient scripts of Vedas and Sanskrit, ruby is referred to as 'ratnaraj', which means "king of the gems". Hence, ruby is also called the "King of Gemstones".
Discovered around 2,000 years ago, the red gemstone has been part of the most majestic legends, tales and traditions for millions of years. It always has been a favoured lucky charm among royals worldwide. The ancient Kings of India believed that ruby symbolizes glory, power and status, and accordingly always encrusted a ruby to enhance their crown and sword. Jewellery, treasures or royal pieces with carved rubies were quite popular and were used for attracting prosperity as well as enhancing magical powers.
According to Hindu religion, the gem's red glow came from the internal flame that no individual could probably extinguish. Therefore, ruby was also considered to be one of the most significant gifts to respect Lord Krishna and Buddha.
Ruby is always in-demand for its gem quality. The mining of the famous Burmese ruby of Mogok Valley, Myanmar, was initiated almost 500 years ago and was for centuries the world's primary source for rubies. The best rubies still come from there. Rubies are also found in countries like Thailand, Sri Lanka, East Africa, Kenya, Nepal, Afghanistan, India, as well as Pakistan. Rubies from Thailand are relatively less attractive, and those found in Sri Lanka are pinkish.
The most renowned rubies are typically formed in marbles, found in layers that are distributed irregularly. These marbles are produced as a result of a metamorphic (rock-altering) process due to heat and pressure from the act of mountain formation upon existing limestone deposits.
Ruby, which is corundum, is crystallized alumina (Al2O3) and in pure form, it is devoid of colour. The vibrant colour in Ruby is mainly due to small amounts of chromic oxide, which replaces part of alumina without disturbing its trigonal crystal structure. Its specific gravity can be from 3.99 to 4.00. The Mean Refractive Index is 1.765, and the hardness is 9 on the Moh's scale.
In its purest form, the corundum mineral is usually colourless. When trace elements become part of the mineral's crystal structure, they cause variations in its colour. Chromium is the trace element that is the reason for ruby's red colour. Rubies are generally thought to be red, but they can reach vivid levels of saturation, resulting in a variety of shades. They can be found in hues from light pink to deep red. However, the colour is what decides its value. So, darker the red, higher the prize. Rubies can dominate the highest per-carat price of any coloured stone. This makes them one of the most valuable gems in the coloured gems market.
Importance & Benefits
Ruby is a birthstone for July. It represents passion, love, divinity, and courage. It is also said to bring good luck and fortune to the owner.
Ruby is said to be the stone associated with the 'Sun'. The sun is the source of energy and considered to be powerful, authoritative and respectable. Ruby is said to signify similar qualities including those of leadership, confidence and motivation. Wearing ruby is beneficial for people with low confidence or self-esteem and who lack leadership qualities.
Ruby is said to signify fame, vigour, virtue, warmth. It is also said to be a symbol of love and passion. Ruby is believed to ensure a cordial relationship with partner, family and society members. It can also ignite the lost flame in a relationship. Healthwise, rubies are considered to help cure peptic ulcer, fever, rheumatism, gout etc.
How to Identify Rubies
A real ruby will glow with a deep, vivid, almost "stoplight" red hue. Fake gems are often dull: they are "light, but not bright." If the stone is more of a darker red, then it might be garnet instead of a ruby.
Natural rubies are never 'clean'. They contain inclusions that look like 'silk'. They enclose small crystals of other minerals, in the form of pale, angular grains, cavities of irregular shapes, patches of beautiful needle-like crisscrossing canals which give a silky effect by reflecting light.
If these are not visible to the naked eye, then use the eyeglass to detect them. If no such inclusions are visible even under high magnification, then the gemstone is most probably a piece of red glass.
A synthetic or imitation ruby will not contain any inclusions. Or it will have bubble-like inclusions, or cracks, as seen in a glass, will be visible. The cracks will give a milky colour and will be even.
Wearing a Ruby Gemstone
- Before wearing any gemstone, it's essential to know its importance and the methods of wearing it. Here are certain things to keep in mind before going to buy a ruby to wear.
- A ruby gem should ideally weigh at least 1 / 10th in carats of your body weight. (For example: 70 kg body weight = 7 carat stone). It can be bought in 3 or 5 grams of weight.
- It should be mounted on gold or copper to experience good results.
- The weight of the ruby stone should not be less than 3 Ratti. The more the weight of a ruby gem, the greater will be its effect.
- A ring made from a ruby gemstone should be worn in the ring finger of the right hand, and the stone must touch your skin.
- Preferably, an astrologer or a gemologist should be consulted before wearing this stone.