Rubies are a rare and luxurious rock that has made its way onto the jewelry market and into pop culture (ex. Wizard of Oz, Pokemon, Steven Universe, etc.), and just looks fabulous in general. Their red color makes excellent high-end jewelry (especially when paired with a classic yellow gold) and makes any wearer look like a million bucks, and the stone can be worth more. Not only do rubies have a rich color, but they also have a rich history and scientific background.
1. Warriors of Burma carried rubies for invincibility
As one would expect, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is no stranger to the ruby or the legends behind it. Red commonly represents blood or passion, but some folks believe the gem induces quite the opposite. The GIA’s section on ruby history states that Indian people once thought that possessing a ruby granted its holder a truce with any adversary. This is the reason warriors in Burma––a region known today as Myanmar––used rubies while fighting. To maximize the gem’s peaceful properties, they placed them in their skin. A battle practice like this can cost incredible pain, but rubies themselves can cost a fortune.
2. Rubies are one of the most expensive colored gems (in the form of red beryl)
The Pearl Source estimates red beryl at a whopping ten grand a carat. In addition to the high price, red beryls are also in the same family as emeralds (also known as green beryl), which are around three hundred grand a carat. A news story from The Telegraph reports that the most expensive ruby cost $14,165,000. These jewels are difficult to find and have some similarities to diamonds, yet another rare stone.
3. Rubies are the second hardest gem
Diamonds are the first hardest gem. The International Gem Society (IGS) reports that diamonds have a hardness rating of ten on the Mohs Hardness Scale, while rubies score a nine. Another fun fact the IGS gives is that stones of the same hardness will not scratch each other. However, they can scratch any softer gem. Rubies cannot scratch a diamond, but it can damage any other rock with a lower Mohs score. Rubies are harder than almost anything, but they have some things in common with other rocks
4. The only difference between ruby and sapphire is color
The IGS backs us up here again! They say rubies and sapphires differ in no way other than color, and that both sapphires and rubies are in category of corundum, which comes in many colors. The red ones are called rubies and all other hues fall under sapphire. Rubies can also be a purplish or brownish color, but all of them will have noticeable red tints. Sometimes they come in a pinkish shade.
Rubies are deep red and deeply fascinating. Not only are they scientifically intriguing, but they are also historically compelling. Even if you’re uninterested in science or history, these gorgeous gems still command the attention of any viewer. Also, they are available on our online shop.