Passion, love and power. With its intense colors and qualities, rubies have inspired mysticism in man since their discovery. Ruby, the birthstone of July, is said to assure the owner a life lived in peace and concord with all men; neither his land nor his rank will be taken from him, and his house and garden would be saved from damage by tepests. Christians, Jews, Hindu all believed rubies to be the most precious and powerful of the gemstones, calling it the King of Precious Stones. Other cultures believed rubies to have healing properties.
The ruby is a member of the Corundum family and relies on aluminum and oxygen to create its crystal and chromium and oxygen to give its vibrant red coloring. Rubies come in a range of hues from purplish red to orangish red. The color is magnified by the nature of a ruby’s crystal. The natural fine particles help to scatter light throughout the stone’s facets. Ruby is a hard mineral, rating a 9 on Mohs scale, but must be handled with care as it can be very brittle. Technology has brought with it treatments of rubies using heat to intensify the color. Heat-treatment reduces value in the stone.
Rubies are mined all over the world, but mainly in Southeast Asia and Africa. The origin of a ruby affects its characteristics and value. Burma rubies which are mined in the Myanmar region and Thai rubies are among the most desirable.
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