Ruby is distinguished for its bright red color, being the most famed and fabled red gemstone. Beside for its bright color, it is a most desirable gem due to its hardness, durability, luster, and rarity. Transparent rubies of large sizes are even rarer than Diamonds. Ruby is the red variety of the mineral Corundum. Sapphire, the other gem variety of Corundum, encompasses all colors of Corundum aside from red. In essence, Ruby is a red Sapphire, since Ruby and Sapphire are identical in all properties except for color. However, because of the special allure and historical significance, Ruby has always been classified as an individual gemstone, and is never identified as a form of Sapphire (though some purplish-red colors may straddle the line of being classified as either Ruby or Sapphire).
All You Need To Know About Ruby
The color of Ruby ranges from bright red to dark reddish-brown. The most preferred color is a deep blood red with a slightly bluish hue. Such Ruby is known as “Burmese Ruby” or “Pigeon’s Blood Ruby”. Ruby from Burma is famous for its exceptional coloring, and has traditionally produced the finest Rubies. However, Burmese Ruby rarely exceeds several carats; large flawless Burmese Rubies can be worth millions of dollars. Many Rubies on the market are from Thailand, and these Rubies have a less-desirable brownish hue, though they often can be heat treated to improve color. Heat-treating a Ruby can also increase its transparency by removing tiny internal flaws.
Inclusions of tiny, slender, parallel Rutile needles in Ruby cause a polished gem to exhibit asterism. A Ruby displaying asterism is known as a “Star Ruby”, and if transparent can be very highly prized. Star Rubies exists in six ray stars, though twelve ray stars are also known. Rubies must be have good transparency to possess gem value. Opaque or semi-opaque Rubies have relatively little value, even if they display asterism.
The same Rutile inclusions that are responsible for asterism in certain Rubies can also decrease transparency and cause a hazy effect known as silk. Though Ruby can be one the most expensive gemstones, it also comes in more dull opaque forms that are fairly inexpensive, and are often polished into cabochons. A unique gemstone form composed of opaque red Ruby in contrasting green Zoisite is well known from Tanzania, and is used as a minor gemstone and can be carved into ornaments.
The color of Ruby is usually caused by minute inclusions of the metal chromium. These impurities are often responsible for causing a Ruby to fluorescent, which can be helpful in its identification. Ruby is also pleochroic, and will sometimes display a lighter and more intense color when viewed at different angles.
Ruby is a tough and durable gem, and the only natural gemstone harder than Ruby is Diamond. Despite this, Ruby is still subject to chipping and fracture if handled roughly, and care should be taken to ensure it is properly handled.
Ruby was first synthesized in 1902. The process of creating synthetic Ruby is known as the Verneuil process. Only experts can distinguish between natural and synthetic, lab-created Ruby.
Ruby is one of the most popular gemstones, and is used extensively in Jewelry. Ruby is used in all forms of jewelry, including bracelets, necklaces, rings, and earrings. It is used both as centerpiece gemstone in pendants and rings, as well as a secondary stone to complement other gemstones such as Diamonds. Star Ruby is polished as cabochons, and, if clear, can be extremely valuable.
Large Ruby gems are extremely rare and valuable. Fine colored Ruby with a deep red color and excellent transparency can reach several thousand dollars a carat. Synthetic Rubies are inexpensive and often used as a cheap substitute for natural rubies.
Ruby is the birthstone for July.
Burma Ruby – Ruby from Burma; synonym of Burmese Ruby.
Burmese Ruby – Ruby with an exceptional red color (usually but not necessarily from Burma). Occasionally also used to describe synthetic Ruby.
Pigeon’s Blood Ruby – Highly-desirable form of Ruby of a blood-red color with a hint of blue.
Ruby Fuschite – Describes a dark red Ruby in a green Fuschite mica matrix found in India.
Ruby Zoisite – Mixture of opaque red Ruby in green Zoisite from Tanzania. Ruby Zoisite has pretty contrast and is used as a minor gemstone, being polished into cabochons and carved into ornamental figures.
Star Ruby – Well-known form of Ruby displaying asterism, most often in the form of a six-rayed star.
