The ruby gemstone is famous as one of the most valued gemstones in the world. Weight for weight, flawless rubies can be even more expensive than diamonds, and they belong in the Big Four (diamond, sapphire, ruby, emerald) precious gemstone group. Rubies are a type of corundum mineral (Al2O3) which is extremely hard; scoring 9 on the Mohs scale, it is just a step below the diamond.
The color of ruby ranges from pink to vermillion-red; basically any shade of red there is. There are some spectacular rubies that display dichroism (double types of hue) and asterism (a 6 pointed star on the surface). Such rubies with asterism are called Star Rubies, and these “stars” appear when light is shined on them, due to the presence of tiny inclusions called rutile. This characteristic is pretty rare.
Ruby crystallizes as hexagonal, barrel-like crystals, and is commonly found in igneous rocks which are relatively poor in silica. It also occurs in alluvial sediments, especially in Myanmar. Besides Myanmar, Thailand, Brazil, Pakistan, and Tanzania also contain large deposits.
Ruby is called a “stone of nobility” for its seeming unbroken connection with kings and rulers throughout mankind’s long history. Apparently, ruby being the king of stones, stimulates wisdom, conveys the power of authority, and helps bring out the loving, nurturing side of a person, while also attracting health, wealth, and luck to him or her.
A famous ruby in the Crown Jewels called the Prince’s Ruby, was given by the Spanish king Pedro the Cruel, to Edward the Black Prince in return for helping him regain the Spanish throne, during the 14th century. It was only discovered many centuries later that the huge ruby was actually spinel.
Wealthy people traditionally like ruby because historically, rubies are believed to protect ones wealth from declining. Ruby also symbolizes lasting love and a happy marriage, and is still a common feature in marriage rings. The energy of ruby is highly intense, emboldening one to follow one’s own path, values, and dreams. The passion of life is epitomized in all its glory, within the red of ruby. Ruby strengthens the base chakra and imbues in one the passion to live life itself.
As for physical health, ruby is not particularly famous for being a healing crystal, although if worn, it is still believed to help one towards achieving good health overall. In the past, ruby was used to heal fever and treat heart disorders. Ruby has also been used to assist with eliminating toxins from the body.
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