Ruby comes from the Latin word “Rubeus,” meaning “red”. Ruby has been known as the ‘king of precious stones’.
Ruby is a red corundum. It gets its color from chromium and has a color range from a deep cochineal-red to pale rose-red, purplish-red, and orangey-red. Ruby’s pleochroism is a strong orangey-red or a purplish-red. Today, the most sought-after color of ruby is a medium or medium dark vivid red. Ruby treatments are used to improve its clarity and/or color are heat, and fracture filling with oil, epoxy, or glass. Dyeing is sometimes done to improve color. Ruby’s hardness is 9.
Ruby can be found in Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Kenya, and the United States of America (North Carolina and Montana).
In 1912 the National Association of Jeweler’s made ruby the birthstone for July. It is the stone for the 15th and 40th Wedding Anniversaries. Ruby is associated with the zodiac signs of Cancer, Leo, Capricorn, and Taurus.
In the 11th century French Bishop Marbodius claimed that a ruby is the glowing eye in the center of a dragon’s or a wyvern’s forehead.
A 16th century legend claims that the ruby came from fire and would have a glow making it impossible to hide the gemstone.
The ruby has historically been associated with courage, passion, vitality, good fortune, invincibility, love, romance, prosperity, peace, and willpower.
Historically speaking, rubies were believed to protect against illness; to treat hemorrhages, flatulence, biliousness, and inflammatory diseases; to staunch bleeding; and to be an antidote to poison.
Ultrasonics and steamers are safe if the stones are not oiled, cavity filled, or heavily flawed.