Many deceitful names are given to less valuable red gems in connotation with Ruby. Many of these names are used by unscrupulous dealers to confuse inexperienced buyers. Generally speaking, any time the word Ruby is used with a prefix (except for those outlined above), it is a fake or a less valuable red gemstone. The red Garnet gemstone Pyrope is particularly vulnerable to be called Ruby with a tacky prefix. The list below describes false names for Ruby that are in fact Pyrope:
Rocky Mountain Ruby
Beside for Pyrope Garnet, other red gemstones have also been assigned false names in connotation with ruby. These include:
Alabandine Ruby – Almandine Garnet
Ancona Ruby – Rose Quartz
Balas Ruby – Pink to pale red Spinel
Brazilian Ruby – Pink Topaz
Copper Ruby – Cuprite
Garnet Ruby – Red Garnet
Geneva Ruby – Synthetic Ruby
Ruby Copper – Cuprite
Ruby Jack – Red Sphalerite
Ruby Garnet – Red Garnet
Ruby Spinel – Red Spinel
Siberian Ruby – Red Tourmaline
Spinel Ruby – Red Spinel
Verneul Ruby – Synthetic Ruby
Treatments and Enhancements
Rubies are often heat treated to improve color as well as burn out certain inclusions. It is common industry practice to heat treat Rubies, and untreated Rubies with excellent natural can be exceptionally valuable.
A recent practice in the gemstone industry is to fracture-fill Rubies to conceal flaws. This is done by heating them in molten lead glass which has a very similar refractive index to Ruby gemstones. Fracture-filled Rubies are significantly cheaper than their more authentic counterparts, and because of this one should always buy Ruby from a reputable dealer.
The center of Ruby gemstone trade is in Bangkok, Thailand. The Chantaburi Province in Thailand has always been an important source of Rubies, producing gems with excellent clarity but with less desirable browner tones. However, the color of Thai Rubies are able to be improved by heat treatment. The Thai Ruby deposits were exhausted in the 1980’s.
The most valuable Rubies with the finest natural color come from Mogok, Burma (Myanmar). There are strict trade embargoes and restrictions again Burma for its human rights violations, and several countries, especially the United States, ban any exports from this county. The Ruby mines of Mogok have been under the tight control of the Junta government; however, a new very significant Ruby source was discovered in Burma in 1992 in Mong Hsu. The color of these Rubies aren’t as good as Mogok, but they too can be improved through heat treatment.
In 2000, new Ruby sources were discovered in Madagascar (in Vatomandry and Andilamena). These deposits turned out to be very extensive and productive, and Madagascar is now one of the leaders in Ruby output. Other important Ruby sources include Sri Lanka, India, Cambodia, Vietnam, Tanzania, and Mozambique. Other sources of Ruby include Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Australia, and the U.S. (North Carolina).
Ruby is identical in appearance to Ruby Spinel. In fact, many old famous red gemstones thought to be Rubies were determined to actually be Spinel. Ruby and Spinel often occur together in the same mineral environment and localities. The most famous ruby, the Black Prince’s Ruby, set into the royal crown of England, was once thought to be the largest cut Ruby, until scientific analysis determined it to be in fact Spinel. Garnet (particularly Pyrope) and red Tourmaline (Rubellite) may also resemble Ruby, though Ruby is significantly harder.
A ruby is a pink to blood-red colored gemstone, a variety of the mineral corundum (aluminum oxide). Other varieties of gem-quality corundum are called sapphires. Ruby is one of the traditional cardinal gems, together with amethyst, sapphire, emerald, and diamond. The word ruby comes from ruber, Latin for red. The color of a ruby is due to the element chromium.
Some gemstones that are popularly or historically called rubies, such as the Black Prince’s Ruby in the British Imperial State Crown, are actually spinels. These were once known as “Balas rubies”.
The quality of a ruby is determined by its color, cut, and clarity, which, along with carat weight, affect its value. The brightest and most valuable shade of red called blood-red or pigeon blood, commands a large premium over other rubies of similar quality. After color follows clarity: similar to diamonds, a clear stone will command a premium, but a ruby without any needle-like rutile inclusions may indicate that the stone has been treated. Ruby is the traditional birthstone for July and is usually pinker than garnet, although some rhodolite garnets have a similar pinkish hue to most rubies. The world’s most valuable ruby is the Sunrise Ruby.
