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Passion, Fertility And Protection

The colour red is a fiery and passionate colour evoking feelings of love and expressing vitality and sensuality. It is most often associated with the heart and when a man gives a woman a ring with a red ruby he is declaring his undying passionate love to her. Rubies were regarded with such high esteem that only kings were allowed to wear them. This history combined with the Sanskrit word for ruby “ratnaraj”gave the ruby the title;“The King of Gems”.

Rubies are extremely rare and possess all the qualities of being a precious gemstone. Rubies have a dazzling brilliance within a rich and glorious colour. Like most gemstones, rubies are believed to have magical powers to banish evil thoughts and promote peace. Rubies were worn to promote a healthy, happy and long life. In ancient times, women used to wear rubies to promote fertility and some warriors used to embed them underneath their skin for protection in battles.

What Are Rubies?

Rubies are precious gemstones composed of the mineral corundum bonded with aluminium oxide. Their red colouring is obtained from the presence of the element chromium. When corundum displays a colour other than red it is known as a sapphire. Rubies are the second hardest of all gems making it most suitable for jewellery designs as jewellers do not have to be overly cautious in using them.

The colour of the ruby is a large indicator of its value and the darker the red the more expensive it becomes. Some rubies have a deep red colouring referred to as “pigeon’s blood”. Other ruby colours are purple, pink, orange and violet. The dark red and purple colours are the most often sought after gemstones. Being one of the four precious stones, their main application is in jewellery design.

Where Are Rubies Produced?

Rubies have been found in various countries such as Thailand, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Tanzania, Montana (United States), Madagascar, Nepal, Vietnam and Nepal. Most recently they have been discovered in Kenya, Mozambique and Greenland.The world’s largest producer of rubies for the last couple of centuries has been in the Mong Hsu area of Myanmar otherwise known as Burma.

Did you know that the world’s largest ruby weighs 2,475 carats and is privately owned by a Mr. G. Vidyaraj who lives in India?


Rubies are a member of the four most precious gemstones; the others being diamonds, emeralds and sapphires. Some of the best rubies have been found in Myanmar and they often have a deep red colour that indicates its high worth. Lighter colours or those with a blue hue are referred to as sapphires.

Like the other gemstones, rubies have a rich history and are believed to contain mythical and healing powers. Rubies are used in jewellery making and are often used in engagement rings. They are rare and extremely precious and are believed to bring the wearer good health and vitality for many years.

If you would like to learn more about minerals and mining visit our Mining and Metals page.

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