In ancient times, a ruby was used to fortify the walls of a fortress. Also, before the most important battles, warriors in ancient Asia took a ruby as a protective talisman. People in Birma went even further, implanting July birthstone into their skin for invisibility. Since these beliefs were formed, a ruby became a symbol of strength and courage.
Indians called ruby “the king of precious stones,” acknowledging its glory and scarcity. In the birthstone jewelry, it got the superpowers of bringing youth and extra strength to the owner. That was the first time ruby unified the images of beauty and bravery in its meaning.
In Hindu mythology, a ruby was associated with god Krishna. The stone was considered incredible that much that some people even believed that it grows on trees. Also, Brahmins thought that gods decorated their homes with emeralds and rubies.
Oriental culture put on a ruby an even more poetic meaning: that’s a deep drop of blood from the heart. But for ancient Greeks, ruby was just the stone that melted wax.
The first trade that involved ruby was recorded 200 B.C. in China and happened along North Silk Road. In those days, it was used as a lighting source in the Emperor Palace. This time, the same thought came into mind of ancient Greeks. In one of their myths, ruby was a gift for Heraclea to illuminate her darkroom.
In the Middle Ages, the most typical ruby associations were physical and emotional well-being, happy relationship status, and cold mind. It was believed to protect a person from evil thoughts, oversexed fantasies, internal bleeding, and conflict situations. In short, that’s how a ruby started symbolizing all the aspects of a prosperous life.
The first wife of Henry VIII, the King of England, predicted her decline in fortune by seeing the darkening of her ruby. For many years since then, people believed that ruby gemstone has the power to forecast bad things that are about to happen. Also, it was used as a treatment for the diseases connected with inflammation and spite.
It’s easy to mistake a ruby with other jewels. For example, the famous Black Ruby, an iconic jewel of England, appeared to be a spinel. With the popularity of lab-grown ruby production, this confusion became even easier to make.
Ruby is widely used beyond the jewelry limits. From the 1960s, it became involved in the production of lasers, watches, and medical tools.
There are not so many famous ruby jewels. Marco Polo recorded a story about an enormous ruby of the king of Ceylon, estimated at the price of the whole city. Another well-known ruby has 25.5 carats and was sold for $30 million. Finally, Elizabeth Taylor was the owner of several remarkable pieces of ruby jewelry – a ring and a necklace.
The first record of the ruby deposit found came from Mogok, Birma. For a long time, this was an exclusive location for any ruby found all over the world. In addition to ruby production, Mogok was known for the abundant supplies of red marble that is widely used in Buddhist temples.
From the 20th century, the situation with ruby mining changed. Vietnam turned into the largest source of July birthstone. The ruby area in the country is the Luc Yen region, situated in the north. Mozambique is the second greatest exporter. Also, ruby was found on the border between Thailand and Cambodia recently. That’s how Birma stopped being the only place in the world to find ruby.