A symbol of love and immortality, the ruby has been the focus of many myths and legends throughout the centuries. In ancient times, Hindus believed rubies possessed an inextinguishable inner fire, causing the gemstones to shine through clothing. The vibrant, red gem was commonly thought by some cultures to bless wearers with health, wealth, wisdom and success in affairs of the heart. Rubies also have been traditionally associated with charity, dignity and divine power.
Rubies are always fashionable and complement virtually everyone who wears them. In addition to being the official birthstone for July and the traditional gift for 40th wedding anniversaries, the ruby frequently is given in celebration of the birth of a daughter.
Ruby Basic Facts
||9.0 on the Mohs Scale
The ruby is one of the hardest and most durable gems, ideal for all types of jewelry. It consists of crystallized corundum with a small percentage of chromium oxide, which creates varying shades ranging from pinkish red to purple red. Tom Shane handpicks all Shane Co. rubies in Bangkok, where the finest rubies in the world are found. He first selects only rubies that are true red. Then he has the gems re-cut to maximize their beauty. As a member of the corundum mineral family, the ruby is a close cousin to the sapphire. Depending on the depth of pink in the gemstone, it may be classified as either a sapphire or a ruby: The deeper pink gems are considered rubies, while paler pinks are considered sapphires.
Rubies are treasured, first and foremost, for their intense color. Secondary in importance is the gemstone's brilliance and liveliness. Truly fine rubies of any size above two carats are very scarce and are seldom seen outside the Far East. Inclusions are common; yet rather than indicating poor quality, they distinguish genuine gemstones from synthetic ones.
Origins and Quality
The name 'ruby' comes from the Latin word 'rubeus,' meaning 'red.' The finest rubies are often described as 'pigeon's blood' - a spectacular shade of red with a hint of blue, superb transparency and exceptional fire and brilliance.