The wonderful world of color PT.6: Ruby

When you talk about love, what color comes to mind? You probably said red right? The color red is often associated with our most intense emotions—love and anger, passion and fury. In the gemological world there is a stone that presents us with more beautiful shades of red than any other gemstone. This month we will be looking at the stone that many have called “the most precious stone created by God,” we will focus on Rubies.



Ruby comes from the Latin word ruber which means “red,” this inherent color can vary from orangy red to purplish red.Rubies have been around since ancient times and have many myths created about them over the years. Each region where the stones are found, have made their own lore about rubies. An example of this comes from the ancient warriors of Myanmar, who believed rubies were dried drops of blood, and in order to become stronger and be protected in battle they would put rubies inside their arms to become one with the stone. The beauty of this stone made it be wanted by all the elite of Europe and were usually given to people as sign of power and love. Ruby is considered one of the most historically significant gemstones.
ancient jewelry

Geography of Ruby

Rubies can be found in almost every continent, but the best quality rubies are found in Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and the Himalayas. Myanmar has a legendary valley of rubies; Called Mogok and is known for giving some of the most beautiful rubies in the world. Rubies found outside of one of these major sources, tend to be lower quality.


Chemical Composition, Crystal Structure and Physical Properties

Natural rubies occur when aluminum and oxygen combine to create a compound, along with chromium as a trace element that allows ruby to obtain it’s deep red color. Most quality Ruby grows from marble stones that occur during a metamorphic process. Heat and pressure from mountain formation create the marble stones that are low in iron and high in chromium, which helps enhance the color of the ruby.  Rubies can also be found in basalt rocks, which contain a lot of iron, which tends to tone down the color of the ruby. Almost all rubies have inclusions inside them that often dictate how the stone will be cut and fashioned. They often cut in common shapes like round, oval, pear, marquise. When stones are heavily included they are typically cut into cabochons, a smooth stone with no facets, a domed top and a flat or slightly domed underside.

Ruby rough from Afghanistan

Ruby Jewelry

Ruby gives us a range of red colors that can be enhanced when set in yellow metal which warms the color of the stone, but you will find the stone also set in white metal. This beautiful deep red makes it highly attractive for designers and consumers.  Rubies can be found in necklaces, rings, bracelets and earrings, and can be used for carvings and fantasy cuts (wild non-traditional shapes with intricate patterns.)


Wear and care of Ruby

Ruby has a 9-9.5 on the Moh’s scale. The Moh’s scale of mineral hardness characterizes the scratch resistance of various minerals on an exponential scale from 10 to 0. The top of the scale is Diamond at 10 and graphite at 0. Due to its great hardness, Rubies are ideal for heavy everyday wear.  This is why rubies are one of the most important colored gemstones in the market today.


The sensation of love is like a fire burning deep within our hearts, yet it does not leave any scars. It gives us a courage that we did not know we had and it shines bright within our hearts. Ruby is a stone that symbolizes love not only because of the red color, but because of it’s impurities and the hardness it posses. The impurities are similar to the people we love, who are full of flaws and virtues, but that is why we love them. We can become entirely different people when it comes to the ones we love, and that hardness that ruby has is similar to how through tough times we can continue to shine bright and love. Ruby is the perfect stone for July, so come on in and let us show you the wonderful world of color.

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