Ruby - Physical Properties & Healing Properties

RUBY

Chemistry: Al2O3, Aluminum Oxide

Class: Oxides and Hydroxides

Uses: As a gemstone, mineral specimens and as an abrasive.

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    Specimens
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  • Ruby Corrundum
  • Ruby Polished
  • Ruby Crystals
  • Ruby Faceted


Ruby is the red variety of corundum, the second hardest natural mineral known to antiquity. The red color in ruby is caused by trace amounts of the element chromium.

The quality of a ruby is determined by its color, cut, and clarity. All of these properties, together with carat weight, affect the value of a ruby. The brightest and most valuable red called blood-red or pigeon blood, commands a large premium over other rubies of similar quality.

Rubies have a famous place in science - the first lasers were made from artificial ruby crystals. They still are used for this purpose although other materials offer improved efficiency. Some ruby crystals show the fluorescence (actually very short term phosphorescence) that makes a laser possible.


Origin Of The Name

Its name comes from ruber, the Latin for red.



Interesting Facts

The world's most expensive ruby is the Sunrise Ruby. is named after a poem of the same name, written by the 13th-century Sufi poet Rumi. The Sunrise Ruby was part of the annual Magnificent and Noble Jewels sale by Sotheby's Geneva and it sold for $15 million dollars!

An early recorded transport and trading of rubies arises in the literature on the North Silk Road of China, wherein about 200 BC rubies were carried along this ancient trackway moving westward from China.

Rubies have always been held in high esteem in Asian countries. They were used to ornament armor, scabbards, and harnesses of noblemen in India and China. Rubies were laid beneath the foundation of buildings to secure good fortune to the structure.

In the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit, ruby is called "ratnaraj", which translates as "king of precious stones". Ancient Sanskrit texts, the Bible and other historical writings refer to ruby as a precious gem, indicating the rich history and abiding appreciation of ruby gemstones. Ancient Hindus believed that by making an offering of a ruby to Krishna, rebirth as an emperor was assured. Burmese warriors believed that rubies would make them invincible, and even inserted rubies under their skin for this purpose.



Where Is It Found

The Mogok Valley in Upper Myanmar, Burma was for centuries the worlds main source for rubies. That region has produced some of the finest rubies ever mined. The very best color in Myanmar rubies is sometimes described as pigeons blood. In central Myanmar, the area of Mong Hsu began producing rubies during the 1990s and rapidly became the world's main ruby mining area.

Rubies have historically been mined in Thailand, the Pailin and Samlout District of Cambodia, Burma, India, Afghanistan, Australia, Namibia, Colombia, Japan, Scotland, Brazil and in Pakistan. In Sri Lanka, lighter shades of rubies (often "pink sapphires") are more commonly found. After the Second World War ruby deposits were found in Tanzania, Madagascar, Vietnam, Nepal, Tajikistan, and Pakistan.



What Do We Do With It

Rubies are used almost entirely as gemstones for fine jewelry and as collectible specimens. Rubies were used in the invention of lasers. Lower quality ruby corrundum is used as an abrasive for making thinsg like sandpaper.



Metaphysical Uses

The fiery and captivating Ruby is a stone of nobility, considered the most magnificent of all gems, the queen of stones and the stone of kings. Ancients believed it surpassed all other precious stones in virtue, and its value exceeded even that of the Diamond. The Chinese Emperor Kublai Khan was said to have offered an entire city in exchange for a sizable Ruby.

Revered in many cultures throughout history, Ruby has always been a talisman of passion, protection and prosperity. It symbolizes the sun, and its glowing hue suggests an inextinguishable flame within the stone that legends claim would shine through even the thickest clothing and could not be hidden; if Ruby were cast into water it would cause it to boil, and if carved and pressed into wax, it would melt the wax. It was worn as an amulet or charm to ward off plague and pestilence, warned its wearer of impending danger, kept the body safe, and banished sadness and foolish thoughts. It was reputed to bring its owner peace, drive away frightful dreams, restrain lust, and to help resolve disputes. Burmese legend declares inserting a Ruby into the flesh would make one completely invulnerable.

Today, Ruby metaphysical properties are no less astounding. This exquisite crystal emanates the pure Red ray with a vibrancy unsurpassed in the mineral kingdom. It actively stimulates the Base Chakra, increasing vitality and chi, the life-force energy, throughout the physical body and into the spirit. It promotes a clear mind, increased concentration and motivation, and brings a sense of power to the wearer, a self-confidence and determination that overcomes timidity and propels one toward prosperity and achievement.

Ruby initiates the sensual pleasures of life. It stirs the blood and stimulates the heart, encouraging one to enjoy being in the physical world. It increases desire and sexual energy, and may be used to activate the kundalini. Ruby has always been associated with love, especially faithful passionate commitment and closeness. In antiquity Rubies were considered to be perfect wedding stones.



Physical Characteristics

Color: White, colorless or gray, but can also be shades of red, brown and yellow

Luster: Vitreous to pearly especially on cleavage surfaces

Transparency: Crystals are transparent to translucent

Crystal System: Monoclinic; 2/m

Crystal Habits: Tabular, bladed or blocky crystals with a slanted parallelogram outline. The pinacoid faces dominate with jutting prism faces on the edges of the tabular crystals. Long thin crystals show bends and some specimens bend into spirals called "Ram's Horn Selenite" Two types of twinning are common and one produces a "spear head twin" or "swallowtail twin" while the other type produces a "fishtail twin". Also massive, crusty, granular, earthy and fiberous.

Cleavage: Good in one direction and distinct in two others

Fracture: Uneven but rarely seen

Hardness: 2

Specific Gravity: 2.3

Streak: White

Associated Minerals: halite, calcite, sulfur, pyrite, borax and many others.

Best Field Indicators: Crystal habit, flexible crystals, cleavage and hardness



Educational Videos

Sapphire and Ruby Mine in Pailin, Cambodia


Rubies from Montepuez, Mozambique