From ArticleWorld

Ruby is derived from the Latin word 'ruber' or 'rubrum', meaning red, and it is the one variety of corundum other than sapphire. The red color of this stone is due to a large proportion of chromium found in the mineral. Although natural rubies are hard to find, artificial rubies are common and are formed by what is known as the Verneuil process. Ruby has a hardness of 9 on the Moh-scale and it is the only natural gemstone that comes close to the hardness of a diamond.



Rubies are mined in parts of Arica, Asia, Australia and Greenland. They are found in abundance in the mines of Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Madagascar and Thailand. Rubies are also excavated from North Carolina, South Carolina and Montana of the U.S.A. The finest quality rubies are mainly found in the Mogok Valley in Myanmar. Mong Hsu, located in the central region of Myanmar, also produces high-quality rubies. Unexpectedly, rubies were discovered beside the Waseges River of Kenya in 2002.


The value of a ruby is based on its color, size, clarity and cut. A natural ruby is bound to be imperfect in shape and to have color impurities. Most of the time it will have inclusions of needle-like structures called "silk". This silk is removed from the original stone by heating it to a temperature of 3000 degrees. What's more, this heat process also results in a more richly colored stone.

Artificial rubies do not possess a single imperfection, but a genuine stone with perfect color and no imperfections is attributed a much higher value than an artificial ruby can ever have. A proper gemological lab test is always recommended to be sure of a stone's authenticity and value.

Rubies are found in various shades of red: red-purple, red-orange, medium-toned red and red with slight shades of blue. All rubies are unique and display desirable colors. Clarity and inclusions in a stone distinguish it from artificial ones. Stones that are tinged towards purple or orange are also refered to as fancy sapphires.

Artificial ruby crystals were used to create the first lasers.

A ruby may be cut as a cabochon to create an asterism. Such a stone is known as a 'star ruby'. These cabochons are highly expensive because of the uncommon star shape on the surface.

Greatest rubies of the world

Rubies are highly prized and sought after by the wealthy. The world’s greatest ruby is a 'star ruby' weighing 2,475 carats and is popularly called the Rajaratna ruby. The greatest double-star ruby in existence has 12 sides and weighs 1,370 carats. This one is called the Neelanjali Ruby. Both these rubies are owned by G. Vidyaraj of Bangalore, India.

Cultural and mythical reference

Rubies denote peace and contentment. To avoid nightmares, a ruby can be kept under the pillow. Rubies also symbolize vitality and are givers of life force. When given as a gift, it reflects love and friendship.

Rubies are associated with the blood and therefore help to remove impurites contained in the bloodstream. They also enhance love making and bring its wearer great sexual power.

The ruby is the birthstone of July. This gem is mentioned in the proverbs of the Bible and is refered to as precious. According to Rebbenu Bachya, 'odem', which means 'ruby', is a stone in the ephod, representing the tribe Reuben, as written in Exodus.