The King of Precious Stones
Every piece of jewelry and every stone has a story. Have you ever wondered how your birthstone fared throughout history? This is by far one of the more fascinating historic pieces. Historically, gemstones are filled with lore, superstitions, and stories. The July birthstone, ruby, is no different! The ruby happens to be one of the most coveted of the gemstones and has been known throughout history to have mystic powers.
The ruby is derived from the Latin word ruber, meaning “red” and represents the color of love and passion. In the ancient language of Sanskrit, the ruby is called ratnaraj, or “King of Precious Stones.” For more than five centuries Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, has produced some of the most sought-after rubies. These rubies have a tendency to be more vibrant red that is softened by light scattering inclusions and a glowing red fluorescence. Since the later part of the 20th century northern Vietnam, where the rainforest blanketed mountains rise over the paddy fields, has been a major source for rubies. This area produces rubies that have a red to purplish red color and to this day, artisanal miners still work the soil in hopes they will discover a gem that will change their fortune!
According to psychology, we know that red is the color that produces our most intense emotions; love and anger, passion and fury. It is also associated with objects of power and desire, like fast cars and red roses. Some early cultures treasured rubies for their similarity to the redness of the blood that flowed through their veins and believed these stones held the power of life. Rubies are mentioned various times throughout history, even mentioned multiple times in the Bible in association with beauty and wisdom. Here are a few more interesting and fun facts on rubies:
- Ruby has been called the most precious of the 12 stones created by God.
- In the first century AD, the Roman scholar Pliny included rubies in his Natural History, describing their hardness and density.
- Ancient Hindus believed that those who offered fine rubies to the god Krishna were granted rebirth as emperors.
- Hindus divided ruby into four castes, calling the true Oriental ruby a Brahmin. Someone in possession of a Brahmin was believed to have the advantage of perfect safety.
- People in India believed that rubies enabled their owners to live in peace with their enemies. In Burma, warriors possessed rubies to make them invincible in battle. However, it wasn’t enough to just wear the rubies. They had to insert them into their flesh and make them part of their bodies.
- Historically it was believed that the glowing red of ruby suggested an inextinguishable flame burning in the stone, even shining through clothing and able to boil water.
- Many medieval Europeans wore rubies to guarantee health, wealth, wisdom, and success in love.
Throughout history, rubies have retained their importance. With the birth of the western world the ruby was one of the most sought-after gems of the European royalty and upper classes. The desire for rubies is just as great today as it has been throughout history. They have a tendency to draw in customers to this day, symbolizing wealth, success and passion. Rubies are worn as engagement rings, everyday fashion rings, and romanticize any fashion.
Visit Mountain Song Jewelers to find a ruby that inspires your passion.