If you were lucky enough to be born in July a ruby is your birthstone. Rubies are one of the most powerful gemstones and have a long history.
The name ruby derives from the word ‘ruber’ which is Latin for red. The first written historical account of rubies can be traced back to around 200 B.C. It is one of the most significant gemstones, and has been valued by Kings throughout the ages. It was even referred to in The Bible! It is said that rubies are the most precious of the 12 gemstones created by God.
It is one of only four ‘precious’ gemstones, along with sapphires, emeralds and diamonds, and is almost identical in nature to sapphires as they are both made from a crystallised aluminium oxide. A ruby is also the second hardest gemstone in the world.
Rubies represent love, passion, courage and emotion due to it powerful red colour. The richness of its colour is determined by how much chromium is in the environment during the stone’s formation. The most prized shades of this gemstone are known as pigeon blood red rubies, but they can also vary in lightness to appear pink. If the shade of pink is below a certain lightness, the stones are then classified as pink sapphires.
Rubies were believed to bring good luck and good fortune to their owner, and were often placed in the ground before a building’s foundation had been laid in order to convey this luck to the structure and its inhabitants.
Like many gemstones rubies may chip, or crack. To reduce the risk of this happening you should remove your ruby jewellery before performing any tasks that make heavy use of your hands like cleaning or gardening. You should also make sure to put on your jewellery after you have used any sprays, or lotions to avoid residue tarnishing the ruby.
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