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Irresistible Rubies: A Most Sought After Gemstone

Irresistible Rubies: A Most Sought After Gemstone

Ruby Overview

The term "ruby" finds its roots in the Latin word "rubeus," meaning "red."The Latin word "rubeus" itself likely derives from the Sanskrit word "ratnaraj," which translates to "king of precious stones." This linguistic journey reflects the longstanding fascination with rubies across cultures and civilizations, as they have been revered as symbols of power, passion, and prosperity throughout history. The etymology of "ruby" not only highlights its physical attribute but also its symbolic significance, encapsulating the gemstone's enduring allure as one of the most prized and revered gems in the world.

Ruby Birthstone

Rubies, with their fiery red hues, hold a special significance as the birthstone for July. This gemstone is cherished not only for its captivating beauty but also for the symbolism it carries. July, a month associated with warmth and vitality, finds a perfect match in the vibrant red tones of rubies. 

Ruby Hardness

Ruby is renowned for its exceptional hardness, ranking just below diamonds on the MOHs scale, which measures a mineral's resistance to scratching. With a rating of 9, this gemstone shows remarkable durability, making it highly suitable for various jewellery applications. Its hardness not only ensures long-lasting brilliance but also symbolizes strength and resilience, making it a cherished gemstone for both aesthetic and symbolic reasons.

Ruby History

Throughout history, rubies have held a profound significance in the realm of jewellery across various cultures. Dating back thousands of years, rubies have been cherished as symbols of power, passion, and protection. In ancient civilizations such as those of India and Burma (now Myanmar), rubies adorned the regalia of kings and emperors, symbolizing authority and divine favor. Indian rulers believed that rubies offered protection from enemies and bestowed blessings upon their wearers. In China, rubies were associated with prosperity and longevity, often incorporated into lavish jewellery worn by the nobility. During the Middle Ages in Europe, rubies were highly coveted by royalty and clergy alike, symbolizing both the blood of Christ and the passion of love. Throughout the Renaissance and into the modern era, rubies continued to captivate jewellery enthusiasts with their rich colour and mystical allure, adorning crowns, tiaras, and engagement rings as timeless symbols of love, strength, and beauty. Today, rubies remain prized gemstones, cherished not only for their exquisite beauty but also for their enduring cultural significance and historical legacy in the world of jewellery.

Ruby Origins

Rubies, with their vibrant hues and rich history, hail from various corners of the globe. Among the prominent countries renowned for their ruby deposits are Myanmar (formerly Burma), where the famed Mogok Valley produces some of the world's finest specimens. Thailand is another significant source, known for its deep red rubies with exceptional clarity. Additionally, rubies are mined in countries such as Sri Lanka, where they are prized for their vivid colouration and transparency. Other notable producers include Cambodia, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Tanzania. Each origin imparts its unique characteristics to the rubies it yields, enriching the diversity of this captivating gemstone.

Ruby Types

Madagascar Ruby

Madagascar has emerged as a notable producer of rubies, offering gems with a distinct blend of colour and clarity. These rubies often exhibit a rich, deep red hue with undertones of purplish or bluish tones, setting them apart from other varieties. They are prized for their vivid colour saturation and often display excellent transparency, making them highly desirable among gem enthusiasts and collectors alike.

Madagascar Ruby

Pink Ruby

Pink rubies, also known as pink sapphires, are found in various regions worldwide, including Madagascar, Sri Lanka, and Tanzania. These gems boast a delicate pink colouration ranging from soft pastel hues to more intense shades. 

Pink Ruby

Thai Ruby

Thailand has a long-standing reputation for producing rubies of exceptional quality and beauty. Thai rubies are characterized by their intense red colouration, often with a slight hint of pink or purple undertones. These gems are prized for their vibrant hue and excellent clarity, which enhances their brilliance and sparkle. Thai rubies are renowned for their exceptional craftsmanship, with many artisans skillfully cutting and polishing them to maximize their beauty.

Thai Ruby

Mogok Ruby

The Mogok Valley in Myanmar (formerly Burma) is renowned for producing some of the world's most coveted rubies, often referred to as "pigeon's blood" rubies. These rubies are prized for their deep red colouration with a hint of blue, reminiscent of the vivid hue of freshly spilled blood. The term "pigeon's blood" is used to describe the ideal colour saturation and consistency sought after by collectors and connoisseurs.

