Ruby is a variant of corundum metal. Another variant is sapphire. All corundum metals with red color or red tones are called ruby. This name comes from Latin; 'ruber' or 'rubeus' means red in Latin. Translated into English this will be 'ruby'. The ruby owes its red color to chromium in the mineral composition. Due to possible iron, some rubies also have brown hues. Within the quartet of the four most valuable gemstones, ruby is considered the 'big red'. The others in this quartet are: sapphire, diamond and emerald. Robijn has been very popular with a large audience for about 2500 years.
The vast majority of rubies come from the Mogok Valley in Burma, Myanmar. In addition, a lot of ruby gemstones are mined in Thailand and Sri Lanka. Today, rubies can also be synthetically formed in a laboratory. In this process there is the possibility to exert more influence on the color.
The value of a ruby (and many other gems) is determined by a number of different factors. These are: the weight of the gemstone (carat), the color of the gemstone (color), the purity of the gemstone (clarity) and the cut of the gemstone. These four factors together are known as the 'four C's'. This system is also used with other high-quality gemstones such as diamonds. With ruby, the most intense color red has the highest value. Soft or dull colors of red or, for example, more orange or brown tones in the stone are worth less. The most beautiful color of red in a ruby is also called 'pigeon blood' (pigeon blood rubies). This color is extremely rare, the purest ruby consists of only eighty percent pure red. In addition to the 'four C's', the location of the gemstone also determines its value.
Red, the color of love and strength
Ruby has another name: Ratnaraj. This means 'king of gems' in Sanskrit. This language is spoken in India. Ruby has been considered one of the most powerful gemstones for centuries. Thanks to its red color, the ruby symbolizes love, passion, strength and courage. From time immemorial people believed that rubies have a strong healing or healing power. Partly for this reason, Greek and Roman soldiers, for example, used rubies in their swords and shields. In the Middle Ages, people believed that the color of a ruby darkened when disaster was imminent. From the Bible ruby indicated prosperity and pride. Several priests therefore wore rubies on their clothes. Furthermore, ruby was seen as the gemstone of the sun; the stone would kindle the fire in your heart. Indians believed that this would ensure a long and happy life. Ruby is closely related to the heart and is therefore very stimulating for good circulation. In addition, a ruby can increase libido and it ensures fertility and happiness. For decoration, some belly dancers wear rubies in their navels to bring out feelings of lust and enthusiasm. In Burma, where most rubies come from, ruby was widely worn because people believed that this gemstone would protect against illness and injury. Rubies are drops of blood from the heart of mother earth and therefore have a very powerful effect. For people who are easily overstimulated, this effect can even be experienced as too intense.
Today's royals naturally have a lot of different jewelry that has been passed down within the families for centuries. Ruby is used in a large part of this royal jewelry. Queen Elizabeth II in particular is a lover of jewelry with a beautiful red stone incorporated. For example, in 1964 her parents gave her a rather elaborate necklace filled with rubies as a wedding gift. Given its size, this was not a necklace she wore very often. That is why she added a necklace to her collection a few years later. You may have heard of the baring ruby necklace. This beautiful necklace consists of 28 single rubies, all smoothly cut. Probably the largest three pendants were originally intended as earrings. Queen Elizabeth has worn this necklace a number of times in combination with different tiaras containing the same gemstone, such as the Burmese ruby tiara or the Oriental circlet.
In addition to the Queen of England, the Queen of Belgium also has a special bond with ruby. This beautiful stone was set in the engagement ring she received from her husband Prince Filip in 1999.
Last but not least: our own queen Máxima, she even has jewelry sets of which all jewelry that goes with it contains at least one ruby. This set is called mellerio parure (parure means set) and consists of: a tiara, a necklace, a bracelet, a brooch, earrings and a fan. The set was made in 1889 and belonged to Queen Emma. It was designed by Oscar Masin. Another set is the peacock tail parure. The set was designed in 1887 by jeweler Schurmann. This consists of a tiara, a necklace and a brooch. The rubies used in this set actually belonged to Princess Sophie. The jewelry from these sets was often combined by previous princesses. Yet the difference is clearly visible; the stones from the peacock tail parure have more pink hues where the mellerio parure contains more deep red gems.
A fortieth anniversary is also known as a ruby anniversary. A piece of jewelry with this stone in it is therefore the perfect gift for this occasion. Red is of course the color of love, so a jewel with ruby in it is also a wonderful gift as an engagement ring or as a birthday present for a loved one. Rubies are also often given as gifts at Christmas.
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