Ruby is the most valuable variety of the gem species corundum. A practical reason for ruby’s popularity is its hardness. At 9 on the Mohs scale, this makes ruby second only to diamond. Not only that, there are many more factors giving ruby’s reason to becoming one of the most important gems in colored stone market. Ruby is valued for its intense red color as well as a strong history.
Red is the color of our most intense emotions—love and anger, passion and fury. It’s associated with objects of power and desire—like fast cars and red roses. Early cultures treasured rubies for their similarity to the redness of the blood that flowed from their veins, and believed that rubies held the power of life. As a symbol of passion, ruby makes an ideal romantic gift. Rubies adorn love-inspired jewelry like heart-shaped pendants and anniversary rings. Consumers are drawn to the lush color because it also signifies wealth and success.
Historians believe that the link between man and ruby stretches back more than thousands of years. In the Bible, rubies are mentioned four times, in association with attributes like beauty and wisdom. In the first century AD, Pliny did also include rubies in his Natural History, describing their hardness and density. Ancient Hindus believed that those who offered fine rubies to the god Krishna were granted rebirth as emperors. Ruby retained its importance with the birth of the western world and became one of the most sought-after gems of European royalty and the upper classes. In the ancient language of Sanskrit, ruby is called ratnaraj, or “king of precious stones.”