Rubies have a hardness of 9.0 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. Among the natural gems only moissanite and diamond are harder, with diamond having a Mohs hardness of 10.0 and moissanite falling somewhere in between corundum (ruby) and diamond in hardness. Sapphire, ruby, and pure corundum are α-alumina, the most stable form of Al2O3, in which 3 electrons leave each aluminum ion to join the regular octahedral group of six nearby O2− ions; in pure corundum this leaves all of the aluminum ions with a very stable configuration of no unpaired electrons or unfilled energy levels, and the crystal is perfectly colorless.
When a chromium atom replaces an occasional aluminum atom, it too loses 3 electrons to become a chromium3+ ion to maintain the charge balance of the Al2O3 crystal. However, the Cr3+ ions are larger and have electron orbitals in different directions than aluminum. The octahedral arrangement of the O2− ions is distorted, and the energy levels of the different orbitals of those Cr3+ ions are slightly altered because of the directions to the O2− ions. Those energy differences correspond to absorption in the ultraviolet, violet, and yellow-green regions of the spectrum.
If one percent of the aluminum ions are replaced by chromium in ruby, the yellow-green absorption results in a red color for the gem. Additionally, absorption at any of the above wavelengths stimulates fluorescent emission of 694-nanometer-wavelength red light, which adds to its red color and perceived luster.
After absorbing short-wavelength light, there is a short interval of time when the crystal lattice of ruby is in an excited state before fluorescence occurs. If 694-nanometer photons pass through the crystal during that time, they can stimulate more fluorescent photons to be emitted in-phase with them, thus strengthening the intensity of that red light. By arranging mirrors or other means to pass emitted light repeatedly through the crystal, a ruby laser in this way produces a very high intensity of coherent red light.
All natural rubies have imperfections in them, including color impurities and inclusions of rutile needles known as “silk”. Gemologists use these needle inclusions found in natural rubies to distinguish them from synthetics, simulants, or substitutes. Usually, the rough stone is heated before cutting. These days, almost all rubies are treated in some form, with heat treatment being the most common practice. Untreated rubies of high quality command a large premium.
Some rubies show a three-point or six-point asterism or “star”. These rubies are cut into cabochons to display the effect properly. Asterisms are best visible with a single-light source and move across the stone as the light moves or the stone is rotated. Such effects occur when light is reflected off the “silk” (the structurally oriented rutile needle inclusions) in a certain way. This is one example where inclusions increase the value of a gemstone. Furthermore, rubies can show color changes—though this occurs very rarely—as well as chatoyancy or the “cat’s eye” effect.
Ruby versus Pink Sapphire
Generally, gemstone-quality corundum in all shades of red, including pink, are called rubies. However, in the United States, a minimum color saturation must be met to be called a ruby; otherwise, the stone will be called a pink sapphire. Drawing a distinction between rubies and pink sapphires is relatively new, having arisen sometime in the 20th century. Often, the distinction between ruby and pink sapphire is not clear and can be debated. As a result of the difficulty and subjectiveness of such distinctions, trade organizations such as the International Colored Gemstone Association (ICGA) have adopted the broader definition for ruby which encompasses its lighter shades, including pink.
Occurrence and Mining
Historically, rubies have also been mined in Thailand, in the Pailin and Samlout District of Cambodia, as well as in Afghanistan, Australia, Brazil, Colombia, India, Namibia, Japan, and Scotland; after the Second World War ruby deposits were found in Madagascar, Nepal, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, and Vietnam.
The Republic of Macedonia is the only country in mainland Europe to have naturally occurring rubies. They can mainly be found around the city of Prilep. Macedonian rubies have a unique raspberry color. The ruby is also included on the Macedonian coat of arms. A few rubies have been found in the U.S. states of Montana, North Carolina, South Carolina and Wyoming.
Spinel, another red gemstone, is sometimes found along with rubies in the same gem gravel or marble. Red spinels may be mistaken for rubies by those lacking experience with gems. However, the finest red spinels can have values approaching that of an average ruby.
The Mogok Valley in Upper Myanmar (Burma) was for centuries the world’s main source for rubies. That region has produced some exceptional rubies, however in recent years few good rubies have been found. In central Myanmar, the area of Mong Hsu began producing rubies during the 1990s and rapidly became the world’s main ruby mining area. The most recently found ruby deposit in Myanmar is in Namya (Namyazeik) located in the northern state of Kachin.
