‘Ruby’ originates from the Latin word “ruber” which means red!…not very poetic, but in Ancient times, they were thought to embody heat and power….some tribes used rubies as ‘bullets’ for blowguns, and it was believed that a pot of water would boil instantly if a ruby was tossed into it!
That being said, July’s birthstone is amongst one of the most highly prized gems throughout history, with a color that is classically believed to be the hue of love and passion in western civilizations. Named rajnapura or “king of gems’ by Ancient Hindus, it is considered to be a talisman against evil and most often was worn by royalty. In some mythologies, rubies could grow darker when danger was imminent, and would return to their original color once the danger had past….but only if the ruby was in the hands of its proper owner….
Rubies come from corundum crystals in metamorphic rock. Corundum is actually the second hardest mineral, bested only by diamonds! It appears in a multiple of colors, and is always considered a sapphire, unless it is red, which makes it a ruby….I find this very interesting testament to the power of this color, in many cultures..why dont yellow sapphires have a special name?…or pink ones?….just a great point to ponder!
Rubies have been mined of rover 2,500 years and can be found in India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Tanzania, United States, Kenya and Australia…
Rubies range in hue from orangy to purplish, but the most prized are the truest red hues! Large ones are quite rare, and of course very valuable…some believe that ruby’s red hue comes from an internal flame that “cannot be extinguished”….that being said, perhaps that is why it is a long standing symbol of everlasting love when given as a gift. Being a July baby, I was given a pair of ruby studs for my high school graduation by family friends, which I wear almost daily….
to me they represent a celebration of the beautiful month in which I was born!