Thursday, July 7, 2011

Rock Review: Ruby

July’s birthstone is Ruby, making it a perfect time to review this beloved gem! It’s name comes from the Latin word, ruber, meaning red. Rubies, also like Sapphires, come from the mineral Corundum (aluminum oxide), making these two stones “sister” gems. Rubies are often valued according to color, the most sought-after shade being a deep red “pigeon’s blood” color. Minimal inclusions and a glassy luster are also desirable qualities in a high end, natural Ruby.
There are many myths and legends surrounding the Ruby, which greatly accounts for the long term popularity of this lovely gem. For many cultures, it’s stunning red color naturally associates it with love, romance and passion. Hindus believed that the colors of Rubies were due to an inextinguishable fire that burned inside the gem. This fire was thought to grant it’s wearers long life. Native Americans used Rubies for ceremony offerings in hopes to be reborn as a chief. Burmese warriors believed that Rubies would protect from injury and make a soldier unconquerable in battle.
In final tribute to the gem of July, please enjoy the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson in praise of the Ruby! “They brought me Rubies from the mine, and held them to the sun; I said, “They are drops of frozen wine from Eden’s vats that run.” I look’d again – I thought them hearts of friends, to friends unknown; Tides that should warm each neighboring life are lock’d in sparkling stone. But fire to thaw that ruddy snow, to break enchanted ice, and give love’s scarlet tides to flow, when shall that sun arise?”

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