Rubies are also mined in Afghanistan and Pakistan. In Pakistani Kashmir there are vast proven reserves of millions of rubies, worth up to half a billion dollars. However, as of 2017 there was only one mine (at Chitta Katha) due to lack of investment. In Afghanistan, rubies are mined at Jegdalek.
In Sri Lanka, lighter shades of rubies (often “pink sapphires”) are more commonly found.
Factors affecting value
Rubies, as with other gemstones, are graded using criteria known as the four Cs, namely color, cut, clarity and carat weight. Rubies are also evaluated on the basis of their geographic origin.
Color: In the evaluation of colored gemstones, color is the most important factor. Color divides into three components: hue, saturation and tone. Hue refers to color as we normally use the term. Transparent gemstones occur in the pure spectral hues of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet. In nature, there are rarely pure hues, so when speaking of the hue of a gemstone, we speak of primary and secondary and sometimes tertiary hues. Ruby is defined to be red. All other hues of the gem species corundum are called sapphire. Ruby may exhibit a range of secondary hues, including orange, purple, violet, and pink.
Treatments and Enhancements
Improving the quality of gemstones by treating them is common practice. Some treatments are used in almost all cases and are therefore considered acceptable. During the late 1990s, a large supply of low-cost materials caused a sudden surge in supply of heat-treated rubies, leading to a downward pressure on ruby prices.
Improvements used include color alteration, improving transparency by dissolving rutile inclusions, healing of fractures (cracks) or even completely filling them.
The most common treatment is the application of heat. Most rubies at the lower end of the market are heat treated to improve color, remove purple tinge, blue patches, and silk. These heat treatments typically occur around temperatures of 1800 °C (3300 °F). Some rubies undergo a process of low tube heat, when the stone is heated over charcoal of a temperature of about 1300 °C (2400 °F) for 20 to 30 minutes. The silk is partially broken, and the color is improved.
Another treatment, which has become more frequent in recent years, is lead glass filling. Filling the fractures inside the ruby with lead glass (or a similar material) dramatically improves the transparency of the stone, making previously unsuitable rubies fit for applications in jewelry. The process is done in four steps:
The rough stones are pre-polished to eradicate all surface impurities that may affect the process
The rough is cleaned with hydrogen fluoride
The first heating process during which no fillers are added. The heating process eradicates impurities inside the fractures. Although this can be done at temperatures up to 1400 °C (2500 °F) it most likely occurs at a temperature of around 900 °C (1600 °F) since the rutile silk is still intact.
The second heating process in an electrical oven with different chemical additives. Different solutions and mixes have shown to be successful, however mostly lead-containing glass-powder is used at present. The ruby is dipped into oils, then covered with powder, embedded on a tile and placed in the oven where it is heated at around 900 °C (1600 °F) for one hour in an oxidizing atmosphere. The orange colored powder transforms upon heating into a transparent to yellow-colored paste, which fills all fractures. After cooling the color of the paste is fully transparent and dramatically improves the overall transparency of the ruby.
If a color needs to be added, the glass powder can be “enhanced” with copper or other metal oxides as well as elements such as sodium, calcium, potassium etc.
The second heating process can be repeated three to four times, even applying different mixtures. When jewelry containing rubies is heated (for repairs) it should not be coated with boracic acid or any other substance, as this can etch the surface; it does not have to be “protected” like a diamond.
The treatment can identified by noting bubbles in cavities and fractures using a 10x loupe.
Synthetic and Imitation Rubies
The first fusion of ruby was achieved by Antoine Lavoisier in 1782, by melting three small rubies together under an oxygen blowpipe. The first ruby to be fused from its chemical constituents was produced by Marc Gaudin in 1834 – though his stones were not transparent. Jacques-Joseph Ébelmen was the first to synthesize transparent rubies in 1847. Ébelmen’s rubies were crystallized from a solution rather than through flame fusion. But whilst Ébelmen’s rubies were transparent, they were also microscopic.
Edmond Frémy would later improve the crystallization of ruby from a solution to grow larger crystals: first alongside the industrial glass-maker Charles Feil, and latterly alongside his student Auguste Verneuil. By this point Verneuil was already developing the process of flame fusion that would later bear his name. Verneuil published details of his new method in 1902, at which point the industrial production of synthetic ruby could begin. By 1910, Verneuil’s laboratory had expanded into a 30 furnace production facility, with annual gemstone production having reached 1,000 kilograms (2,000 lb) in 1907.
