Posted by R. Ann Siracusa
In keeping with the birthstone for July, I had to write about rubies. The heroine in my romantic suspense series is named Harriet Ruby, so I couldn't pass up the connection.
Harriet's last name was originally Rubinetto, which means faucet in Italian. It was changed by an immigration officer who must have thought no one should be named after a plumbing fixture.
WHEN IS A SAPPHIRE NOT A SAPPHIRE?
Answer: When it's a ruby.
That's because both rubies and sapphires are created from Corundum (aluminum oxide plus various traces iron and sometimes small bits of chromium and titanium). Mineral Corundum creates two distinct gemstones: Rubies and Sapphires. The only difference is color.
While sapphires come in many beautiful colors, only red Corundum with a certain saturation of color is considered a Ruby. Otherwise, it is classified as a pink sapphire. Until the 1800s, gemologists didn't understand that rubies and sapphires come from the same mineral.
Corundum is a tough mineral second only to diamonds in hardness. Although it is found in many places throughout the world, including places in the US, rubies have become hard to find and stones over three carats are quite rare. Most rubies today, even expensive ones, have been treated in some manner. Heat treatment is the most common.
All natural rubies have imperfections in color and inclusions of rutile needles known as silk because of their thread-like pattern.
Gemologists use these rutiles, which are found in all natural rubies, to distinguish them from synthetics, substitutes, and treated stone. To the right is a rutile web in a ruby under the microscope.
WHAT ARE RUBIES USED FOR?
Jewelry, jewelry, jewelry! Yes, yes, yes!
Ruby is one of the oldest gemstones known to man. Representing passion and power, rubies hae been around for thousands of years. They have been work by kings, queens, royalty, and priests throughout history. In addition to their great beauty, their hardness and durability make them particularly ideal for jewelry. Below are some of Elizabeth Taylor's rubies.
Corundum and very low grade rubies have industrial uses because of the hardness. It's mainly used as an abrasive known as emery (like in emery boards).
The mineral also has refractive properties. Because I can't explain something I don't understand, I'll simply point out that the refractice properties of Corundum were used by Theodore Maiman in 1960 to make the first successful laser..
Clearly, the use of Ruby and most other gemstones for medicinal purposes falls into the folklore category.
However, leading gemologist and gem expert George Frederick Kunz's book The Curious Lore of Precious Stones, published in 1913, reflects his belief that there was a great deal to be learned by studying the ways such stones were used by different cultures at different times.
The roots of folklore stems sometimes from some intrinsic quality of the mineral, sometimes from the symbolic significance of the gem.
● Ruby works with the flow of blood as an aid to circulation. It also aids the cleansing and removal of infection or germs in the blood. The Ruby may be worn in jewelry, but never close to the solar splxus, as the Ruby has a disquieting effect upon it. In a ring, wear it on your left hand.
● "Ruby is helpful for blood-related health issues, such as anemia, menstrual issues, and poor circulation." http://www.beadage.net/gemstones/gemstonesT_Z.shtml
● "Gemstone meanings are derived based upon how the vibration level of a specific stone affects our bodies, minds, and soul. Gemstone Healing is real and allows us to take advantage of this natural magic (energy) as we bring the energy we need into our lives."
SOME WORLD FAMOUS RUBIES
● The Sunrise Ruby
The most expensive colored gemstone in the world, The Sunrise Ruby , the cushion-cut stone of almost 26 carats set between two shield=shaped diamonds of almost three carats each, brought $30.3 million at Sotheby's Geneva this May, breaking the world auction record for the gem." (May 23, 2015 2:42 pm, By Danielle Arnet The Smart Collector)
● The Rosser-Reeves Star Ruby
The Rosser-Reeves is the finest and largest 138.7 carat star ruby placed at Smithsonian Institution Washington D.C. This brilliant stone was found at Sri Lankan mines. Named after Mr Rosser Reeves who donated it, this stone is so clear it's almost translucent, with a six-rayed star. In 1966 it was insured for $150,000. (To left)
● The Liberty Bell Ruby
This is the largest mined ruby in the world. I've included it because in 2011 it was stolen in a gem heist from a jewelry store in Delaware. At that time, the four-pound stone had been appraised at $2 million. Most of the articles predicted it would never be seen again.
Instead, it was recovered in 2014 (more or less a fluke) and four men were arrested. Later newspaper articles about the recovery refer to it as being worth $4 million. (Below to left))
VARIOUS MEANINGS OF THE RUBY
Over the centuries, various cultures have contributed to the legends and folklore of gems. Because rubies are among the oldest known gems, the stone has a rich heritage of meanings and has inspired philosopher and mystics to attribute unusual powers to rubies.
The Ruby is considered:
● The most powerful gem in the universe, and it is associated with many astral signs.
● A strong healer for the heart.
● To bring about a positive and courageous state of mind
● To bring enlightenment to humanity.
● To encourage passion for life
● To provide a powerful shield during controversy
● A shield that sends out protective energies to surround you at all times.
● To provide a protection from misfortune and bad health
● To open the heart and promote love
● A symbol of friendship and love, when given as a gift.
● A symbol of vitality and royalty.
● To bring contentment and peace
● (If you dream of a ruby) To bring success in business and good fortune in money matters
●. A ward against bad dreams, when placed under a pillow
● A stimulant to nurturing emotions and economic stability
● To shield from psychic attacks
● To amplify energy
● To help with blood-related health issues, such as anemia, menstrual issues, and poor circulation.
● To open the wearer, when in a ring worn on the left hand, to receive the life force and have protection
● To teach leaders how to make wise decisions.
● To stimulates the heart chakra
● To help a person remain lucid while entering the dream state
● To help a person set his/her basic value system and decide what is acceptable in that person's world and what is not
● To bring or represent happiness, prosperity, integrity, and devotion.
● To be is filled with love, and also to help sexual love to be more passionate. Persons lacking in self-love should have and mediate on the Ruby.
● To give the courage to be best potential that a person has.
What would it mean to you if someone gave you a ruby?.