Mogok Ruby

Ruby Meaning

Rubies hold profound symbolism, representing various qualities and virtues across cultures and throughout history. Primarily, rubies are emblematic of passion, love, and vitality due to their deep red color, often associated with the heart and life force. They are also symbols of courage and strength, believed to fortify the wearer's resolve and protect against adversity. In ancient folklore, rubies were thought to possess magical properties, offering guidance, wisdom, and good fortune to those who possessed them. Moreover, rubies signify prosperity and abundance, reflecting wealth and status, especially in royal and aristocratic circles. Their rarity and allure have made them enduring symbols of beauty and luxury, cherished as talismans of enduring love and power throughout generations. Rubies resonate with a timeless allure, embodying a spectrum of meanings that continue to captivate and inspire people around the world.

Celebrities Wearing Ruby Jewellery

Victoria Beckham's ruby engagement ring, given to her by her husband David Beckham, is a stunning and unique piece of jewelry. Featuring an oval-cut ruby surrounded by diamonds on a yellow gold band, this exquisite ring perfectly complements Victoria's elegant style.

Rihanna stunned at the 2014 Clara Lionel Foundation Diamond Ball with a breathtaking Chopard pink rubellite necklace, adding a touch of glamour to her ensemble. The necklace, adorned with dazzling rubies and diamonds, served as a stunning fashion statement. 

Famous Rubies

Two of the most famous rubies in history include the Sunrise Ruby and the Liberty Bell Ruby. The Sunrise Ruby, weighing 25.59 carats, set a world record as the most expensive ruby ever sold at auction in 2015, fetching over $30 million. Renowned for its mesmerizing pigeon blood red color and exceptional clarity, it is considered one of the finest rubies in existence.

Another famous ruby is the "Liberty Bell Ruby," a remarkable gemstone that weighs an astonishing 8,500 carats (about 3.8 pounds). Mined in East Africa, this magnificent ruby was carved into the shape of the Liberty Bell, a historic symbol of American freedom. The gemstone's creation was commissioned by Stuart Hughes, a British luxury designer known for crafting extravagant jewelry pieces. The Liberty Bell Ruby gained international attention not only for its immense size but also for its intricate carving and vibrant red color.

Rubies at Augustine Jewels

Birthstone Ruby Halo Earrings

Birthstone Halo Ruby and Diamond Earrings, £650, Birthstone Collection

White Gold and Ruby Ring

9ct White Gold and Ruby Diamond Ring, £699

Yellow Gold Vermeil Spiral Ruby Necklace

Yellow Gold Vermeil Spiral Ruby Necklace, £295, Portofino Collection


Ruby Jewellery in the Press with Augustine Jewels

Augustine Jewels was recently profiled in luxury magazine Tatler Magazine for our beautiful Pink Sapphire, Ruby, and Diamond Earrings and Necklace. 

Pink Sapphire, Ruby and Diamond Earrings

Pink Sapphire, Ruby, and Diamond Earrings, £1200

Pink Sapphire Ruby and Diamond Necklace

Pink Sapphire, Ruby, and Diamond Necklace, £950

Bespoke Rubies at Augustine Jewels

At Augustine Jewels, we offer a personalized bespoke service that encourages active involvement and collaboration from our customers throughout the selection process. Tailored exclusively to match your preferences, our creations result in unique and cherished pieces of jewelry that stand the test of time.

Rubellite and Diamond Ring, Bespoke Collection 

Top 5 Facts about Rubies

  1. King of Gems: Rubies have long been hailed as the "king of gems" due to their exceptional hardness, second only to diamonds. This durability makes them perfect for everyday wear in jewellery.

  2. Star Rubies: Certain rubies exhibit a phenomenon called asterism, where a star-like pattern appears on the surface when viewed under a single light source. These star rubies are highly coveted for their rarity and mystical allure.

  3. Record-Setting Gems: Rubies have fetched some of the highest prices ever paid for gemstones at auctions. For instance, the Sunrise Ruby set a world record for the most expensive ruby sold at auction in 2015, fetching over $30 million.

  4. The Ruby Slippers: In L. Frank Baum's classic novel "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz," Dorothy's iconic ruby slippers are a central element of the story. In the 1939 film adaptation, the slippers were famously changed from silver to ruby red to take advantage of the Technicolour technology, solidifying the association of rubies with the magical world of Oz.

  5. Birthstone for 40th Anniversaries: Rubies are not only the birthstone for July but also traditionally associated with 40th wedding anniversaries. This milestone anniversary is often celebrated with gifts of ruby jewellery to symbolize enduring love and passion.

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