Other processes in which synthetic rubies can be produced are through Czochralski’s pulling process, flux process, and the hydrothermal process. Most synthetic rubies originate from flame fusion, due to the low costs involved. Synthetic rubies may have no imperfections visible to the naked eye but magnification may reveal curved striae and gas bubbles. The fewer the number and the less obvious the imperfections, the more valuable the ruby is; unless there are no imperfections (i.e., a perfect ruby), in which case it will be suspected of being artificial. Dopants are added to some manufactured rubies so they can be identified as synthetic, but most need gemological testing to determine their origin.
Synthetic rubies have technological uses as well as gemological ones. Rods of synthetic ruby are used to make ruby lasers and masers. The first working laser was made by Theodore H. Maiman in 1960. Maiman used a solid-state light-pumped synthetic ruby to produce red laser light at a wavelength of 694 nanometers (nm). Ruby lasers are still in use. Rubies are also used in applications where high hardness is required such as at wear exposed locations in modern mechanical clockworks, or as scanning probe tips in a coordinate measuring machine.
Imitation rubies are also marketed. Red spinels, red garnets, and colored glass have been falsely claimed to be rubies. Imitations go back to Roman times and already in the 17th century techniques were developed to color foil red—by burning scarlet wool in the bottom part of the furnace—which was then placed under the imitation stone. Trade terms such as balas ruby for red spinel and rubellite for red tourmaline can mislead unsuspecting buyers. Such terms are therefore discouraged from use by many gemological associations such as the Laboratory Manual Harmonisation Committee (LMHC).
Records and Famous Rubies
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. has some of the world’s largest and finest ruby gemstones. The 23.1 carats (4.62 g) Burmese ruby, set in a platinum ring with diamonds, was donated by businessman and philanthropist Peter Buck in memory of his late wife Carmen Lúcia. This gemstone displays a richly saturated red color combined with an exceptional transparency. The finely proportioned cut provides vivid red reflections. The stone was mined from the Mogok region of Burma (now Myanmar) in the 1930s.
In 2007 the London jeweler Garrard & Co featured on their website a heart-shaped 40.63-carat ruby.
On December 13/14, 2011 Elizabeth Taylor’s complete jewelry collection was auctioned by Christie’s. Several ruby-set pieces were included in the sale, notably a ring set with an 8.24 carat gem that broke the ‘price-per-carat’ record for rubies ($512,925 per carat, i.e. over $4.2 million in total), and a necklace that sold for over $3.7 million.
The Liberty Bell Ruby is the largest mined ruby in the world. It was stolen in a heist in 2011.
The Sunrise Ruby is the world’s most expensive ruby, most expensive colored gemstone, and most expensive gemstone other than a diamond. In May 2015, it sold at auction in Switzerland to an anonymous buyer for US$30 million.
A synthetic ruby crystal became the gain medium in the world’s first optical laser, conceived, designed and constructed by Theodore H. “Ted” Maiman, on the 16th of May, 1961 at Hughes Research Laboratories. The concept of electromagnetic radiation amplification through the mechanism of stimulated emission had already been successfully demonstrated in the laboratory by way of the maser, using other materials such as ammonia and, later, ruby, but the ruby laser was the first device to work at optical (694.3 nm) wavelengths. Maiman’s prototype laser is still in working order.
Historical and Cultural References
An early recorded transport and trading of rubies arises in the literature on the North Silk Road of China, wherein about 200 BC rubies were carried along this ancient trackway moving westward from China.
Rubies have always been held in high esteem in Asian countries. They were used to ornament armor, scabbards, and harnesses of noblemen in India and China. Rubies were laid beneath the foundation of buildings to secure good fortune to the structure.
The fiery and captivating Ruby is a stone of nobility, considered the most magnificent of all gems, the queen of stones and the stone of kings. Ancients believed it surpassed all other precious stones in virtue, and its value exceeded even that of the Diamond. The Chinese Emperor Kublai Khan was said to have offered an entire city in exchange for a sizable Ruby.
