Rubies are intrinsically regal. It is the wonderful red color of rubies that has captured so many hearts for centuries. Ruby is known as ‘Ratnaraj’ or the king of gems in Sanskrit, a name that does full justice to this beautiful gemstone. The basic quality of ruby is its color which also gives ruby its name. The word ‘Ruber’ in Latin means red that quite aptly describes these gemstones.
Earlier rubies were considered more valuable than diamonds and even now they remain one of the most loved gemstones. Emperors and rulers across the world have always had a soft corner for the magnificent rubies. It is believed that the crown of Prince Charles IV of Luxembourg had a ruby that weighed a considerable 250 carats. It is also said that the Emperor of China used rubies to illuminate his room while Hebrews believed health, prosperity and joy could be acquired by carving a dragon on a ruby. Ancient Burmese soldiers injected rubies in their skin, to save them from fatal wounds in the battlefields. Rubies are also said to stimulate fertility.
The most important determining fact about rubies is color which is also the primary consideration while evaluating the quality of rubies. A clear and vibrant red color is most sought after in rubies. Rubies like most gemstones come accompanied with inclusions. Clarity does play its part in evaluating the quality of rubies, but color is the most fundamental consideration. The preference of color in rubies like all other gemstones depends on one’s personal preference for a particular shade. Larger sized rubies are more valued due to their rarity.
Ruby acquires a resplendent red color after the stone undergoes heat treatment. It is only after heat treatment that rubies evolve into such stunning and beautiful stones. Heat treatment being permanent in nature, keeps the color in a ruby intact for years. Diffusion is another form of treatment that is used for rubies, where, with the help of chemicals and by exposing the surface of the stone to heat, the desired color is achieved. Apart from star rubies, this form of treatment is not recommended. Heat treatment is any day the preferred choice of treatment for rubies.
It is from Myanmar in Burma that the most beautiful and coveted rubies originate. These stones are exceptional in beauty and color. While Sri Lanka, Thailand, Kenya and Tanzania produce rubies, Pakistan, Nepal, India and Afghanistan are other sources for this exceptional stone.
Red is a color that evokes feelings that are strong and deep which is reflected in rubies. Denoting the essence of life and love, rubies make great jewelry pieces. Rubies are also ideal for romantic gifts. Whether ruby rings, ruby earrings or ruby pendants, each stands out for its sheer beauty. While more ornate jewelry pieces with diamonds make great accessories for special occasions, more subtle ruby jewelry is appropriate for daily wear. In whatever form they come, ruby jewelry is always treasured.