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Ruby gems are known for symbolising wealth and power. They are one of the most historically significant coloured stones. Its colour represents intense emotions like anger, passion and love. Some cultures cherished rubies because its colour was similar to the redness of blood that flowed through their veins, which led them to believe that rubies had the ‘power of life’. Others also believed that if the stone was worn on the left side of the heart, that it allowed the person who was in possession of the stone to live in peace and unity with all men and that there would be no ranking or land taken from him.
Rubies have had a lot of history and meaning in many different religions and cultures over the past centuries. They are mentioned several times in the Bible as they were associated with their beauty and wisdom. In the ancient language of Sanskrit, the word ruby was called ratnaraj which meant ‘king of precious stones’. Hindus believed that those who offered a ruby to their God Krishna meant that they were allowed reincarnation as emperors. They also used to divide the ruby into four different castes, calling the true oriental ruby a Brahmin, which was believed to provide the person in possession of the ruby the ‘perfect safety’. Rubies became a big part of Indian culture as they believed that those who owned the gem were allowed to live in peace with their enemies. In Myanmar, having been a main source for rubies since 600 AD, warriors used the rubies to make them strong and unbeatable in battle. However the warriors used to also insert the rubies into their flesh to make them apart of their bodies as they thought it would give them more power and strength.
The name ruby comes from the Latin word ‘ruber’ which means red. The glowing red colour of the gem implied an inextinguishable flame burning within the stone. When the western world came about rubies became some of the most desirable gems of European royalty. Many of the medieval Europeans wore rubies to insure health, wealth and wisdom.
Rubies are still as desirable as they were when they were first discovered. It is most commonly brought as a romantic gift for ones partner symbolising their love and passion for each other. Buyers are also attracted to the gems bright, luscious colour signifying wealth and success. It is the gems rarity that makes it so valuable, more so than diamonds. The price value of rubies primarily depends on the weight and origin the rubies are from. A five carat Burmese ruby has sold for over $1 million. Those that are from Mozambique tend to be more affordable despite being of the same weight and colour.
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