Revered in many cultures throughout history, Ruby has always been a talisman of passion, protection and prosperity. It symbolizes the sun, and its glowing hue suggests an inextinguishable flame within the stone that legends claim would shine through even the thickest clothing and could not be hidden; if Ruby were cast into water it would cause it to boil, and if carved and pressed into wax, it would melt the wax. It was worn as an amulet or charm to ward off plague and pestilence, warned its wearer of impending danger, kept the body safe, and banished sadness and foolish thoughts. It was reputed to bring its owner peace, drive away frightful dreams, restrain lust, and to help resolve disputes. Burmese legend declares inserting a Ruby into the flesh would make one completely invulnerable.
Today, Ruby’s metaphysical properties are no less astounding. This exquisite crystal emanates the pure Red ray with a vibrancy unsurpassed in the mineral kingdom. It actively stimulates the Base Chakra, increasing vitality and chi, the life-force energy, throughout the physical body and into the spirit. It promotes a clear mind, increased concentration and motivation, and brings a sense of power to the wearer, a self-confidence and determination that overcomes timidity and propels one toward prosperity and achievement.
Ruby initiates the sensual pleasures of life. It stirs the blood and stimulates the heart, encouraging one to enjoy being in the physical world. It increases desire and sexual energy, and may be used to activate the kundalini. Ruby has always been associated with love, especially faithful passionate commitment and closeness. In antiquity Rubies were considered to be perfect wedding stones.
Natural Ruby is one of four “precious” gemstones (including Diamond, Emerald and Sapphire) known its rarity, monetary value, and hardness (second only to Diamond). Ruby is red Corundum, an aluminum oxide mineral with chromium responsible for its rich, red color. The name comes from the Latin word rubeus, meaning “red,” and until 1800 when Ruby was recognized as a variety of Corundum, red Spinels, Tourmalines, and Garnets were also believed to be Ruby. All other color varieties of Corundum are designated as Sapphire. (See the Sapphire page on this website.)
Ruby forms in prismatic tabular, bipyramidal or rhombohedral crystals, as well as granular or massive habits, and has a vitreous luster. The most valuable and desired Rubies are those of a shade called “pigeon’s blood,” defined by William Fernie as “a pure deep, rich red, without any admixture of blue or yellow,” though others define it as “a pure red with a hint of blue.” The shade of red varies depending on where it is mined, and may be a deep pink-red, a reddish-orange, red with a violet cast, or even a deep wine color. The paler pink Corundum, debated as Ruby by some, is usually referred to in gemological terms as Pink Sapphire rather than Ruby.
All natural Rubies have imperfections within them, including color impurities and inclusions of Rutile needles known as “silk.” These inclusions help distinguish natural Ruby from synthetics and when structurally oriented so the light shines off the “silk” in certain ways, the inclusions actually increase the rarity and value of the stone. If cut en cabochon, these special stones may display a chatoyancy, or rare “cat’s eye” effect, or in the case of a Star Ruby may display a six-rayed star effect called asterism, that causes the light rays to appear to glide magically across the stone as it is moved.
Star Ruby has the same metaphysical properties as Ruby, but with increased healing and magical energies. It is most powerful at full moon. The Light of the Soul is reflected and grounded within the star of the Ruby, and amplifies one’s internal resources and fortitude. It is extremely potent for those inclined to self-harm or self-neglect, and is quite beneficial in overcoming sexual dysfunction or the trauma of sexual or power abuse and suppressed anger. As a stone of spiritual Light, it can be used by Light workers and healers to integrate high-frequency energy into the body, and assists one in recognizing the true abundance of life.
Wear or carry Ruby to overcome exhaustion and lethargy. It stimulates circulation and amplifies energy and vitality to the whole system. However, those who are highly sensitive or irritable may find this stone over-stimulating or uncomfortable to wear. Ruby has been known to calm hyperactivity in some individuals.
Ruby is an aphrodisiac, allowing one to experience all forms of love, from wild sensuality to mystical communion. It deepens a couple’s relationship and encourages closeness and commitment. It is also the stone of courtly love and may honor admiration from a distance. Worn during lovemaking, Ruby can help restore and maintain passion, and is excellent for increasing the chances for conception.
Ruby’s intense energy sharpens the mind, bringing a heightened awareness and excellent concentration. It promotes a courageous attitude, and may increase one’s success in controversies and disputes.
