One of the four precious gemstones – along with diamonds, sapphires and emeralds – rubies have accumulated a vast array of legends over the centuries. Known as the "King of the Gems," people in India believed that rubies enabled the wearers to be invincible in battle and therefore, live in peace. The ruby has long been associated with love, passion and desire, as well as with courage, creativity and power.
Rubies can range in color from deep red to pink to brownish hues. Extremely valuable rubies are transparent and vivid or "pigeon's blood" red and display florescence in daylight.
Ruby is a variety of corundum.
Rubies rate a 9.0 on the Mohs scale, just below the strength of diamonds, making them durable enough to wear every day.
Inclusions and flaws are fairly common, and, like emeralds, gemologists will use the flaws as evidence of its authenticity. Today, many rubies are heat treated to enhance their color and/or cavity or fracture‐filled to ensure smoothness. Such treatments should be disclosed during the buying process.
Ruby is the traditional birthstone for those born in July.
One of the hardest gemstones, rubies should be stored separately from other gemstones so as to not scratch them. Steam and ultrasonic cleaners are generally safe, unless your ruby has been fracture or cavity‐filled. For best results, clean your ruby jewelry using a mild soap under warm running water and dry with a soft lint‐free cloth.