Few gems truly encapsulate fiery passion and love quite like the richest red rubies. The burning red hues of rubies have become synonymous with strength, power, and everlasting love, making it one of the most highly coveted gemstones available today.
Named from the Latin term, “ruber,” meaning red, rubies have been found in mines all over the world. Ruby mines are located in Australia, Colombia, Tanzania, Pakistan, Thailand, Scotland and several other countries around the globe. The most richly mined areas for rubies, however, have been throughout Myanmar. Historically, Burma was the go-to mining location, but in recent years, the northern Myanmar location of Namya has produced rubies of much greater value.
Since rubies can be found in a wide array of shapes and sizes, their gemstone cuts are generally dictated by their rough form. As such, rubies can be purchased in practically any cut or style available, but the most common is flattened hexagonal cut. This cut generally allows for the greatest brilliance and fire, depending upon the individual piece.
All Things Ruby Red
To say the rich red hues of rubies are highly sought after would be a bit of an understatement. In fact, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) states that rubies have quickly become the most popular, and expensive, colored gemstones available today.
The price of these deeply beautiful gemstones derive largely from their fiery hues. Rubies are comprised of the colorless mineral, corundrum, which also happens to be the same mineral that creates sapphires. Since rubies and sapphires clearly contain very different properties (mainly color), it’s important to understand what actually gives rubies their distinct coloring.
When chromium is present in a developing ruby, it provides the element which gives rubies their trademark red glow. The amount and purity of the chromium will determine not just the red hue, but the intensity of red – whether the ruby will be a pale pink or the prized deep reds we seek today.
Rich Ruby Lore
These intensely red gems have given way to millennia of lore and beliefs. Many cultures have associated rubies with beauty, power, fierceness and even as a connection to the gods. It was once believed that rubies held the power to give and take life as their coloration was closely linked to the blood which runs in our veins.
Famous Rubies Throughout History
In addition to being the birthstone for those born in the month of July, rubies are also associated with the 15th and 40th wedding anniversary gifts. Some of the most famous rubies throughout history, however, have not been gifts at all.
Perhaps the most infamous ruby ever is the Liberty Bell Ruby – the largest ruby ever found. It was found in a mine in Africa in the 1950s and soon after crafted into the shape of the Liberty Bell. Weighing in at a whopping eight and a half thousand carats, the gemstone was valued at over $2 million before it was stolen in 2011 and never recovered.
Another famous set of rubies came about more recently when jeweler Harry Winston created the most expensive pair of shoes ever created. Commemorating the 50th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz, the jeweler designed an authentic pair of ruby slippers, crafted with more than 4,600 rubies and worth over $3 million.
Highly coveted for their beautiful coloring, rubies have become the most sought-after colored gemstone available today. Take a peek at some of these ruby red beauties to find your own piece of fiery adornments!