Ruby helps reduce fear of the paranormal and evil. It banishes nightmares, and guards against psychic and psychological attack. It is a shielding crystal, protecting the home from fire and intruders, and is good to wear discreetly to stay safe at night.
Rubies both naturally formed and lab-created, are highly prized crystals for technological use in areas such as watchmaking, medical instruments, and lasers for microscopic surgery.
Ruby is considered a blood stone, strengthening the heart, myocardium, ventricles and coronaries, and stimulating good circulation and blood flow. It is also an aid in treating disorders or disease of the heart.
Ruby assists in regulating menstrual flow and alleviating pain associated with menstruation. It is considered beneficial for the reproductive organs, and is often used for treatment of sexual dysfunction, impotence and infertility, early menopause, and as a support for gynecological operations. It is believed to be helpful during pregnancy, especially for older women, and in the optimum formation of children in the embryonic state.
Ruby is useful in detoxifying the body, blood, and lymph, and is helpful in treating fever and infections. It stimulates the adrenals, kidneys and spleen, and aids inadequate circulation or energy flow in the feet and legs. It may also be used to assist in weight regulation, especially when emotional eating is a cause.
Ruby allows the sharing of loving energy despite past hurts, bringing up anger or negative energy for transmutation. It gives the strength to rise from martyrdom and choose whether or not to dwell in anguish, distress, or suffering, and encourages a positive and more courageous state of mind. It brings out the protective aspects of one’s character, inspiring one to step forward and stand up for those who are threatened, be it friends or strangers, children, animals, or the environment.
Ruby also sustains and protects those with sensitive natures and distorted views of themselves or others. It overcomes fears of being “ugly” or unloved, and is particularly empowering for those who hold excess weight in the body in order to ground in the physical world. It releases destructive emotional holds, and is a powerful stone for developing a more loving attitude toward oneself and the physical body.
Ruby carries the frequency of the enlightened Base Chakra, stimulating the flow of life-force energy or chi through the body. It strengthens the ability to meet one’s needs and manifest one’s desires, and is powerful in activating the kundalini.
The Base, or Root Chakra, is located at the base of the spine, and controls the energy for kinesthetic feeling and movement. It is the foundation of physical and spiritual energy for the body. When physically out of balance the symptoms will manifest themselves as lethargy, low levels of activity, low enthusiasm, and a need for constant stimulation. When its spiritual energies are out of balance, one will feel flighty, disconnected from reality, and distant. When the Base Chakra is in balance, the physical body regains its strength and stamina, and the spiritual energy is rekindled in the form of security and sense of one’s own power. It often leads to independence and spontaneous leadership.
Ruby signifies light to the darkness of one’s life. It encourages “following your bliss,” teaching one to enjoy being in the physical world and perceiving the spiritual energy that exists throughout the realm of matter. It offers lessons in mastering the transformation of thought and intent into physical manifestation in order to change one’s world.
Ruby assists in connecting one’s energy field to the Earth for the purpose of replenishing one’s energy stores. It is excellent for grounding and overcoming mental overload, and is a great support during times of stress or when there is a lengthy sojourn before having the opportunity to rest.
Ruby brings red, the color of a self-confidence built on fearlessness, a call to action and excitement. It raises our enthusiasm and speeds up our metabolism. Red reflects the color of passion, energy, and life. It motivates. It is a very strong color – the color of fire and blood. Dark Red crystals embody strong, deep feelings, durable energy and quiet passion. It is a masculine color, particularly useful for increasing devotion and seeing the seriousness of life.
Ruby honors Sekhmet, the Egyptian Goddess of War. She is the most powerful goddess of Lower Egypt, and is usually depicted with the head of a lion and the body of a beautiful woman.
Ruby also honors Befana, the Italian Goddess of Twelfth Night.
In antiquity, Rubies were used as amulets against poison, plague, evil thoughts, and wicked spirits, keeping the wearer in health and cheering his mind.
Ruby is a Seeker Transformer crystal. Seekers contain a crystal energy structure that aligns the natural energy of the crystal to the natural power of the human mind to find the way to new horizons and new capabilities. They’re pointers, directors, and compasses; the fresh start crystals. These are talismans of the scientist, the adventurer, the hunter, wanderer, and explorer. They’re also crystals of the student and the researcher.
