The word Ruby comes to us from the Latin 'ruber' and 'rubeus' meaning red. However the word in Sanskrit translates to be “The King of gemstones”.
Rubies are typically mined from Madagascar, Nepal, Thailand and Australia. They require special subterranean conditions, unlike diamonds which can be found almost anywhere. The formation of rubies requires a lot of Earth’s natural elements and many years of pressure and natural growth. This growth process incorporates many of the earth's elements, which can affect the clarity of the stone. During their growth process, rubies will develop fractures and inclusions that affect the colour and visibility.
Rubies are generally much rarer than diamonds. Their scarcity makes it too difficult to deploy as a conflict mineral. Rubies are an optimal choice in engagement rings and other jewellery for anyone concerned about conflict minerals.
Heating is literally exposing the Ruby to high temperature, which can improve the depth of colour. This is a permanent treatment that is required for many Rubies, otherwise the colours would look far too light.
Scientifically, Rubies are a type of corundum, which is a crystalline form of aluminium oxide. Sapphires are made of exactly the same material the only difference between the two is that rubies are coloured red by the presence of minute impurities made of chromium and sapphires are turned blue (and some other hues) by the presence of titanium or iron.
Rubies are an ancient stone, revered since history began, and as such are very powerful spiritually. It fills its owner with power, with self-esteem and confidence, it has been the gemstone of dominant rulers and nobles. It brings vitality and verve to the wearer, allowing him or her to live life to its fullest and take every positive opportunity that comes their way.
Of course, it is the colour and the stone of love, of passion, romance and sexuality and lust.
In legend it could ward off plague and pestilence, warn of impending doom and boil water if placed in the pot. Warriors would wear rubies as amulets to become invincible although Burmese fighters took this to extremes by inserting rubies under the skin before battles!