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The ruby, birthstone for July, is among the most highly prized of gemstones.  The red gemstone corundum is called Ruby. All other gemstone corundum colors – orange, yellow, brown, green, blue, purple, violet, black, and colorless – are called Sapphires.  In the Middle Ages, Rubies were thought to bring good health, as well as guard against wicked thoughts, amorous desires, and disputes. Rubies, along with other types of red stones, were said to cure bleeding. And it was believed that the Ruby held the power to warn its owner of coming misfortunes, illness, or death, by turning darker in color. It is said that Catherine of Aragon, first wife of King Henry VIII, predicted her downfall in seeing the darkening of her Ruby.  It is also associated with the values of love, success, integrity, passion, and promise.  The 1870 birthstone poem says “The gleaming Ruby should adorn/All those who in July are born/For thus they'll be exempt and free/From lover's doubts and anxiety.”

ruby ring

The most prized color is a medium or medium dark vivid red or slightly purplish red.  The usual term is “pigeon’s blood” red.  But they go from cheerful pinks to dark brownish reds too.  The lab created Rubies are flawless and inexpensive, a good choice for many of us.  Ancient Egyptian legends say the "Lord of the Gems" Ruby was once meant only for kings but brings happiness and luck to a woman once it touches her skin. The bravest Burmese warriors also went into battle with a Ruby under their skin so the precious gem could emanate its magic properties. For this reason, jewelry designer Roberto Coin hides a Ruby in all his pieces so that it touches the skin.  Cool, huh?

Traditionally India is considered the source of rubies. However, a new field of rubies has developed in Greenland. The rubies lie so thick on the ground that workers trample them. This deposit is so rich it could change the global market for this precious gemstone. In just 48 tons of ore, 65,000 grams of precious gem-quality rubies were found. Some gems were single stones of more than 400 carats.  Whoa!  I’ll take one, to go, please!  Rubies can be worn with just about everything and they scream “class”.  I rather like the idea that it has to touch your skin and picked that ring in the picture for myself.  Notice the open design—click it and it’ll take you there.  Rubies are powerful!  Wear them boldly, when you need that lift, you’ve come to play, laid your bets and it’s time to rock-n-roll.

Fun Factoids:  Rubies have a famous place in science - the first lasers were made from artificial ruby crystals.  They still are used for this purpose although other materials offer improved efficiency.  Some natural ruby crystals show the fluorescence (actually very short term phosphorescence) that makes a laser possible.   The ancient name for Ruby is "sardius".

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