Transformer crystals enhance efforts to change our situations, prospects, health, outlook or relationships. By transforming ourselves we transform our lives. We learn to dance, speak a new language, grow stronger, or become a better spouse or child. Seeker crystals with the earth power of the Transformer are excellent talismans to aid our efforts to grow, develop new capabilities and change our lives.
Ruby utilizes Fire Energy, the energy of enthusiasm, warmth, brightness, illumination and activity. It is Yang in nature. It is the energy of heat, action, emotion and passion – of ideas, of concepts, and sex. It is traditionally associated with the south area of a home or room, and with the fame and reputation area of your dwelling. Use its energy to give your life the boost it needs to enhance your standing in the community and within your family. Red gemstones should be used sparingly, to bring the sun’s power and the fire element’s energy to your space.
The blood-red Ruby was considered one of the most magnificent of all gems and was honored throughout history in many cultures. The Hindus called it ratnaraj, “king of precious stones,” and ratnanayaka, “leader of precious stones.” Ancient texts are referenced as claiming “the beautiful clear and fine Ruby is the lord of stones; it is the gem of gems, and surpasses all other precious stones in virtue.” It is also said to be “the most precious of the twelve stones God created when He created all creatures,” and was thought to be the fourth gem in the breastplate of the Hebrew High Priest of the Second Temple engraved with the tribe of Judah.
A powerful symbol of the sun, Ruby is believed to contain the bloodline of humanity. Its glowing radiance suggests an inextinguishable flame within the stone that cannot be hidden, as it would shine through clothing or any material wrapped around the gem. An exaggerated Eastern legend says according to the Talmud, Abraham, when keeping his numerous wives held in an iron city, in order to give them light, set a bowl of Rubies in its midst which filled all the air with luster.
In Hindu lore the fire within the Ruby burned so hot, if cast into water it would communicate its heat to the liquid causing it to boil. The Greeks likewise believed if Ruby were carved and impressed on wax, it would melt the wax.
Rubies were at one time thought to be male and female, the darker red and Star Rubies were “male,” while those of lighter hue were “female.”
From ancient times up through the Middle Ages, Ruby was worn as an amulet or charm to ward off plague and pestilence, and gave its wearer the virtue of prudence, and banished sadness and idle, foolish thoughts. It was reputed to bring the wearer peace, drive away frightful dreams, restrain lust, and to help resolve disputes. Not only was the wearer or carrier of this precious stone protected from all perils, but if the four corners of a house, garden or vineyard were touched by a Ruby they would be preserved from lightning, tempests, and worms.
Ancient legends in Burma held that inserting a Ruby into the flesh so it became a part of the body conferred the power of invulnerability. Those who bore a Ruby about with them in this way confidently believed they could not be wounded by spear, sword, or gun.
Medicinally, powdered Ruby was mixed with water and used to treat infirmities of the eyes. Taken internally it was given in doses of ten to forty grains to “sweeten the sharpness of the humors, to strengthen the vitals, to drive away melancholy, and to restore lost strength.” It was even believed to make the body capable of resisting decay.
Rubies were once thought to protect against venereal diseases. In the Middle Ages it was the protective stone of the prostitutes of Les Halles in Paris.
Ruby, like all noble precious stones, was thought to give warning of poison, refusing to endure its presence. It grew dark and cloudy if any evil was about to befall its wearer and would not resume its pristine color until the peril had passed.
Throughout history Rubies have been considered perfect wedding stones. Their association with love, marriage, balance and royalty has held fast throughout time. Ancient Egyptians honored Ruby for beauty and love, protection and good fortune, and Eastern cultures considered Ruby a spiritual stone representing the beauty of the soul. Rubies are traditionally considered a gem of summer and are given as gifts for a fifteenth or fortieth year wedding anniversary.
Star Ruby is given on a fifty-second wedding anniversary, and was traditionally known in Oriental culture as a “phenomenal gem” to be worn on Wednesdays. Phenomenal gems exhibited a moving line, star, or changes on the surface as the light varied, and was considered to bring good fortune to the wearer.
Today Ruby is still considered to bring its owner prosperity and peace, for it is said that as long as one retains a bit of Ruby, wealth will never depart.