All About Rubies
August 2, 2011
Red has long been a symbol of passion and love. The word ruby is derived from the word ‘ruber’ in Latin, meaning red. It is no surprise that the ruby is able to seduce so many jewellery designers and jewellery lovers alike.
Rubies, together with sapphires, are precious stones that belong to the corundum mineral species, which are minerals composed of aluminium oxide.
These gemstones are found in a spectrum of deep vivid red to lighter pretty pink, caused by the element chromium. The beautiful colours of this gem are a wonderful match for the lustrous qualities of pearls, creating magnificent pearl jewellery that includes pearl earrings and pearl pendants.
Natural rubies are found mainly in Thailand, Afghanistan, Kenya, Madagascar, Myanmar (Burma), Tanzania, and Vietnam. Since 2008 all trade in Burmese rubies, admired for their deep blood-red colour, has been embargoed by the US and the EU.
One of the hardest gems, all natural rubies have imperfections, possibly containing mineral inclusions that give rise to a silky shine. Gemologists use these inclusions to distinguish rubies from imitation synthetic products. Large fine quality rubies are very rare and are amongst the most valuable of gems.
Rubies are renowned also for displaying a star effect called an asterism. In relatively rare instances, a sharp six-ray star forms when light is reflected by inclusions in the precious stone. Ruby stars are truly beautiful.
If you are lucky to be born in July, then ruby is your birthstone. Traditionally ruby jewellery is also the gemstone given for celebrating a 40th Wedding Anniversary. Wearing ruby jewellery is believed to bring health, wealth, wisdom and success in love.